Emile’s Encounter with Christ

Third Beach
Third Beach, Vancouver. Creative Commons License by Kyle Pearce

The strange case of Emile Lacoste. An unusual man who many people have tried to figure out and help, but with only mixed success.

He is an odd man. No one can define him because his problem lies in the realm of different thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors. All of which have defied a medical, spiritual or psychological solution. A state that some think only God can mend. But then, does he need help at all?

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Book Review: Mental Disorders and Spiritual Healing

Mental Disorders and Spiritual Healing: Teachings from the Early Christian East by Jean-Claude Larchet is an examination of mental illness from an Eastern Christian perspective.

It is very well done work on the topic at hand, but it is not intended to prescribe therapeutic solutions for those who are suffering, or dealing with a person struggling with some form of mental illness. One has to read it for the historical value. It is a detailed history on the perceptions and practices by various Eastern Church leaders on the subject.

The author’s knowledge of both modern psychological conventions and Eastern Church practices regarding this subject is finely interwoven. There is some very well documented work here.

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A Religious Look at Miracles and Mental Illness

Personal and historical observations of mental illness from a Christian perspective.

If one reads the Gospels and analyzes the healings that Jesus did, approximately a third involved what is now classified as some form of mental illness. That was a large part of His ministry.

If Jesus were in bodily form today as He was 2000 years ago, His focus on this issue would not change. The Canadian Mental Health Association has calculated that 21.3% of Canadians will have a mental health issue in their lifetime.1 It is an essential topic for the Christian community to address.

What exactly is mental illness and how to deal with it from within a Christian framework is a difficult question to answer. Some say it is a demon, others that it is a biological problem, and most simply ignore the subject. A vast majority of ministers refer the mentally ill to skilled practitioners.

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Ambrosiaster on the workers of miracles

The Ambrosiaster text gives a fourth century or later Latin perspective on the workers of miracles as described by St. Paul.

Paul wrote about this function in his First letter to the Corinthians (12:28).

Here is the actual Biblical citation:

“And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.” (NIV)

The key-text here is the “workers of miracles” which in the Greek text is δυνάμεις and in Ambrosiaster’s text, virtutes.

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