Saturday, 20 December 2008

John Stott on Acts 9:17 - Laying on of Hands

Acts 9:17 - Ananias laying hands on Saul: "I suspect that this laying-on of hands was a gesture of love to a blind man".

John Stott - "The Message of Acts" - IVP, Leicester (1990) - p175.


Dan Bowen said...

I need hardly add that I couldn't agree less with this statement of John Stott's and feel he shows un-characteristic lack of judgement and Biblical honesty!

Jon Sidnell said...

Too right! It completely disregards the other times in Acts hands were laid on people, the culture of the time which had laying on of hands to impart a blessing, and the rest of the New Testament references to laying on of hands as methods of impartation.

I have a mixed reaction to a lot of John Stott's work. Often he's so right, but when he's wrong, I can't help thinking he's oh so wrong!!

Jon Sidnell said...

Although, in fairness to him, he does only say this is a suspicion, rather than a settled belief.

Dan Bowen said...

That's true Jon! Thanks for pointing that out!

Tim said...

Would seem to me that there is no power in the mere act of laying on of hands. If an elder of a church were in a car accident and lost both arms, could he no longer function in this duty? Would he have to be dismissed as an elder?

Whether laying on of hands of the sick, or embracing the dead as Paul did once, it would seem to me to be a godly compassion that goes hand-in-hand with the compassionate healing of Christ. That one faith healer supposedly healed people by kicking them in the face. Benny Hinn did his magic by hitting them with his jacket. But as Christians, we don't just pray for people -- we empathize with them, we show compassion and closeness and love. We don't just pray, we lay hands and pray. :D

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what it seems to be like to me.