At Your Leisure.: BOOK REVIEWS

Article excerpt

Miracles Happen by David Collinson, Autumn House, 2006

by Peter Bryars

THE subtitle, "A guide to healing the New Testament way", says it all, for this book is a study of the healing miracles and various pieces of teaching on healing which are found in the New Testament. As such it should be classified under biblical studies, but the way the author writes means that biblical commentary is interspersed with anecdotes and comments about healing today which makes it difficult to classify. As a result I was left thinking, "Who is it for?"

The book is written in the form of a travel guide describing three "tours" - a tour of the healing stories in the Gospels; a tour of the healing stories in Acts; and a tour of other important passages. These sections are easily understood and are helpful to someone new to this whole area of healing. Each passage is approached and dealt with individually, which makes the book ideal for those who like to dip into things rather than reading the whole book. However, if you want to discover the author's theology and teaching it is done in such an unsystematic way that you will be left frustrated.

Of far more value is the first section of the book, which Collinson describes as "getting there". Here he gives a good basic introduction to some of the issues that are raised by the whole area of healing, as well as giving a cursory 'tour' of healing in the Old Testament. Equally the final section "Where do we go from here?" attempts to point to ways of responding to what has been read.

Regrettably I was left disappointed by the book, not because it was a bad book, but because I had been enthused by the title which I had misunderstood. 'Miracles Happen' is not an account of miracles happening in the present, though Collinson does support such a view, rather it is as the subtitle says "a guide to healing the New Testament way".

That will teach me to read the small print!

The Stones Cry Out by Andrew Ashdown

By Leonard Skinner

WHILE not being especially well-read on all the issues presented, I have nevertheless been to 'the land of the Holy One' (as this book calls it) three times, once leading a pilgrimage group. I am a member of the Council of Christians and Jews, reflecting a life-long interest in the study of religions, which itself formed part of my divinity degree. …