Book Review: John G. Lake on Healing (Four Stars)


Book Review: John G. Lake on Healing

(Four Stars)

“Spirit of God in you will go as far as your love reaches.”

An excellent modern compilation of teachings of this famous early twentieth century faith healer. He acknowledges the controversy, even among Christians, and addresses it head-on. He included many notarized testimonies and details so a reader of that day could verify his claims. (Apparently he was even investigated–and exonerated–by the Better Business Bureau.) Because it is drawn from sermons, articles and pamphlets from 1910 to 1930, it is inevitably repetitive.

“Love is the medium that conveys the Spirit of God to another soul anywhere in God’s world.”

Lake’s take on several Biblical text and scientific controversies have been overcome by a century of progress in both areas. Lake’s definition of scientific is how God does things, so the reader should not be misled by the word’s liberal appearances in the text. His point, as with his interpretation of scripture, is that understanding is a gift of the Holy Spirit, available but not accessed by all. Some passages the reader must meditate over to find the truth.

“The will of God to save a man is undisputed by intelligent Christians. The will of God to heal every man is equally God’s purpose.”

Lake was famous in his day for both a spiritual and healing revival in South Africa after the Boer War and before the Great War (AKA World War One) and his west coast healing rooms and revivals. He acknowledges the religious and financial abuses ascribed to faith healers, such as John Alexander Dowie, and distances himself from his former mentor.

“The most vital thing in all the universe is the Holy Spirit.”

Many modern Christians discount Lake’s entire generation as old news. Doing so commits the error C. S. Lewis calls historicism–assuming that what’s new is truer than what’s old. I find a lot of truth, though it takes some digging, among Christians such as Lake, Watchman Nee, A. W. Tozer.

“If Christianity is not a real, vital ministry to real, vital needs of today, it is not worth considering. But it is.”