I just left a comment on todays reading from the One Year Bible Blog which asks the question about whether God heals today or not.
I saw Richard Dawkins last night on TV, the first in a 2-part series called The Root of all Evil. He was debunking religion because no Catholic pilgrims were healed at Lourdes. I wish he would have gone to Africa to see AIDS victims who have been supernaturally healed of their disease or dead people that have been brought back to life after a few days in a coffin. That would ruin his argument and his TV program.
Does God still heal? Yes, but sometimes He choses not to. And when he does choose to show His power in a miraculous way, it’s an incredible eye-opener for people like Dawkins who have never seen the power of God firsthand. Miracles and healings in the early church were a big contributing factor to the growth of the church, says Roland Allen, and they also factor into the fast growth of the church in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Big question for the rational, sterile, highly educated church in the West is this: How long can an apologetics without power survive? Can it really hope to argue skeptics into the Kingdom of God with rational debate or will we need to learn afresh about a Christianity with power from those experienced in it from the non-Western world?
Interesting seeing Ted Haggard on the show. I think it was Ted who was telling us in Pasadena (the infamous 1996 National Symposium of the Post-Denominational Church – yes – I was there – as well as other controversial gatherings) about his trip to Colombia. So many people were getting raised from the dead that ministers were called out to pray over bodies all the time. Ted said he went out with these guys to pray over someone who had been dead for a few days and was smelling really bad – and he wasnt really keen on seeing what would happen if this guy came back to life. [No, God, leave him alone!!!] Funny story. But I wish Ted would have told it to Richard Dawkins.
I also wish Ted had a partner with him when he was interviewed by Dawkins. There’s a good reason Jesus sent us out two by two and in most situations like that, two heads are better than one. But still, Ted did pretty well.