Power Healing by John Wimber, with co-author Kevin Springer, is an illuminating and inspiring look at the power of divine healing. Based on John Wimber’s. Eleanor Mumford reviews ‘Power Evangelism’ & ‘Power Healing’ by John Wimber . When the two seminal books “Power Evangelism” and. So, some time ago I found a copy of John Wimber’s Power Healing (Harper San Francisco, ) for 25 cents. This seemed to me like a good.
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The discussions, which lasted just under three hours, were requested by some Sydney people who had reservations about the Signs and Wonders ministry. Jhon notes were made of the discussion. We began the meeting by asking John Wimber if his public preaching and private views were the same.
We explained that it was rumoured that there were differences. Hurt by this accusation, John very generously and openly declared his views with the kind of humility, compassion and laid-back friendliness for which he is well known.
Power Evangelism & Power Healing | a review by Eleanor Mumford
Six areas of discussion ensued:. We were assured by John that profits from poewr Australian conferences would not go to him personally, nor to his American organization, but were invested in the continued growth of the Vineyard International Ministry.
We were promised healling a full account of the books would be sent to us by Kairos Ministries, the local group responsible for financial arrangements. He rejects the idea that he is a healer; it is God who heals.
He admitted that not all diseases are equally responsive to healing. The first wimher was tackled by raising the possible healing of children with Powerr syndrome. John Wimber claimed to have prayed healinv more than children with Down syndrome.
To his genuine disappointment, only one of the have shown any sign of healing. This one child still has many of the symptoms of his problem i. John was careful to emphasize that it was the lower end, but within the normal range. The healing rate, then, for Down syndrome is 0. Why this disease is so resistant, John has no idea.
On further consultation with doctors working in this area, we have been assured that for a Down syndrome child to be in the lower end of the normal range of academic achievement is not unusual or remarkable, let alone miraculous. We know that many illnesses are psychological or psychosomatic.
We know of the placebo effect where a patient takes what he believes is a cure for his problem but which is actually a sugar pilland improves. The area where the New Testament speaks of healing and where he talks of healing seem to be wholly resistant to his ministry.
That is, to mohn it bluntly, it is to be seriously doubted that any miraculous healings are taking place at all. The failure so far to provide Christian doctors with cases to verify from the Sydney conference only contributes to the growing doubt over any genuine miracles.
The second issue is the theological significance of healing. He quickly and rightly saw that they were quite radically different. We asked about the claims of his books and his previous teaching that the powerlessness of evangelicals lay in their failure to pray for and claim the Signs and Wonders of the Kingdom, seen in Jesus and the Apostles. He replied that thanks to the advice of Jack Deere, he had come to understand that the current miracles fit into the New Testament not at the point of Jesus and the Apostles and the coming of the Kingdom, but in 1 Corinthians and the gifts of healing.
He was asked if he would be explaining this change of mind to the Sydney conference, but he declined. As it turned out, both views were expressed during the course of the week. The third issue of healing is the pastoral consequences of the claims for miracles. John Wimber is very open about not jogn healed himself.
He also said that he does wimmber promise healing for everyone or blame lack of faith as the sole reason for lack of healing. However, when asked if he would be open with enquirers and tell them of the small probability of healing, he declined. He wants to encourage people to put their faith in God and call upon him for healing. He wants people to know that God can heal and wants to heal, and therefore to ask expectantly. He said that we do not say to people that they only have a chance of being saved.
We say that God can save and wants to opwer, and so we encourage people to put their faith in God and call for forgiveness. Such a confusion of categories is appalling. Like a politician, John Wimber is not promising unequivocally that each person will be healed.
John Wimber changes his mind
But it would seem that his mixture of generalization and over-confidence results in all but the wary being misled. He explained that his book was not written by him, but nealing from tapes and notes of his seminars.
He had not read the manuscript in detail or critically before its publication.
When asked to publicly repudiate this false distinction between natural and supernatural evangelismto withdraw his erroneous book and to desist from talking of power evangelism, he equivocated. He agreed that the book on power evangelism was imbalanced, lacking as it does any real exposition of the gospel or evangelism.
However, this was due to the manner of its composition and plain oversight. This topic was more difficult to discuss because of the need for precise terminology to avoid misunderstandings. John Heallng was keen to stand in the Evangelical tradition, upholding the inspiration and authority of the infallible and inerrant Scripture which is sufficient for all matters of the Christian life.
Thus, the ministry of gifts is used to add significantly to the Scripture as the authoritative voice of God for Christian living. No-one claiming to be a Christian can be unconcerned about truth. However, John Wimber thinks that some of the central teachings of these two movements concerning baptism in the Spirit and the place of tongues were wrong. So the movements which taught error were inspired by the Spirit of truth!
This kind of confusion of truth and error is reflected in his books when opponents of evangelical faith are portrayed as having conversions or being great saints and advocates of signs and wonders. This is particularly so with his ready acceptance of Roman Catholics. When the matter was raised with John, he refused to countenance criticism of charismatics. He accepted that healing in the name of Mary was wrong.
He pleaded ignorance of some of his Roman Catholic examples in his books. The discussion of truth led naturally to the issue of unity.
Those outside it see it as divisive. Each can blame the other for the divisions. This was denied by John; he wanted to say that truth was important. When challenged about our unity in the cross, he again denied that he had been distracted from the cross, or that he allowed the signs and wonders ministry to be less than cross-centred.
The Vineyard songbook was cited, where 52 out of 53 songs fail to mention the cross! John agreed that this was awful.
He has tried to correct this, but his writers have very little or no theological training. Those present at the evangelistic rally held on the Thursday night of the conference may have noticed the striking absence of the cross or repentance in the preaching.
Discussion ranged widely and freely over these topics for almost three hours. The meeting concluded with an invitation to cancel the Spiritual Warfare Conference and to go home to America. Summarizing such a meeting is very joohn. On all appearances, John was trying to answer the questions of his critics honestly and openly to satisfy us and to gain our fellowship, goodwill and acceptance.
The concluding invitation to cancel the conference was an obvious disappointment to him. He did not seem to expect our continued dissatisfaction with his answers.
Power Healing – John Wimber, Kevin Springer – Google Books
However, his lack of theological understanding and education makes him a most dangerous friend. It is his friends who are most likely to be damaged by his errors. But the teacher is judged with greater strictness for the damage that he can do. We teachers must be clear on the basics, ready to admit error, quick to correct and withdraw misleading ideas, and willing to take responsibility for our faults. We must work hard to be accurate and to be accurately understood.
From the outset of our discussions, John said that God had told him not to read anything critical of his ministry because it would discourage and embitter him.
He has followed this advice, jogn relies on his friends and co-workers to screen all critical material. John Wimber has changed his mind on cardinal points of his teachings, yet he will not come clean publicly and denounce his former ideas.
Rather, he continues to express himself in a confusing mixture of old errors, and new and contradictory insights. The truth that he does teach only further confuses Christian people into following his thoughtless theology. In seeking unity, he welcomes and promotes the enemies of the gospel. In emphasizing extra-biblical phenomena, wimbe undermines the centrality of the cross, the power of the word of God, the sufficiency of Scripture, and the unity of our common commitment to the truth of the johnn.
Six areas of discussion ensued: The use of money We were assured by John that profits from the Australian conferences would not go to him personally, nor to his American organization, but were invested in the continued growth of the Vineyard International Ministry.
Three issues need to be dealt within assessing these claimed healings: Sufficiency of Scriptures This topic was more difficult to discuss because of the need for precise terminology to avoid misunderstandings. Truth No-one claiming to be a Christian can be unconcerned about truth. Unity The discussion of truth led naturally to the issue of unity.
He maybe compassionate, loving, genuine and sincere, but so was the loaded dog! Facebook Twitter Tumblr Email Print.