Book review: Healing Marks
by Bruce Epperly
Reverend Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., is more than an ordained minister: he is also a reiki practitioner and teacher. He has published many times, including a book about Process Theology that I found very intriguing.
Healing Marks is far from a fringe journey into alternative medicine; it is an examination of Jesus’ purpose and healing practices, and how they can relate to today’s world. Says Epperly, “I am a firm believer in prayer and Prozac and meditation and medication as instruments of God’s healing power.” Epperly’s discussion of his own healing experiences are short and practical (he considers effective healing to be gradual and subtle in nature), far from the flamboyance of popular televangelists (whom Epperly thinks do a disservice to everyday people), and they do not overshadow the theological purpose of his book.
While I hold a certain curiosity about the workings of the healing ministry of Jesus, I really just don’t know how much can be read literally, and therefore how much we can experience today, beyond the placebo effect. Epperly himself doesn’t insist that we take all biblical healings at face value, or think that we can replicate them all today. This is good: where holistic healing is concerned, I confess skepticism and near-ignorance on the matter. Epperly’s conclusion, however, that love is the key to effective healing, is thought-provoking. Healing in this manner depends upon the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit.
There’s no question that emotions affect the immune system, but Healing Marks goes much deeper than that. Epperly’s concept of God is not clearly defined, and he appears satisfied with leaving God a mystery. Yet Epperly is clearly a believer in something very magical underneath the surface of our material living: “I believe that our prayers radiate across the universe, unlimited by spatial separation of temporality. Our prayers can heal past memories, influence the future, and influence peoples’ lives and situations in distant places. … In an interdependent and dynamic universe, I believe that prayer creates a positive field of force around those for whom we pray. … Our prayers create an energetic openness at every level of life from cellular to spiritual through which God can act more decisively…” (pp 82-84).
Is there something to all this? has Epperly shed some light on the healings of Jesus? I honestly don’t know. Read it with an open mind; it’s well worth it.
Energion Publications, © 2012, 183 pages