Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Praying for amputees


Fred Butler ‏@Fred_Butler Jan 20@JoshElsom @ChrisHohnholz So you would pray that an Iraqi war veteran would have his limbs restored fully? Lay hands on him to that end?

i) I don't know the point of Fred's question. Is he suggesting that Christians shouldn't pray for physical healing? Is he suggesting it's wrong to pray for the physical restoration of an amputee?

Speaking for myself, I don't see why we shouldn't pray for that. Whether or not God grants the request, there's nothing wrong with praying for that–since we don't know ahead of time what God is prepared to do. 

ii) By the way, I've encountered MacArthurites who deny that answers to prayer are ever miraculous. If you pray for someone dying of cancer and he recovers, that's "providential" rather than miraculous. 

Is that Fred's position? If so, he can't say God no longer performs that kind of miracle in answer to prayer, if MacArthurites don't even classify that as a miracle. 

Joshua Elsom ‏@JoshElsom Jan 20 @ChrisHohnholz @Fred_Butler Do you practice James 5:13—14 and Hebrews 6:1—2 regularly? Charismatics do.
Fred Butler ‏@Fred_Butler Jan 20 @JoshElsom @ChrisHohnholz James is abt restoring a sinner to fellowship (sickness due to their sin). Heb. is abt the atonement, is unrelated

i) I'm not clear on Fred's answer. Do elders at Grace Community church refuse to obey Jas 5:13-14? 

ii) Is Fred saying Jas 5:13-14 is about restoring a sinner to fellowship rather than physical healing? Is it merely about confession and forgiveness rather than a prayer for healing? 

Joshua Elsom ‏@JoshElsom Jan 20 @Fred_Butler @WretchedRadio wait a minute Fred, I thought the plum line was proper exegesis of sola Scriptura and not your experience?

Fred Butler ‏@Fred_Butler Jan 20 @JoshElsom @WretchedRadio It's both. If God were doing the miracles today as you say, it would be evident to all his people.

i) So Fred admits that MacArthurites do judge continuationism by experience. Yet they chide charismatics for judging continuationism by experience. Why the double standard?

ii) How evident would miracles be? For instance, there's credible evidence that Joy Davidman went into remission when an Anglican priest laid hands on her and prayed for her. However, that's only public knowledge because she was the wife of a famous Christian. And even then, I daresay many Christians don't know about it because they aren't into C. S. Lewis. 

Dan Phillips ‏@BibChr Jan 20@Fred_Butler @JoshElsom @WretchedRadio Dude, happens all th time. In Africa, or like the Australian bush. 23 feet beyond camera-shot. Daily!

Or like the reported miracles in the Sinai desert. Or like the reported temptation of Christ in the wilderness.  Why is Dan Phillips the dummy to Carl Sagan's ventriloquist? 

1 comment:

  1. Statistically speaking, God's answer for the healing of amputees in the Western world seems anecdotally low. That could be due to various reasons (which I've listed in past comments, many of which both Steve and Jason have discussed as well see HERE and HERE).

    One possible reason may be that God didn't want irrefutable documented proof of the miraculous in times past. It may disrupt His providential plan for the history of the world. But, from a Calvinist perspective, what God has decreed and brought to pass in the past is no sure indicator of what He has decreed and purposes to bring about in the future. So, it seems to me that Steve is completely right when he writes:

    i) I don't know the point of Fred's question. Is he suggesting that Christians shouldn't pray for physical healing? Is he suggesting it's wrong to pray for the physical restoration of an amputee?

    Speaking for myself, I don't see why we shouldn't pray for that. Whether or not God grants the request, there's nothing wrong with praying for that–since we don't know ahead of time what God is prepared to do.


    For all we know, at any given moment we pray for healing God had decreed from all eternity that that prayer would mark the beginning of a worldwide awakening and revival through multiple global documented proofs of supernatural healing (e.g. of amputees). Calvinism, allows for the possibility of Post-millennialism. Wouldn't it be like God to set off worldwide awakening and revival through documented miracles and so fulfill the Post-millennial vision? I'm not saying that Post-Millennialism is true (though it's personally very attractive).

    But I think some of the MacArthurite cessationists are subconsciously allowing their Pre-Millennialism and it's latent pessimistic eschatology to keep them from expecting genuine undeniable miracles. In this sense, Pre-Millennialism lays comfortably in the bed of cessationism.

    Luke 18:8 says, "......Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"

    Some Pre-millennialists may naturally answer that question in the negative. As, "no, obviously not since the world is going to get progressively worse and worse until the Antichrist arrives and it takes Christ's Return to finally save the world." But (to some degree) Amillennialists and (especially) Post-Millennialists are really free to allow the answer to be "yes." Post-millennialists can interpret Jesus' question as a challenge which the Church will rise up to and fulfill by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The same thing with the Great Commission. If it wasn't for Matt. 24:14, the Great Commission given in Matt. 28:19ff would be interpreted by many Pre-millennialists as something that could never come to pass. It can only ever be a hopeful dream.


    BTW, while I lean toward Post-mil or A-mil, I don't rule out Pre-Mil.

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