Signs and Wonders
An Apologetics Index research resource
Signs and Wonders
The late John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement, popularized the teaching that signs and wonders should be part of today's Christian worldview and experience - just as seen in the Gospel and the book of Acts. This approach is still much in evidence in today's controversial renewal and revival movements. As D.A. McConnell points out, signs and wonders (miracles), do not necessarily validate someone's ministry:
An example of the fallacy that signs and miracles validate one's teaching is William Branham, one of the original and greatests evangelists of the post-World War II Healing Revival. Branham worked astounding miracles of healing in his crusades. To this day his gifts of supernatural knowledge of those to whom he ministered remains unparalleled, even among modern healing evangelists. Despite all of his gifts, however, Branham's doctrine was always marginal at best, and towards to the end of his ministry, it became outright heretical. He denied the doctrine of the Trinity, teaching instead the "Jesus only" doctrine. He taught that he was the prophet Elijah, whose ministry would result in the return of Jesus. There were pockets of his followers who believed that he was not just a prophet, but also the incarnation of Jesus himself. Although Branham's is an extreme example, it illustrates that a ministry of miracles and healing in no way proves soundness of doctrine.
D.R. McConnell, A Different Gospel, Hendrickson Publishers Inc., Peabody, MA, 1988. p. 166
Claims of miracles occurring at these services (or in distant countries where they cannot be verified) are multiplying and becoming more and more wildly unbelievable all the time. Those who do not accept second hand accounts of miracles giving no names or facts are derided as lacking ''faith,'' refusing to believe what does not fit ''their own tradition,'' or ''putting God in a box.'' ''Cessationist'' has become a dreadful thing to be labeled. It is amazing to see how many succumb to this peer pressure and check their minds at the mention of the word ''miracle.'' Yet so far there have not been any medically verified, true, supernatural, biblical miracles; it is pretty much the traditional faith healing story, with most claims concerning those ailments most susceptible to emotional influence, as in all the religions and systems of thought centered on producing healings.
Christianity With Power (Pro) Subtitled: "Your Worldview and Your Experience of the Supernatural," by Charles H. Kraft. Kraft offers a Biblical understanding of signs and wonders and shows how Christians can become God's instruments to heal the sick, to work miracles, and to oppose the counterfeit powers of this age.
Looking for more information?