I have recently returned, after a period of absence, to consider the question of miracles in general, and of divine healing in particular.
Looking again at the work of Rex Gardner (a consultant gynaecologist and an ordained minister), I found myself pretty much in agreement with his conclusions:-
- Intellectual honesty demands that (after discounting cases with dubious diagnoses, those where psychosomatic considerations are important, and others where the cure might be attributable to adjuvant medical therapy or where spontaneous remission might be the explanation) there remain some cures for which medicine has no explanation.
- That in these cases the constant association of prayer to God cannot be discounted. Nor can it be set aside as merely a psychological ‘boost’, for same of these healings cannot have a psychosomatic explanation.
- These kind of healings, which occurred wisely during the ministry of Jesus Christ and, after the resurrection, during the work of the Church, did not cease at the end of the apostolic age nor at any other point in time, but have occurred with varying frequency throughout the history of the Church, and are still being seen.
- that although Christ purchased health on the cross, as well as redemption and adoption as god’s children, the benefits of none of these can be fully entered into during our earthly life.
- Healing is not an automatic response to an adequate quantity of faith, not is it withheld if insufficient is generated. Nor does it require correct theological understanding. It is in the sovereign will of God.
- The Christian is entitled to bing all problems, including health, in prayer to God, but is not entitled to lay down what particular answer he should give, or at what time. We can make bold and specific requests as long as we do so if it is thy will”.
- Intellectual honesty requires us to acknowledge that our experience today…is that only a small percentage of those for whom physical healing is sought from God obtain it…
- A believe in the occurrence of cases of miraculous healing today is intellectually acceptable. The conclusion seems inescapable…that we have a living God, intimately interested in our affairs, prepared to intervene in a specific practical way in response in prayer. This being the case it is logical to pray about our health and that of our patients and friends.
Healing Miracles: a doctor investigates (DLT, 1986), pp205f.