Tuesday, July 30, 2013

book review--A Touch from Heaven by Neal and Christopher Pylant

mixed opinion

I received a free copy of this book through the Destiny Image Book Review program.

I want to deal with this book in two different ways. I think that would be the best way to be fair to it.

First, as an account of the things this father and mother went through when their young son was suddenly taken seriously ill with a brain tumor, I'm quiet fine with this book. It isn't hard to feel sympathy and understanding for them and their difficulties, and if that's all this book was about, I'd have no real problems with it.
But that's not all it's about, and I'd be lying if I said that every part of it set well with me.

One problem with dealing with the ideas in this book is trying to determine which ones the author is supporting, and which ones he may not be. Some things I just wasn't sure about, that way or this. For example, he mentions that at one point, early in their child's illness, he tries to contact the ministry of Oral Roberts in the hopes that he would pray for his child. Knowing that Roberts was a fake and charlatan, more interested in money than anything else, this action on the part of the desparate parents is still understandable to me, and since not much is made of this incident in the rest of the book, it's not something I want to make much of here.

But, for example, he refers a few times to his son being a "promised seed", even though he acknowledges that at no time had God explicitely made a promise to him for a son. There are occasional hints of Word of Faith ideas throughout the book, though they are muted. At one point, he and his family moved, based mostly on his wife's "feeling of urgency" to move, and related it even to Abram in the Bible in Genesis 12, seeming to say that this move was something God wanted them to do. But the problem is, at that time, his wife wasn't even a Christian, and as it turns out, their son's illness takes them back to much the same area they had moved from.

A few other things could raise the eyebrows, too. Some of the young boy's experiences in a state of something like near-death seem to be ones that should be questioned more than accepted. Some of the prophetic words given at the end of the book could rightly be questioned, too, such as the one that says that "Every cell will be made whole. Nothing will be lost", because although the boy was healed and his life spared, he still seemed to suffer effects as he grew up from what he went through.

There's some good things that could be taken from this book, but there are also some iffy things, too. I'm just not sure I'd recommend this book to someone going through something similar to the parents in this book, because some of the things they did or teach seem to have very questionable biblical support.

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