Dominion and Medicine

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“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 1611)

Growing Dominion, Part 11

Among Christians, talk of dominion is just great so long as we keep it general. But the problem is that in order to actually exercise dominion in the world, a host of specific decisions are necessary. And the immediate decisions concern a number of factors that God built into the fallen world in order to slow sinful man down. In other words, the first steps we must take in exercising dominion now include getting out of the hole we have fallen into. The biblical name for this process is salvation, and salvation includes healing. Because of our sin, the ground is infested with thorns and thistles, our bodies are wracked with diseases and ailments that culminate in death, and so on. It is not an accident that our Savior, Jesus, was also a great Healer. Getting healing right is one of the first duties of Christians who take the dominion mandate seriously. But getting healing right involves more than just echoing the fads and medical fashions of the world around us.

When it comes to issues of healing and medicine, Christians have to be careful in (at least) two directions. The first of course is to reject the worldview of Enlightenment rationalism that so often afflicts the institutions of conventional medicine. And of course, in the opposite direction, we are called to avoid what H. L. Mencken aptly described as “hooey from the Orient.” But if we avoid both extremes, are there any treatments we can pursue aside from mild doses of Vitamin C? The answer is yes, of course, but a distinctively Christian perspective is necessary if we are to be successful in sorting through all the available options.

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