Consider this a balance to the negative review posted earlier about Clark & Johnson, Healing Unplugged
When I studied archaeology at the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology in Jerusalem, Israel in the early 1980's, I studied in modern Hebrew, all class lectures were in Hebrew, and much of our secondary scholarly readings were in Hebrew. At the Institute of the Hebrew University, we used to have a saying for those who talked a lot about the archaeology of the Land of Israel (many call it "biblical archaeology") but who never turned a spade of dirt in their lives, or never learned up close the disciplines of stratigraphy, reading the characteristics of pottery groups diachronically and synchronically, executing surface surveys and recording and interpreting their results, and how to interpret what the evidence was clearly showing and what it could not possibly show. We called these folks who had no "ground-level" experience in the field "armchair archaeologists," "medabrim shiga'on" "speakers of nonsense."
Well, there are lots of "armchair healers" and "armchair critics" of healing that have not seen one person healed, because they do not know how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to pray for healing effectively. The review posted earlier than this one appears to be an example of "armchair criticism" of Randy Clark and Bill Johnson, who are veterans in healing ministry. Word to the wise: if you don't see Jesus healing the sick through your prayers regularly, best not to make erroneous claims as are made by the previous review, and best not to reveal your ignorance of Scripture and of how the Holy Spirit works in everyday life at the "ground-level" in healing ministry.
This book "Healing Unplugged" was not meant to be a biblical foundation for healing. It was meant to be a book by leading healing prayer practitioners for other healing prayer practitioners. If you want books that lay out systematically the biblical foundation for healing ministry today, read "The Kingdom and the Power" (Regal Books, 1993) by myself and Kevin Springer and 15 other evangelical scholars and pastors. Or read Dr. Jon Ruthven, "What's Wrong with Protestant Theology" (Tulsa, OK: Word and Spirit Press, 2012) or Randy Clark and Bill Johnson's "The Essential Guide to Healing" (Chosen, 2011).
And let's not get our noses out of joint over "feathers falling from inside a building" or gold dust or gems falling out of nowhere. Such signs are just heaven's way of reminding us that God's angels are among us and that the Lord wants heaven and Father God's will to be poured out on earth. Remember the Lord's prayer? "Your kingdom come! Your will be done ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN! (Matt 6:10) Please remember, if one wants a biblical correlation for what Clark and Johnson describe in "Healing Unplugged"--remember that when the apostle Peter described the outpouring of the gift of tongues on the day of Pentecost, and when Peter said in Acts 2:16 "this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel [2:28-29]," the text of Joel 2:28-29 says NOTHING WHATSOEVER about people speaking in tongues or foreign languages. Had our earlier reviewer been reviewing Peter on Pentecost, I dare say he would be saying that all this nonsense gibberish they call tongues is completely "unbiblical." How did Peter know it was biblical, given the fact that the Bible of the Early Church was the OT? (The NT documents were not even gathered together till the end of the first century AD, as all mainstream NT scholars and Church historians know.) Peter knew, because he LISTENED to the Holy Spirit, and he knew that the fruit was good (Matt 7:15-23)--many were saved that day=GOOD FRUIT! When Randy Clark and Bill Johnson tell of the many healings God has worked through them and those they have trained in their churches and many other churches, the fruit is GOOD (Matt 7:15-23)--many people give their lives to Jesus, the greatest miracle, when they see Jesus working healing miracles! (Just like in the Gospels and Acts as it should be.) That's how we know that their healing ministry is of God--by Jesus' own definition in Matt 7:15-23 of how to discern what is of God and what is not, not by subjective criteria like those in reviews like the one posted before this one. And when Jesus healed the sick with spittle and mud (Mark 7:33; 8:23; John 9:6, 11, 14), if the previous reviewer was watching Jesus heal this way, again we would have heard the question, "Where is that in the Bible??" Mud and spittle are NOWHERE attested in the OT, the Bible of Jesus, the apostles, and the Early Church! And the reviewer above would have joined the scribes and Pharisees in their criticism of Jesus, claiming that what He was doing could not possibly be from God.
Come on folks: we need a Spirit-led epistemology already, an epistemology that follows the Bible's own protocol for discerning what is from God and what is not from God, what is truth and what is error: Biblical epistemology according to Proverbs 2:1-10 and John 16:13-15 is a Spirit-led epistemology. Careful study and analysis of the text of Scripture is an important discipline, not only for Christian scholars and theologians, but also for every thinking Christian. Christ deserves nothing less than our very best thinking and systematic research in Scripture, as in any other area of study or life. But finding the truth in a biblical way is not a matter of trying to figure things out merely by applying our minds alone to analyze the text of Scripture without consciously listening to the Holy Spirit's guidance: this mode of interpreting Scripture, without listening to the Holy Spirit, is what caused the Pharisees to go so far astray from the truth and to reject Jesus as Israel's Messiah:
John 5:37-40 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that
by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
The biblical way to find the truth is to submit our minds, our disciplined study, and our research to the Lord and to cry out to Him for understanding (Prov. 2:1-10), and then consciously to listen to the Holy Spirit in our hearts and to trust Him--"the Spirit of truth" (John 16:13)--to lead us into all truth (John 10:27-28; 14:26; 16:13-15; 1 Cor. 2:12-13). If we are to address successfully the issue of how the Holy Spirit is working in healing today from a biblical standpoint, we must listen to the Holy Spirit, like the early Church leaders did in Acts 15:28 (Notice the Holy Spirit is mentioned first here: "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us. . ."). We dare not reason on our own, as the Pharisees did, but we must consciously depend on the Holy Spirit, asking Him to help us discern truth from error, and to lead us into all truth (John 16:12-15; 14:26). We must also bind the enemy ("resist the devil" James 4:7-8) from interfering with our thoughts, as he interfered with the apostle Peter's thoughts in Matt. 16:22-23, where Jesus rebuked Peter for not only receiving, but verbalizing, thoughts that originated from satan. We must not assume that our first thoughts are from God. We must bind the enemy, as James 4:7-8 commands us, and then draw near to God and listen to His Holy Spirit.
And if you want the empirical evidence for healings in response to healing prayer that includes the healings that Jesus has worked through Randy Clark and Bill Johnson and hundreds and thousands of others of us, see Dr. Candy Gunther Brown's two books and article in the Southern Journal of Medicine: C. G. Brown, "Global Awakenings: Divine Healing Networks and Global Community in North America, Brazil, Mozambique, and Beyond," in "Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 351-369; idem, "From Toronto Blessing to Global Awakening: Healing and the Spread of Pentecostal-Charismatic Networks," in "Testing Prayer: Science and Healing" (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012); idem, "Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Proximal Intercessory Prayer (STEPP) on Auditory and Visual Impairments in Rural Mozambique," Southern Medical Journal (Southern Medical Association) 103, no. 9 (September 2010), p. 864; see also Cambridge University social anthropologist David C. Lewis "Healing: Fiction, Fantasy or Fact? A Comprehensive Analysis of the Healings and Associated Phenomena at John Wimber's Harrogate Conference" (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1989); idem, chapter 13 "A Social Anthropologist's Analysis of Contemporary Healing," in Gary S. Greig and Kevin N. Springer, eds., "The Kingdom and the Power" (Regal 1993), pp. 321ff.; Rex Gardner, M.D., British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition), Vol. 287, No. 6409 (Dec. 24 - 31,1983), pp. 1927-1933.
Again, before writing cavalier, critical reviews that come from head knowledge only and no "ground-level" experience in effective healing ministry, please go and do your homework--your biblical homework and your current practical homework. If you don't see people healed regularly in your praying for the sick, your review really is not worth much to those of us who do see Jesus heal regularly through healing prayer and who know the Scriptures well, and who do want to learn from leaders whom Jesus is using powerfully like Randy Clark and Bill Johnson. We are not ashamed to stand with them, to obey Jesus, to do His miraculous works, as He commanded (John 14:12), and to learn from the Holy Spirit how to "heal the sick, raise the dead, . . . and drive out demons" (Matt. 10:8) so that people can see living proof that the Bible is God's Word, and they can experience the love of Jesus, the love of God, and the power of the Cross to forgive sin and heal broken bodies, hearts, and minds.
Gary S. Greig, Ph.D., 1990, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago; formerly associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Regent University; adjunct professor, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH.