Rare Pentecostal/ Healing Books Available Again!


Many dismiss the ministry, experience and contributions of A. A. Allen because of his latter years–which were filled with increasingly suspicious behavior. But, whatever your opinion may be, few doubt the effectiveness of his early ministry.

Since his death, the two books that told the story of Allen’s personal quest to demonstrate God’s power have been out of print and VERY difficult to find. These two inspirational resources are now available from John Carver Ministries. The Life of A. A. Allen: As Told by A. A. and Lexie Allen contains Allen’s autobiography, “My Cross” (which details his personal quest for supernatural ministry) along with his wife’s biography, “God’s Man of Faith and Power”; these are reprinted with bonus material including rare photos and a recently discovered epilogue written by Allen just two years before his death.

This book will find a welcome place in the hands of anyone who longs for God’s power in their ministry. It will also fill a void in many historical libraries.

Foreword is by noted Pentecostal/Healing scholar Dr. David Edwin Harrell.

You can purchase the book here:
http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/life-of-a-a-allen/8218399

Check out John Carver’s website here:

http://www.johncarverministries.org

The Forgotten Legacy of Oral Roberts


Today I watched the Oral Roberts memorial service live on TV.

Rightly hailed as a central figure in Christianity in general and Pentecostalism in specific, Roberts’ legacy lives on through countless protégé’s, a major Christian university, and many, many other obvious contributions.

However, I have not yet heard others comment on what I perceive to be a major component of his legacy: the broad acceptance of professional medical treatment by people who believe in divine healing. Like it or not, Pentecostalism (in general) has a history of rejecting medical treatment in favor of divine healing alone. In fact, some of the pre-Pentecostals influencers such as John Alexander Dowie classified doctors in the same category as demons and devils! Many of Dowie’s followers would become early leaders in the modern Pentecostal movement and promote divine healing–such as John G. Lake, F. F. Bosworth, Eli Richey (and his son Raymond T. Richey) among others.

Though I have not yet found it specifically stated in any Pentecostal denomination’s creed, there was a generally negative opinion of the medical profession in early Pentecostalism–from simple suspicion to blatant opposition. Many taught that pursuing medical treatment was a sinful act demonstrating a lack of faith! As recent as 1955, British Assemblies of God leader J. Nelson Parr’s anti-medicine teaching was published by GPH. His opinion was not unique; many Pentecostal leaders shared his view and taught it to those they influenced, making it a common (but not universal or codified) belief.

Enter Oral Roberts–arguably the icon of divine healing for the 20th century. Under his massive tent and through the media, countless people outside of traditional Pentecostalism were exposed to the supernatural healing ministry for the first time and all of Pentecostalism sat up to take notice. The name Oral Roberts is still synonymous with divine healing.

In 1977, this spokesman for the supernatural announced his dream of building…a hospital! He further went on to explain that there was no conflict between medical treatment and the belief in (and practice of) divine healing! This sent murmurous ripples across the church world. However, this announcement did not reflect a personal change in Roberts’ doctrine; he had a rather developed doctrine of God’s sovereignty relating to divine healing from his early days of ministry. His logic was that not everyone receives divine healing, so therefore, the Pentecostal/Charismatic world should have their own world-class hospital.

I’m sure you know the rest of the story; the City of Faith Medical Center only operated from 1981-1987 before financial problems forced its closure. End of story? Not in my opinion. Still today the Pentecostal/Charismatic world is indebted to Roberts for what the near-sighted perceive to be his greatest failure. This American icon of divine healing built a hospital and sidelined the common, long-standing anti-medicine teaching–hopefully once and for all. Today, only a few fringe sects of Pentecostalism teach against medical treatment.

Though the three towers of the once-hospital (now an office complex) still cast a shadow over South Tulsa, they remind us today that Pentecostals are compassionate and humanitarian alongside our belief in supernatural healing.

Thank you Oral Roberts; whether or not you realized it, your prophetic action of hospital building brought balance to an often narrow understanding–yet you still encouraged us to believe in God for our healing, demonstrating the reality of both through your own ministry.

Pentecostalism is NOT the same thing as the Word of Faith Movement

I am generally opposed to negative posts, but a constantly arising issue needs to be addressed: what Pentecostalism is NOT.

Pentecostals are having a bit of an identity crisis because of decades of Christian media influence and a general lack of discernment on our part. I can understand when a poorly-researched secular writer lumps us in with other groups who share a doctrine or two with us, but unfortunately, many of our own can no longer detect the difference.

I am not saying that those in the Word of Faith (WOF) are not true Christians or that they are insincere or not effective in ministry. I simply want to point out that they are a different stream than classical Pentecostalism.

Though our Word of Faith friends share many of our doctrines, they also have many critical differences from Pentecostalism:

—Classical Pentecostalism does not embrace the “Prosperity Gospel” and its potentially materialistic ways; in fact–while we are thankful for God’s blessing–Pentecostalism has a rather developed experience and doctrine of suffering.

—We do not embrace the metaphysical definitions and formulas of faith expressed in the WOF’s “positive confession” doctrines. For example, the Assemblies of God actually has an official doctrinal position paper against such teaching.

—We do not embraced the tangled Christology of the WOF’s “Born-Again Jesus” doctrine (that Jesus had to be Born Again in Hell prior to his resurrection).

—We reject the idea that God operates by His own personal faith, i.e. “God has to have faith that what He says will actually happen.” God has no higher object upon whom to place His faith; he doesn’t have faith in that sense–He has omnipotent power!

—Pentecostals do not embrace many of the WOF’s healing doctrines and practices. We believe that God can and does supernaturally heal but we also keep His sovereignty intact, allowing Him divine prerogative to delay or deny such a request. We do not believe or practice that God must act upon our behalf because He is “legally bound to do so.” Nor do we believe that the sick person has defective faith if healing doesn’t come; this assumptive practice only leads already hurting people into condemnation–something that was never a fruit of the ministry of Jesus.

You may notice a subtle theme in these differences; many WOF teachings tend to empower and deify man while robbing God of His sovereignty and volition.

What do you think?

What do YOU think about the Lakeland, Florida Healing Revival?

Now lasting over 50 consecutive days, Lakeland, Florida is once again the topic of both the revival hungry and the skeptic–and everyone in between.

With what began as a five day meeting with Canadian Evangelist, Todd Bentley, Auburn, FL’s Ignited Church has jumped into the international spotlight. Web-casting and live satellite coverage on GodTV have given immediate international attention to the mixture of traditional revivalism and unusual phenomena. If you’ve witnessed it you are either supportive, cautious, confused or in opposition.

I have studied revival movements closely and have noticed that there has never been a 100% God, 0% human revival. Gordon Anderson rightly noted that a “mighty rushing wind kicks up a lot of dust.” The Lakeland revival is no diferent. No one can deny that God is not at least 1% involved there, but deeply concerning doctrinal issues along with sensationalism have raised the eyebrows of many–myself included.

So at what “God” percentage do we condone or condemn a revival movement? I propose that God is certainly at work in Lakeland but the movement is too young to either totally endorse it OR to totally write it off.

My reason for keeping my opinions on hold is that God uses imperfect people. The only perfect person ever used of God is God Himself, Jesus. Even the “Super-Apostles”–Peter and Paul–both evidenced faults in their latter years: Peter with false doctrine (Gal 2:11-16) and Paul’s broken relationship with Barnabas and John Mark. The good news is that both issues were reconciled after some time and/or correction; the “God percentage” was in a state of increase. This principle does not, however, excuse long term resistance to correction and/or arrogance.

My present judgment of the Lakeland revival follows suit. Though I have distinct theological concerns over issues there, I feel my present responsiblity is to pray that Todd Bentley (and the leadership) grows and learns; that they would know God’s grace and correction so that they can continuously decrease, thus allowing God to increase. This, by the way, is my prayer for our own ministry as well.

In conclusion, I do not think there is any specific “God percentage” (i.e. God 50% and human 50%) upon which we can base our judgment at this infancy stage of a potential revival, but rather we look for growth, deveolpment and doctrinal improvement. Are things getting better or worse over a certain period of time?

I pray that Todd Bentley quickly distances himself from the more alarming doctrines (such as guidance by “Emma” and others) and transparently yields himself to some needed restraint in the promotion of extra-biblical experiences and sensationalism. These issues are critical, but none are too hard for our great and gracious God to handle.

Please join me in praying for Todd Bentley.

What do you think? Let me know.

Heritage Magazine Article on Dr. Price


Don’t miss the new annual edition of Heritage magazine.

It was a distinct honor to be asked to write a biographical article about one of my personal “Heroes of the Faith,” the late Dr. Charles S. Price. Thanks to Darrin Rodgers, director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, for the opportunity to contribute to this excellent publication.

Dr. Price’s story is inspirational and challenging–and I hope it will stir you to believe God for greater demonstrations of His Spirit’s power in your life.

If you are not a subscriber, you can order the issue here for $8.

You can also read the article HERE.

Helpful Books on Divine Healing

I love to read–in fact, I’m a book-a-holic.

Here are some of the books on divine healing that I have found to be most helpful. Of course, I do not endorse everything each author says, but found each book to benefit my personal understanding about divine healing.

You can find these books on amazon.com or bookfinder.com.

If you find this list helpful, check back occasionally; I will add to it as I remember other books on the subject.

1. “Divine Healing: A Comparative Study” by L. Thomas Holdcroft
2. “Power Healing” by John Wimber
3. “Healing” by Frances MacNutt
4. “The Meaning of Faith and the Sick are Healed” by Charles S. Price (available on our ministry website)
5. “Healing: Sign of the Kingdom” by Howard Ervin
6. “In Quest of Healing” by Gordon Wright
7. “The Real Faith” by Charles S. Price (this is the best book EVER penned on faith–read it and I’m sure you’ll agree!)
8. “Meet the Healer” by William Caldwell