By Roscoe Barnes III
Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer
Copyright (c) 2018
When we hear about F.F. Bosworth teaching and mentoring young preachers, we tend to think of his work with The Voice of Healing in the 1940s and 1950s. But there was another young preacher encouraged by him who went on to become a famous author of deeper life books. That young preacher was none other than A.W. Tozer, who is read and quoted by Pentecostals and evangelicals alike.
According to Lyle Dorsett, author of A Passion for God: The Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer (2008), Bosworth took Tozer under his wing and provided him with advice on a number of topics that included teaching, evangelism, and divine healing. Dorsett writes: "Bosworth, a wizened and battle-scarred warrior from years of battling both the Devil and other Christians, generously took Tozer into his counsel."
Dorsett notes that Bosworth "urged" Tozer to fully accept divine healing, but to give more attention to his ministry of evangelism. In Dorsett's view, "Bosworth helped Tozer see that some ministers have a strong and primary healing gift while others are essentially teachers or preachers."
Bosworth and Tozer were both ministers in the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA), a denomination that believes in divine healing.
Bosworth became one of CMA's most famous healing evangelists. In 1924, he published Christ the Healer, which is still in print today.
In addition to advising Tozer to embrace healing and to make it secondary to his evangelistic work, Bosworth reminded him of the need to spend time with those engaged in healing ministries. According to Dorsett, "He urged Tozer to be in fellowship with men who had healing gifts but not to feel pressured to do it all."
Bosworth also called on Tozer to "celebrate and support" those who were seen as actually having the gift of healing, according to Dorsett. Bosworth reportedly went further in his advice by addressing the issue of speaking in tongues, a topic of contention at the time. Dorsett writes: "Finally, Bosworth taught Tozer to respect the gift of tongues inasmuch as it is biblical." At the same time, he apparently cautioned young Tozer about giving the subject more attention than it deserved.
The extent to which Bosworth influenced Tozer is not known, and claims of Bosworth being his mentor are disputed by some scholars, including Tozer biographer James L. Snyder.
"To say that Bosworth was a mentor to Tozer is stretching the truth quite a bit," Snyder wrote in a 2015 email. "Because Bosworth was part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, of which Tozer was a minister, Tozer supported his crusades in Chicago and even had Bosworth preach in his Chicago pulpit."
On the subject of healing, Snyder noted that Tozer believed in it and often prayed for the sick in his church. Such was not uncommon for CMA pastors. While Tozer may have seen people healed, he did not see "hundreds of physical healings in his meetings," according to Snyder. Bosworth, however, did see such healings, he noted.
"Bosworth's ministry was basically a healing ministry whereas Tozer's was more of a deeper life ministry," Snyder said.
Still, when one considers the enormous success of Bosworth in the 1920s, and his work with CMA churches, it would be hard to imagine a young Tozer not seeking and receiving guidance from Bosworth.
Would you like to know more about F.F. Bosworth?
Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here.
For more information:
Visit ffbosworth.strikingly.com. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. #ChristTheHealer
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