The project has disseminated reviews and other information about Christian books since the start of the Millennium. We regret that it is no longer possible to sustain it.
Gift or a Given?
A Theology of Healing for the 21st Century
by John P. Atkinson
Publisher:Circle Books imprint of John Hunt Publisjing Ltd
This is an excellent book on healing that addresses really topical issues on what healing is, what healing ministry is and where does or should it sit within the churches ministry. It attempts to set the ministry of healing within context, thus it starts in the introduction with author, John P. Atkinson who is the British Methodist Church's Advisor for Health and Healing, giving his own personal account of how he came into the ministry of healing. The very first chapter then addresses the linguistics of the word Healing, and this is important because as he rightly points out there is a subtle difference between healing and curing and his concern is that in some churches this boundary has become so blurred as to cause potentially dangerous problems – this he addresses in much more detail later on in the chapters 'What happened to healing' and 'What is healing'. The chapter 'Biblical Focus', though short, offers good insight into how healing was perceived in the Bible and the roots from where some of the variant idea's of healing stem from. The 'Theological Reflection' chapter in some ways expands on these insights and also offers more detail on the differences of understandings of healing in modern accepted practice, as well as John Atkinson’s own insight on them.
Gift or a Given? is a simple, accessible, and practical book that considers what healing is and should be, offering clear insight and guidance. At the back of the book is a set of questions for discussion and that makes this a great tool for any involved or considering healing ministry or for a reflection day.
Reviewer: Melanie Carroll (09/08/12)