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Healing in the Bible: Theological Insight for Christian Ministry
Baker Academic / 2010 / Paperback
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What does the Bible say about healing? In this volume, healing in the Bible respected biblical scholar Frederick Gaiser offers a close theological reading of biblical texts on health and healing, engaging questions of contemporary theological and pastoral concern.
Gaiser considers fifteen key Old and New Testament passages, examining their significance for the church's understanding of healing and its ministry today. He explores issues such as God's role in healing; the relationship between healing and prayer; the place of healing in biblical theology; God's healing and medical science; the healing work of Jesus; healing, salvation, and cure; the relationship between sickness and sin; and healing under the sign of the cross.
The final chapter draws together insights from the various chapters and summarizes Gaiser's findings.Healing in the Bible offers fresh insights for anyone interested in Christian views on healing, from professors and students in Bible, theology, and pastoral ministry courses to thoughtful lay readers and pastors.
In the midst of an ongoing debate about health care, what does the Bible say about healing? Here a respected scholar reads biblical texts on health and healing with care and imagination, engaging the reader in lively conversations with the text and with questions of contemporary theological and pastoral concern. Gaiser offers close readings of fifteen key Old and New Testament passages, considering their significance for the church's understanding of healing and its ministry today. The book examines such significant matters as God's role in healing, the relation between sickness and sin, healing and prayer, God's healing and medical science, and healing under the sign of the cross, offering fresh insights for anyone interested in Christian views on healing.
"Frederick Gaiser has written a book that everyone interested in the intersection of theology and health needs to read. This is the work of a skilled exegete who is intimately familiar with the biblical stories of God's healing acts. Gaiser reminds us that all of our theological reflection concerning health ought to begin with and account for the biblical narrative. I look forward to the opportunity to use this book in my own teaching and scholarship."
--Joel James Shuman, coauthor, Reclaiming the Body; associate professor of theology, King's College
"Frederick Gaiser has a great instinct and gift for moving to and fro in the space between the contemporary world and the biblical text. He began this book in Africa, and although he does not keep referring to that, one can see the way it shaped and resourced the 'conversation' between our contemporary world(s) and the Bible's world. He keeps chewing at the text, seeking to be fully open to it, precisely because it comes from a different world and thus has the power to illumine our world. Every chapter is illuminating."
--John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
"What an enormous grasp of issues of health Frederick Gaiser demonstrates in this book as he moves easily between stories of Zimbabwe, biblical exegesis, and applications for twenty-first-century Christians. Gaiser's volume on the wide variety of literature in the Bible about healing is obviously the result of many years of committed research and contemplation; readers will be amazed at the range of his erudition and the depth of his faith. I am very grateful for his insightfully inspiring work."
--Marva J. Dawn, author, Being Well When We're Ill; teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College
"Fred Gaiser herein offers a collection of insightful essays on the difficult issues related to healing. These chapters bear the marks of long and deep reflection. Students and professionals alike will benefit from these close and clear studies. They ring true to the scriptural texts, are sensitive to the pastoral context, and bring a sure theological hand throughout."
--Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary
"With his careful analysis of healing stories in the Bible, Professor Gaiser has given us a great gift. He reminds us that healing is always tied up in the mystery and wonder of relationships--with our self, with our community, and with God--and that health depends on the wholeness of both individuals and communities. As we work to reform and improve health care in America, we would do well to keep these lessons in mind."
--James F. Hart, MD, director of the Executive Program in Public Health Practice and assistant professor, University of Minnesota School of Public Health
"Healing in the Bible is a bold, counter-cultural word for people of faith who struggle to understand how God heals even as they live in a society preoccupied with infinite expectations of health and health care. Traditional wisdom about healing from Zimbabwe, such as 'I am well if you are well,' is woven together with biblical insights about health and healing in new and fresh ways. Throughout this appreciative reading of biblical stories of healing, one theme is constant: the cross will color all Christian ideas of health and healing. Healing in the Bible is a book that informs and inspires and even heals as it transforms."
--Herbert Anderson, research professor of practical theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Graduate Theological Union
"In this book, Fred Gaiser, a first-rate scholar with a pastoral heart, offers no simplistic answers to complex questions about healing, but he will make you think. His comments are sane, balanced, and scriptural to the core and remind the church of its necessary healing ministry."
--Klyne Snodgrass, Paul W. Brandel Professor of New Testament Studies, North Park Theological Seminary
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