Health, Healing and the Church's Mission: Biblical Perspectives and Moral Priorities
Strand, Mark A., Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
HEALTH, HEALING AND THE CHURCH'S MISSION: Biblical Perspectives and Moral Priorities by Willard M. Swartley. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012. 268 pages, bibliography, name index and scripture index. Paperback; $24.00. ISBN: 9780830839742.
The United States healthcare system is burdened with overwhelming expectations. Patients expect high-quality care, but at reduced cost. Providers want to deliver high-quality care, but they find themselves increasingly burdened by administrative and regulatory limitations, which increase cost. The result is decreasing job satisfaction among doctors and an unsatisfied patient population. Professor of New Testament at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Willard Swartley, has written Health, Healing and the Church's Mission to bring fresh perspectives on these very concerns.
This book is broad in its coverage, being broken down into three parts. Part I, Healing, describes biblical and theological perspectives on healing, including the role of the church as a healing community. Part II, Health Care, addresses how health care is delivered currently in the United States, with critique from a biblical perspective, and an introduction to the role the church can play in health care. This section gives a brief history of the role of health care in church and missions history. The last chapter in this section on disability is well written, but seems out of place. Part III, Toward New Paradigms, evaluates health care reform in the United States, including recommendations for the role of the church in providing health care services as an expression of shalom. Two appendices introduce ways in which Mennonite and Brethren churches are actively involved in health care.
Despite my enthusiasm for the importance of this issue and the excellent material Swartley has brought together, the book has two significant shortcomings. …