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The Power of the Cross and Healing in a Pastor’s Ministry

In conclusion, the cross continues as the centerpiece for power in healing. Nineteenth century minister R.A. Torrey called for a revival of healing in the church. He concisely identifies the problem in his inspirational classic The Power of Prayer,

Beyond a doubt, one of the great secrets of the unsatisfactoriness and superficiality and    unreality and temporary character of many of our modern, so-called revivals is that much dependence is put upon man’s machinery and so little upon God’s power.[11]


A renewal of the power of God and teaching on the cross can reestablish the sovereign work of healing today. As a pastor, I pray for a new measure of the Holy Spirit to empower God’s church. Then, as Torrey expresses, “according to God’s own will and purpose, His power shapes and fashions history.”[12] Most crucial to our concerns, the wisdom that Paul discovered in the cross (1 Cor. 1:18), and a humble acknowledgement of the work of the cross can transmit the power of God to heal in our generation.





[1] Francis MacNutt, The Nearly Perfect Crime: How the Church Almost Killed the Ministry of Healing (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2005), 82.

[2] MacNutt, 96.

[3] Charles Farah. From the Pinnacle of the Temple (Plainfield NJ: Logos, 1979), 76.

[4] Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Collier Books, 1937), 45.

[5] Farah, 135.

[6] D.R. McConnell. A Different Gospel, A Historical and Biblical Analysis of the Modern Faith Movement (Peabody MA: Hendrickson, 1988), 163-164.

[7] John Christopher Thomas. The Devil, Disease and Deliverance (New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 61.

[8] Joseph A. Fitzmyer. First Corinthians The Anchor Bible. Vol. 32. (New Haven: Yale, 2008),

[9] Farah, 48.

[10] John Stott. The Cross of Christ. (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1986), 41-42.

[11] R.A. Torrey. The Power of Prayer (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), 190.

[12] Ibid.



Farah, Charles. From the Pinnacle of the Temple. Plainfield, NJ: Logos, 1979.

Fee, Gordon. God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1994.

Fitzmyer, Joseph A. First Corinthians. The Anchor Bible. Vol. 32. New Haven: Yale, 2008.

MacNutt, Francis. The Nearly Perfect Crime: How the Church Almost Killed the Ministry of Healing. Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2005.

McConnell, D. R. Another Gospel, A Historical and Biblical Analysis of the Modern Faith Movement Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988.

Stott, John. The Cross of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1986.

Thomas, John Christopher. The Devil, Disease and Deliverance. New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998.

Torrey, R.A. The Power of Prayer. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971.


This article first appeared in Leaven: A Journal of Christian Ministry 23:3 (2016), published by Pepperdine University. Used with permission.

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2017

About the Author: Cletus L. Hull, III, M.Div. (Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry), D.Min. (Fuller Theological Seminary), Ph.D. (Regent University), has served as a pastor with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for 36 years and psychiatric chaplain for 34 years. He is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies in the Oral Roberts University College of Theology and Ministry. He has researched the growing Disciples of Christ churches in Puerto Rico and has an interest in the significance of the Stone-Campbell churches in American Christianity. His article, "My Church is a Mental Hospital" appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Healing Line. He is the author of The Wisdom of the Cross and the Power of the Spirit in the Corinthian Church: Grounding Pneumatic Experiences and Renewal Studies in the Cross of Christ (Pickwick, 2018) and The Call: My Mission and Our Ministry at Trinity United Christian Church, Lower Burrell, PA (Word Association, 2019). Twitter: @cletus_hull, Facebook,

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