Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Impotent Prayers?

Recent research concerning the effects of prayer on health (specifically, recovery from bypass surgery) concluded that prayer had no significant effect. Is this a blow to the Christian faith?

Absolutely not. In fact, it is exactly what we should expect. I won't go into detail on why this idea turns my stomach, but I will say this: prayer has no causal power. If you don't know what I mean, or you think I'm a heretic, then leave a comment.

Richard Swinburne, Emeritus Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at Oxford, has an excellent piece explaining why this study was misguided from the outset. If you don't want to read the whole thing, skip to the last section (4 paragraphs) for a lucid analogy that drives the point home.


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