Spiritual Morphine

The Delusory Hope of Dying on Your Own Terms

by Kristina Robb Dover

The doctors had said she had little more than six months to live. Since then, the cancer had aggressively metastasized, but not enough to destroy her insatiable will to live. Esther, 72, talked confidently about God’s power to heal both the pain and the cancer.

When I asked her where she drew her inspiration from, she cited the teachings of Joel Osteen and his mother, Dodie Osteen, who, in a little book titled Healed from Cancer, attributed her own miraculous recovery to a strict, daily regimen of reciting particular “healing” verses from Scripture. Invoking God’s Word “against the . . .

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Kristina Robb Dover currently directs communications for Presbyterian Global Fellowship (www.presbyterianglobalfellowship.org). A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, she has written for Theology Today, The Christian Century, and other magazines, and is a candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband Paul and their ten-month-old son, Cam.

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