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MS520-2009 A Biblical Theology of Medical Mission

Friday, March 20th, 2009


Table of Contents
Introduction 1
Is a Theology of Medical Mission Necessary? 1
Questions Raised by Medical Mission 2
Should Mission Include Social Action? 4
God’s Plan for us to be Whole 5
What the Bible Says About Health 6
The Pentateuch 6
Books of History and Wisdom 7
The Prophets 9
The New Testament 9
Is Medicine the Same as Healing? 11
An Integrated View 13
Conclusion 14
Appendix: Bible Passages Addressing Sickness 16
Bibliography 19

Medical mission has been a controversial subject in missiology. Some have argued that it takes resources and personnel away from evangelism, saying that our responsibility as Christians, and especially as missionaries, is to put all our energy into sharing the gospel. Certainly the practice of medical mission raises a number of questions about its role. In my own experience, it is easy to be so busy caring for the physical needs of patients that there is not time for spiritual activities. This is made more serious where missionaries are working among cultures which do not perceive a divide between physical and spiritual concerns. This paper will, therefore, consider what the Bible tells us about sickness and death and how this might affect medical mission. The aim is to provide a Biblical basis for those involved in medical mission, which will help them to prioritise and to ensure that their medical practice helps them achieve their missional aims. (more…)