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EW Kenyon and His Message of Faith: The True StoryKenyon not a cultist

E.W. Kenyon (1867-1948) was an influential American Christian leader with an emphasis on faith and healing. Much of his teaching helped shape the modern 'word of faith' movement.

For some time he has had a bad press because of accusations of his being influenced by, or even involved with, some of the cults and errant philosophies that flourished during his lifetime. This book aims to show that such accusations are completely mistaken. It is E.W. Kenyon and His Message of Faith: The True Story by Joe McIntyre (Charisma House, 1997, ISBN 0-88419-451-5).

The author's research, based partly on hitherto inaccessible papers and letters by Kenyon himself, is thorough and his case seems solid. Kenyon was clearly a truly godly man with mostly mainstream theology. Whether or not you go along with his views on healing in the atonement or 'faith confession' is another matter, but for anyone interested in the last hundred years of church history and its key characters this is essential reading.

His spiritual hunger motivated him to investigate philosophy and metaphysics to satisfy on a mental level what he later would understand to be his own deep spiritual hunger for reality in Christ.  (p10)

Kenyon, like the others in the Faith-Cure movement, saw healing in the context of spiritual warfare. It was widely taught that Satan was the author of sickness and disease. It was also widely taught that because of what Jesus did at the cross, Satan had no right to afflict the believer with sickness. The reality of sickness wasn't denied, but rather its right to afflict the redeemed.  (p78)

He came to believe that conversion—the new birth, the new creation—gave us all that Christ accomplished in His finished work. After conversion the believer was to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would teach the believer what belonged to him in Christ and empower him to walk in those realities. It was a finished work—not a second work of grace. (p199)

Writing this book has brought me into contact with the sad realities of apologetics in the church today. Some who call themselves researchers have mastered the ability to quote out of context and to paint a warped view of what others in the body of Christ teach. They can search through vast amounts of orthodox materials and find a sentence or phrase which, quoted out of context and placed side-by-side with a similar sounding phrase from a known heretic, makes the author of the first quote sound like a heretic. Kenyon's writings have been treated in just this manner.  (p258)

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