Nabeel Qureshi – Followup On Healing


I recently discovered a series of posts authored by Robert M. Bowman Jr, who was a good friend of Nabeel Qureshi.

Robert Bowman received his M.A. in Biblical Studies and Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1981, did doctoral studies in Christian Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, and earned his Ph.D in Biblical Studies at the South African Theological Seminary. From 2006 to 2008 he was the manager of Apologetics and Interfaith Evangelism for the North American Mission Board (based in Alpharetta, Georgia), an agency of the Southern Baptist Convention. Since 2008 he has been the executive director of the Institute for Religious Research, an independent, evangelical nonprofit organization (formerly located in Grand Rapids, now based in Cedar Springs, Michigan)

The series has to do with Rob’s interaction with Nabeel during Nabeel’s illness and Rob’s scholarly reasoning why God usually doesn’t provide miraculous healing for the sick, even godly individuals such as Nabeel.

If you are like me, I was deeply affected by Nabeel’s death and this series that Rob has graciously shared provides his biblical insight on the subject of biblical healing and the unanswered questions that it sometimes leaves.

We often hear that Jesus healed all that came to him. In the vast majority of cases this is true, but not always. In Mark 1:33-38 we note that even though He knew there were others looking for healing Jesus deliberately went elsewhere to preach (“let us go somewhere else”). The healings that Jesus did were done to prove who He was so that we might have faith or believe in Him.

There are a total of 10 posts to the series and I must say that this is one of, if not the most detailed and thorough examinations of the subject of healing from the perspective of the Christian Gospel that I have encountered thus far. 

I am going to provide the links to the 10 posts and I would encourage everyone to take the time to go through them.


  1. I know it’s sometimes hard to understand the sovereignty of God. It’s a hard Truth that our will is not YHWH’s. YHWH’s will supersedes what we believe the scriptures testify to.
    This is exactly the point I try to make about the bible. God is not bound to what is recorded in the bible. God is sovereign and those who hold the view that the bible is the be all end all will always have issues with the reality of Gods’ sovereignty.
    That being said, it’s not really the bibles fault, in and of itself, but ones theology of what the bible testifies too.
    Instead of standing on “promises” made in the bible, I admonish all to stand on The Rock and Word of God, who IS Jesus Christ Himself and accept that He is sovereign and unlike the scriptures, can not be manipulated.
    Does this help you to understand what I’m all about Bruce? To be solely dependant on Jesus Christ Himself for He is The Word of God as the scriptures testify to this Truth.
    When I start to ask myself “why” my spirit is always tells me “because it’s about the grandeur things of God”. There is comfort in knowing I am not in control, and that my Maker, my Heavenly Father is always working in His work of reconciliation. Hallelujah.



    • Stephen, I hold to the truth that the Bible is the Word of God and Jesus is also the Word of God and I don’t have a problem with God’s sovereignty. I understand what you’re saying, I just don’t agree with it.
      The phrase “word of God” appears often in the Bible and can have a slightly different meaning depending on context and the Hebrew or Greek word used. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” Here, Word is a title of the Lord Jesus. The term translated “Word” is logos, which basically means “the expression of a thought.” Logos can be thought of as the total message of God to man (Acts 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). Jesus embodied that total message, and that is why He is called the “Logos,” or “Word,” of God (Colossians 1:19; 2:9).

      Logos is also used many times when referring to the written message of God (John 17:17; 1 Timothy 4:5; Revelation 1:2; Colossians 1:25). Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Jesus showed a link between the written Word of God and Himself, in that He is the subject of the written Word: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me” (John 5:39).

      Another Greek word used for “word” is rhema. Rhema refers to the actual spoken/written words of God (Hebrews 6:5). When Jesus was being tempted by Satan, He answered, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We are told in Ephesians 6:17 to “take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God.” Jesus demonstrated we need to have faith in and trust the the actual recorded (it is written) words of God to overcome Satan’s attacks.

      It is precisely because of the written Word of God that I do ultimately trust in Jesus and His promises. Curious to how you came to your understanding. Did God personally tell you or did you read or hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I also suspect that there may be some false “comfort” involved in not being personally accountable to the written commandments that Jesus gave us. Which is why of course Paul advised Timothy to be very conversant with and knowledgeable of the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15-16(NASB)
      15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,”
      As I stated, I do understand what you’re saying, I just totally disagree with it. Grace and blessings my friend.


      • Why is it everyone stops short on Hebrews 4:12? Hebrews 4:13 then goes on to testify of who’m 4:12 is speaking of. Would you have me believe that the bible is a “him” or a “who”.
        Pretty sure I could make a case against every instance where “ word of God” is implied to mean bible or scripture unless it states scriptures.
        Will you concede that Hebrews 4:12 is not speaking about scriptures or the bible? Just curious.

        The Gospel of Jesus Christ came to me by way of seeing people live it. But it wasn’t until Jesus revealed Himself to me that I acknowledged the Gospel.
        My parents, though divorced, modelled true faith in God, though neither was religious. My father was quite spiritual and read his bible regularly. There was no power in that, after being sober for 20years and helping many to get sober, he succumbed to a cocaine addiction and was murdered 2 years after. It’s rather unfortunate but there is no power but in Jesus Himself. Although, pride will take a man pretty far. Most people don’t really understand pride much. It can be a force for good, but ultimately, it will fall flat.



      • I’m sorry to hear about your father Stephen. That couldn’t have been an easy thing to go through. With regard to Hebrews 4:12, the answer to your just curious question is NO.
        It is a real shame that you and I can’t sit down over a coffee and go back and forth with one another but I’m sure we both know that it would take a good number of those “talks” to change either of our minds. Pride – pride is deadly. Let’s take a break, I’m sure we’ll visit this again. Blessings to you and yours.


  2. Wow I am going to have to bookmark this for now since its late and I need to sleep. Robert Bowman was one of the early apologists I got to meet in when I was 18 and instrumental in my desire to grow in apologetics. He use to have a coffee house type of apologetics’ lectures’ night.


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