Mere Ecclesiology: Finding Your Place in the Church's Mission (Wipf & Stock, 2016) explores the church's purpose and mission in two movements: 1) "breathing in" (worship and discipleship) and 2) "breathing out" (transformational service in the world). It is available in paperback for $ 13.60 USD from Wipf & Stock by clicking here..
NOTE: A Kindle e-book edition is available at Amazon for only $ 9.99 USD by clicking here.. See the same site for hardback and paperback editions.
From the Foreword:
"Greg has powerfully captured the church, 'God’s mission in the World', in these brief pages. Ecclesiology is generally a subject written and discussed in academic theological circles and rarely reaches the person in the pew. But this is one for the pew and will be valued as well."
-Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador
General Superintendent Emerita
The Wesleyan Church
From the back cover:
"This is an excellent overview of the work of the church. Refreshing!"
- Jesse C. Middendorf, General Superintendent Emeritus, Church of the Nazarene
"If ever the church needed a grassroots understanding to fulfill its mission in the world in this significant time, then this is the 'back to the basics' guide so desperately needed."
- Gabriel J. Benjamin, Church of the Nazarene, Africa Region Education and Clergy Development Coordinator
"Crofford invites us into a discussion regarding the theology of church and the practical implications for ministry...This work will prove useful for the church engaged in the formation of Christlike disciples."
-Carla Sunberg, President, Professor of Historical Theology, Nazarene Theological Seminary
"In promoting a healthy church, Dr. Crofford emphasizes the need for 'spiritual respiration.' His conception of church health first requires a 'breathing in' of personal growth that is spiritual, knowledgeable, and communal. Second, spiritual respiration requires a 'breathing out' that is missional, ministering practically to others for their holistic salvation, societal well-being, and ecological care-giving. . . Crofford identifies step-by-step strategies that help Christians to implement 'spiritual respiration' in finding their place in the church's mission."
-Don Thorsen, Professor of Theology, Azusa Pacific University Seminary
The Dark Side of Destiny: Hell Re-Examined (Wipf & Stock, 2013) is available in paperback and Amazon Kindle editions by clicking here.
It is also available here for just $ 6.99 for users of the Nook e-reader.
From the back cover:
"Discussion of Hell is hotter than ever. Yet for all the attention the topic has drawn, few are the resources that provide an overview of the major points in dispute without bogging down in detail.
The Dark Side of Destiny: Hell Re-examined is an excellent primer, yet goes beyond a mere description of options. Dr Crofford weighs various views of Hell in the light of Scripture and finds them wanting. In the end, he champions a neglected view of last things that both responds better to the preponderance of biblical evidence and safeguards the character of God as equitable, holy, and loving.
With probing discussion questions at the end of short chapters, The Dark Side of Destiny is ideal for Bible studies, Sunday school classes, or small groups."
The buzz about Dark Side (from Amazon.com reviews):
"I read this book with my husband on a recent trip out of state. The book is short but says all I'd hoped it would say and does so very neatly. It gave us hours of discussions to make an otherwise dull drive very interesting." - Charlotte Burton
"Dr. Crofford thoughtfully engages with a neglected part of the biblical message: final judgment." - Andrew Pottenger
"Dr. Crofford writes well and treats all positions with gentleness and respect. Beware,-- this little gem is very thought provoking." - John Watton
Wesley and Methodist Studies (WMS) publishes peer-reviewed essays that examine the life and work of John and Charles Wesley, their contemporaries (proponents or opponents) in the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival, their historical and theological antecedents, their successors in the Wesleyan tradition, and studies of the Wesleyan and Evangelical traditions today.
Dr. Crofford's article, ‘Grace to All did Freely Move’: Thoughts on Charles Wesley’s 1741/42 Hymns on God’s Everlasting Love' appeared in Volume 6 (January 2014). Based upon research conducted during the 2012 Wesleyan Studies Summer Seminar at Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmington, Kentucky, USA), the essay examines the predestinarian controversy between the Wesley brothers and the followers of George Whitefield, with special focus upon the pastoral concerns that motivated the publication of the Wesleys' hymn collection.
For further information about WMS, click here.
The Global Wesleyan Dictionary of Theology is available in hardcover by clicking here.
Dr. Al Truesale, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Nazarene Theological Seminary, is editor of this excellent selection of essays by global scholars in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition of Christianity.
Dr Crofford contributed 6 articles, including essays on sin, prevenient grace, predestination, and John Wesley's small groups.
Streams of Mercy: Prevenient Grace in the Theology of John and Charles Wesley (Emeth Press, 2010) is available in both softback and Kindle editions at Amazon.com by clicking here.
This is the monograph form of Dr. Crofford's 2008 PhD thesis from the University of Manchester (Nazarene Theological College), U.K.
From the back cover of Streams of Mercy
"Exploring the theological roots of the doctrine of prevenient grace in Anglican, Puritan and Quaker sources as they streamed into the theologies of both John and Charles Wesley, Gregory Crofford has written an engaging account of the significance of this salient grace. In a work marked by careful balance, Crofford ably demonstrates that the doctrine of prevenient grace not only helped the Wesley brothers to integrate diverse elements in their respective theologies but it also enabled them to avoid rigid determinism on the one hand and the 'despair of moralism' on the other. This is an important contribution to the field."
- Kenneth J Collins, Ph.D., Professor of Wesley Studies and Historical Theology, Asbury Theological Seminary
Streams of Mercy was cited by Dr. Amos Yong (currently the Director of Fuller Theological Seminary's Center for Missiological Research) in his plenary address on religious pluralism given to the 2012 meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society held at Trevecca Nazarene University.
6 thoughts on “The mystery of divine healing”
je suis intéressé par ton article. Le titre contient toute la problématique de la guérison divine: ” LE MYSTÈRE DE LA GUÉRISON DIVINE” . Je voudrais situer ce mystère à deux niveaux: le niveau humain et divin.
Au niveau humain, il y a le danger du légalisme qui consiste à transformer une expérience personnelle réussie avec Dieu en loi. Cela devient une sorte de recette de guérison miracle valable partout et en toute circonstance. C’est le mystère que les gens entretiennent autour de la guérison divine parce qu’à un moment donné, ce n’est plus eux qui suivent Dieu mais ils semblent forcer Dieu à les suivre. Est-ce que nous nous comprenons?
Cependant la guérison divine est l’oeuvre du Saint-Esprit dans le corps humain. Cela relève de sa seule souveraineté. Les gens ne se polarisent que sur les guérisons spectaculaires, friands sont-ils de l’extraordinaire? Or, le baptême du Saint-Esprit n’est pas bénéfique pour l’âme seulement. Le baptême intégral du Saint-Esprit prend en compte l’âme, l’esprit et le corps.
C’est ainsi que nombreuses maladies, liées à nos vielles habitudes de péché, disparaissent sans croisades ou quelques séances “spirituelles” de cures. D’autres maladies, justifiant leur persistance par la présence des démons, ne peuvent plus résister à la présence effective et permanente du Saint-Esprit…
Cher prof, comme toi, j’ai prié pour la guérison de mon épouse du cancer du sein. Ma confiance était totale en Dieu mais elle est morte. Récemment, j’ai prié, aussi, intensément pour mon fils de 34 ans. Ma confiance en Dieu était totale mais il est mort. Est-ce pour cela que la guérison divine est un bluff? Je ne crois pas. Jésus est le même, hier, aujourd’hui et éternellement. Il a guéri, Il guéri et continuera de guérir, avec une médecine avancée ou pas. Il a opéré des guérisons qui défient la science médicale… Attention au “Saint-thomaisme”: VOIR AVANT DE CROIRE…, Nous connaissons la réponse de Jésus.
Trois ans avant, mon épouse avait parfaitement recouvré la santé et ces trois années furent les meilleurs moments de sa vie et de ma vie avec elle. Je ne peux pas tout décrire. C’était merveilleux. Elle était plus belle et véritablement sainte. Quelle sublime grâce de Dieu ! Je n’ai pas vu le temps passer et je voulais encore plus de bonheur avec elle mais pour Dieu, c’était trois ans en plus en réponse à ma toute première prière lors de l’ablation de son sein gauche. C’était trois ans en plus et pas plus. Aujourd’hui je remercie Dieu pour avoir exaucé ma prière. Dieu répond à toutes nos prières, pas toujours selon notre volonté, mais Il y répond en toute souveraineté, selon sa volonté. Sa volonté est la meilleure pour nous. Tôt ou tard nous verrons que nous n’avions pas inutilement prié. Merci prof.
Rév DJEDJE, ton étudiant.
For seven balanced biblical perspectives on divine healing, see http://edwardfudge.com/gracemails/healing_perspectives.html
Good stuff — thank you, Mr Fudge.
68 healings as the result of events at Lourdes France, as investigated by doctors of the Lourdes Medical Bureau, are “medically inexplicable.”
Aimee Semple McPherson was an unstoppable heal machine.
Yes, Aimee Semple McPherson is known for her extensive divine healing work. Biographer Daniel Mark Epstein writes: No one has ever been credited by secular witnesses with anywhere near the numbers of faith healings attributed to McPherson. “The healings present a monstrous obstacle to scientific historiography. If events transpired as newspapers, letters, and testimonials say they did, then Aimee Semple McPherson’s healing ministry was miraculous. …The documentation is overwhelming: very sick people came to Sister Aimee by the tens of thousands, blind, deaf, paralyzed. Many were healed some temporarily, some forever. She would point to heaven, to Christ the Great Healer and take no credit for the results.”
(p111 ,185 Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson).
It may be a mystery why McPherson was so often ill herself, especially during the latter part of her life, but she was always fervently working, rarely taking time for herself unless forced to do so because an affliction caused her to be bedridden. Ways of interpreting that, God rested after six days of work, maybe someone needed to get a clue. Or it proves McPherson wasn’t a mutant, her “power” did not come from an expanded pituitary gland or something, and therefore a naturalistic explanation; but was a gift: ultimately, the Lord heals whom He will when He willith.
Thanks for this note.
What troubles me is applying the term “healing machine” to Aimee Semple McPherson. Note who gets the glory? Hint: It’s not God.
The term “divine healing” (on the other hand) points us all back to God, the Healer. May it ever be so!
Yes…, McPherson might take issue with the “heal machine” term as well, but then, maybe not, since she was known for her sense of humor and as long is it was not conveyed in dead earnest seriousness. She has hundreds of pages of sermons and I only read / heard the tiniest of fraction of them, but from what I gather, she did not emphasis her own singular proficiency. We can only do it because we are on the outside looking in. And as gatherers of data, the results of divine healings attributed to her presence as opposed to other individuals is considerable.
Of interest to me is not what is conveyed by the “true believer,” but the skeptic or at least the more impartial observer who takes notice of these things, writes about them and yet cannot explain them in naturalistic terms. For to do so would even be more fantastically implausible that the “miracle” itself. If miracles could be explained naturalistically, then certainly they can be duplicated under the right conditions–and these at least, have not. Epstein and Blumhofer’s books serve to underscore this mightily and to a lesser extent other works. A book online that might be of interest is
Marcus Bach, They Have Found a Faith, (The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis / New York, 1946) p.74
Bach, a seeker who investigates several diverse faiths writes of Aimee Semple McPherson ( his section on the Unity Church is also intriguing for healing references as well):
“I encountered too many who testified that they had “been healed’ for me to check them all off as frauds, neurotics, or victims of paranoia. They answered my queries with questions of their own. “Has not every true religion had its miracles?” “Shouldn’t a person expect and demand miracles of religious leaders ?*
“Isn’t healing what everyone is seeking?”
If Sister’s manna of duplicating the apostles’ power was often spectacular, this could also be explained. In a modern age it was necessary to be sensational in order to catch the interest of a speedy world. I was consistently reminded of Mrs. McPherson’s classic statement, I am not the healer. Jesus is. He does the work. He’s the Boss.
I am only the office girl who opens the door and say “Come in The Great Healer is waiting. ” “