Wednesday, February 07, 2007

REVIEW: Brad Burke MD - Does God Still Do Miracles (Victor)

A good book? Yes! A great book? No! But I don't think Dr. Burke intended his "An M.D. Examines" book series to reach classic status.

On a scale of one to ten for readability and documentation, I'd give it a ten; in terms of hope for a large Christian readership, I'd say a four ... sadly, our people no longer read what they should read, but rather read what seems good in their own eyes [see for contrast Judges 21:25].

This book is an apologetic against the so-called "name-it-and-claim-it" faith healers who have plagued the Bride since her Groom departed.

Easy to read, extremely well organized, and wonderfully documented. A good read for those unfamiliar with the Bunny Hunns and their ilk; a useful book for pastors and others who are confronted with friends and family who are enticed by the charlatans of health promises.

From Amazon dot com ...
Some of the most fascinating and up-to-date medical and investigative research is examined in an attempt to uncover the truth about healing. The debate centering on miracles of healing has become an extremely emotional issue. Yet a new generation of believers want answers - no matter how controversial the truth may be.

Many Christian physicians, including the author, believe God still performs miracles of physical healing that defy natural expanation [sic]. But are the hosts of "miracles" we hear about so often truly miracles? If these healings are not true miracles, then how does one explain thousands of people who are instantaneously getting better?

What insights does God provide us in his Word? Some of the most fascinating and up-to-date medical and investigative research is examined in an attempt to uncover the truth about what is going on in faith healing services and healing shrines around the world.
From the book's own back jacket ...
Dr. Brad Burke began his writing career unofficially began in medical school when he started writing full length film screenplays. Following his residency training at UCLA, Brad took a five year sabbatical from medicine to write the series, An MD Examines.... Currently, Brad lives with his wife Erin in the Windsor/ Detroit area where he practices as a physical medicine & rehabilitation specialist (physiatrist). [Reviewer's note: a physiatrist " is a physician specializing in physical medicine"]
The book's theme centers on definitions ... that is, the meaning of words. In this case the definition of a miracle.
You must understand, though, that for purposes of discussion, there is an important difference between a physical miracle and what some might term a spiritual miracle. Both come from God's supernatural power, but a physical miracle involves the unexplainable changes in the physical existence and arrangement of molecules--whereas a spiritual miracledoes not. [page 16]
Dr. Burke likes John MacArthur's definition and seems to use it throughout ...
A Miracle is an extraordinary event wrought by God through human agency, an event that cannot be explained by natural forces. [ibid; from Charismatic Chaos]
The only other book I've read which has a similar target audience and on a par to Dr' Burke's book is James W. Sire's Scripture Twisting. I enjoyed it also.

Burke's purpose is stated on page 15 ...
In the pages of this book ... I will use the miracles of Christ and the apostles as a template in carefully examining the "miraculous healings" taking place on the faith-healing circuit today.
Burke walks a fine line between outright accusation of fraud and duplicity and giving grace in criticism. In fact, he is gentle in his criticism; yet, he squarely debunks the whole bunch of "faith-healers" as-well-as castigating them for not seeing the damage they are doing to the Body. [Page 120]

My greatest point of agreement with the good doctor is on page 121 ...
Calling some healings "miracles" if they can be partially or fully explained by modern medicine demeans the spectacular miracles performed by Christ and the apostles. Their miracles were without medical explanation. The healings they performed were true miracles!
Would I recommend this book? Yes!

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