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Questions about F.F. Bosworth's "Christ the Healer"

By Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D.

Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer

Copyright (c) 2019

#FFBosworth

#BosworthMatters

A reader of this blog, Bosworth Matters, recently contacted me via email with questions about F.F. Bosworth's teachings on divine healing. The reader asked for my personal opinion of Christ the Healer and my thoughts about whether I would recommend the book. After answering the questions and emailing them to the reader, I thought it would be a good idea to share the content here. Of course, I've omitted the reader's name. The discussion follows.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your email about F.F. Bosworth and his book, Christ the Healer.

It is good that you have questions about his teachings on divine healing. After all, none of us should believe everything we read, even if we’re reading someone we admire

I will begin by saying I do NOT agree with all of Bosworth’s teachings on divine healing. I believe he was mightily used of God in the ministry of healing and that over a million people came to Christ through his ministry. However, being human, he did not have a perfect understanding of all Bible doctrines, something which can be said of many if not most of us. In my opinion, his theology of divine healing, while inspiring and seemingly accurate on the surface, was also lacking in some areas.

Now to your questions.

QUESTION #1:

Regarding the chapter 'Paul's Thorn,' is it exegetically sound and consistent? In other words, are the Scriptures referenced, used in a Christ-centered and solid Bible-based way, or are some verses taken out of context?

ANSWER: Bosworth’s argument about “Paul’s Thorn” is commonly used by Pentecostals, charismatics, and adherents of Word of Faith teachings. However, I do not believe it is, to use your words, “exegetically sound and consistent.” I also do not find it convincing. Some advocates of Bosworth’s view would have you believe that while Paul suffered unspeakable torture and pain via persecution for many years, he did not have headaches, colds, flu virus, or other ailments. They would also argue that if he got sick, he was healed every time. But such a view is mere speculation, and it is not suggested or supported by Scripture. We must keep in mind that Bosworth was not a Bible scholar and he did not have formal training in biblical studies or in theology. He was undoubtedly a good and effective teacher, but not perfect. I also believe that he sometimes used verses out of context. I've been guilty of the same.

QUESTION #2:

Regarding the chapter 'Did Jesus Redeem Us from our Diseases when he Atoned For our Sins,' I am asking the same questions as in 1).

ANSWER: I believe that Christ redeemed us from all sin, but that doesn’t mean we are or can be sinless perfect; I also believe he redeemed us from sickness and disease, but that doesn’t mean we go through life without any ailments. The full redemption occurs when Christ returns, at which time we will be totally and completely free of all sin and all sickness and disease.

QUESTION #3:

Regarding the chapter "Why some Fail to receive Healing from Christ - Twenty-two Reasons for Failure to be Healed," I have the same questions as in 1).

ANSWER: Some of the reasons given seem sound and logical. However, it would have helped if he had also stated, “We don’t know” about certain cases. Everything in life is not concrete or black and white; some things are gray, so to speak. God is all-knowing and sovereign. He does not always choose to reveal his will or reasons to us. If we're honest, we have to admit that some things are indeed a mystery.

QUESTION #4:

Lastly, do you see any problems or have any reservations regarding "Christ the Healer" by F.F. Bosworth?

ANSWER: I would not hesitate to recommend Bosworth's book. However, I would advise against using this book as the ONLY book on divine healing. It’s OK as a starting point, but you would be better off reading additional books on the topic. Remember, God did not give all of his knowledge on the subject to one man. You will grow in your knowledge by reading and learning from other writers. For example, you could also read:

Pentecostal Healing by Kimberly Ervin Alexander

Healing and Suffering: Biblical and Pastoral Reflections by Keith Warrington 

Power Healing by John Wimber

Power Evangelism by John Wimber

By His Stripes by Hugh Jeter

Healing by Francis MacNutt

Healing en Masse by T.L. Osborn

The Power to Heal by Francis MacNutt

Healing the Sick by T.L. Osborn

The Real Faith by Charles Price

From the Pinnacle of the Temple by Charles Farah Jr.

Does Christ Heal Today? by P.C. Nelson

The Gospel of Healing by A.B. Simpson

The Ministry of Healing: Miracles of Cure in All Ages by A.J. Gordon

Divine Healing by Andrew Murray

Divine Healing: Does God Perform Miracles Today? by R.A. Torrey

Prayer: Asking and Receiving by John R. Rice

The Charismatic Movement by John R. Rice

I trust that you will find this information useful. Let me know if you have other questions.

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Note: My book, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer, can be purchased here with a 25% discount. Use the discount code: bosworth25.

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For more information:
Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D., via email at doctorbarnes3@gmail.com or roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com. For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter.

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