Episcopal priest Morton Kelsey reminds us that 41 instances of physical and mental healing are recorded in the four Gospels and nearly one-fifth of the Gospels account is devoted to Jesus' healing work. Bruce G. Epperly, Director of the Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, adds: "The touch of God incarnate in Jesus' life is still at work in every transformative and reconciling moment, and we are the channels of this healing touch today!"

The author of Crystal and Cross: Christianity and the New Age in Creative Dialogue and At the Edges of Life: A Holistic Vision of the Human Adventure challenges mainstream and liberal Christians to take seriously God's healing of body, mind, and spirit in our times. This may be a difficult leap of faith for many educated Christians who are appalled by the techniques, claims, and theological viewpoints of both conservative faith healers and New Age healing practitioners. But it is an essential one.

Using stories from the Gospels, such as the woman suffering from hemorrhages, the invalid at the pool, the man blind from birth, the paralyzed fellow on a bed, the Centurion with a sick slave, the leper who turned back to praise God, and Luke's account of the demon-possessed man, Epperly demonstrates how these healing stories have enriched his devotional life, pastoral ministry, and spiritual direction. At the end of the chapters, he includes meditations, prayers, affirmations, and visualizations. I especially liked his aerobic walking prayer and another for use by those undergoing chemotherapy.

Epperly gives us a rounded and vibrant portrait of faith as an important ingredient in healing. Throughout the book he demonstrates an openness to a wide variety of healing arts and modalities including Reiki, laying on of hands, meditation, herbal remedies, Chinese acupuncture, and more. Near the end, Epperly states: "Seen from a spiritual perspective, the immune system is a revelation of God's gentle and all-encompassing care for humankind in often gradual and nonintrusive ways." This biblically based resource on faith, wholeness, and healing is a treasure chest of soul-stretching material for mainstream Christians to ponder and discuss.

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