Health, in the full-orbed biblical perspective, is wholeness within oneself and in community with humankind, God, and all of creation. Our contributors explore how this perspective yields a radically different understanding of healthcare—as oriented toward health instead of sickness, inclusive of others' welfare as well as our own, and within the context of our life before God.

Jim Marcum and Bob Kruschwitz critique the biomedical model of healthcare that focuses on treating diseases and fixing malfunctioning bodies. The food disorders that plague us reveal a need for a more holistic, community-oriented view of health. Drawing on Scripture and the counsel of early Christians, Mary Louise Bringle describes a multifaceted approach to eating well.

John Pilch distinguishes healing—the restoration of meaning to life—from curing disease and echoes Jesus' call for disciples to do healing works. Ann Neale and Jeff Tieman address the glaring disparities in the U.S. healthcare system. They urge us to recognize the stranger as our neighbor—"a much needed antidote to modern medicine's individualism and market orientation."

The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us explore contemporary healthcare from within a full-orbed biblical perspective on health. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.

Download the entire Health issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.



  • "Peter's Shadow," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Masaccio's Peter Healing with His Shadow
  • "Interrupted," by Heidi J. Hornik, on the early Christian mosaic Jesus Healing the Woman with an Issue of Blood

Hymn and Worship Service

Inspirational Pieces

Book Reviews

  • "Redeeming Medicine," by Keith G. Meador
    • Joel James Shuman and Brian Volck, Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine
    • Jean Denton, Good is the Flesh: Body, Soul, and Christian Faith
  • "The Healing Congregation," by Brian Volck
    • Mary Chase-Ziolek, Health, Healing and Wholeness: Engaging Congregations in Ministries of Health
    • W. Daniel Hale and Harold G. Koenig, Healing Bodies and Souls: A Practical Guide for Congregations
    • Margaret Kim Peterson, Sing Me to Heaven: The Story of a Marriage

Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of six Study Guides)

Further Reading