Importing Faith. Glyn J. Ackerley
Many twenty-first-century evangelical charismatics in Britain are looking for a faith that «works.» They want to experience the miraculous in terms of healings and God-sent financial provision. Many have left the mainstream churches to join independent charismatic churches led by those who are perceived to have special insights into faith and to teach principles that will help believers experience the miraculous. But all is not rosy in this promised paradise, and when people are not healed or they remain poor they are often told that it is because they did not have enough faith or are too negative. <br/> This study seeks to discover the origin of the principles that are taught by some charismatic leaders. Ackerley identifies them as the same ideas that are taught by the positive confession, health, wealth, and prosperity movement, originating in the United States. The origins of the ideas are traced back to New Thought metaphysics and its background philosophies of subjective idealism and American pragmatism. These principles were «imported» into the UK through contact between British leaders and those influenced and trained by American «word of faith» teachers. The author seeks to explain the persuasiveness of such teachers through examining case studies. He suggests their «miracles» may well have social and psychological explanations rather than divine origins.