A.B. Simpson was the founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. He was in many ways a study in contrasts. He was trained and raised a Scottish Presbyterian who was steeped in Calvinism. However, his own personal religious path, brought him in touch with the holiness movement of the later 19th century and he was very much influenced and attracted to the spiritual dynamism that was so different from his own more conservative tradition.
Simpson retained his theological training but branched out in the influence of what he say as a necessary enthusiasm and dynamic spiritual life. His training was often in conflict with his experience. Yet he seemed to be little concerned about that and to reach out and grasp that which in his experience and observation worked.
As a result, he became a leading spokesman for foreign missions and for the fourfold gospel. Key within the fourfold Gospel was the importance of healing. Simpson believed healing was in the atonement and thus the Christian should in faith reach out and receive. He rejected much of medicine opting instead for direct healing intervention from God. To this end he himself sought healing in camps and meetings organized for just that purpose.
Today’s C&MA and much of the evangelical church no longer holds to such an extreme line. This is evidenced within the C&MA where Simpson’s works on healing are no longer held in high regard as evidenced by their low circulation. If you want to see what the Alliance holds to today, you must go to the later work “The Children’s Bread” by Keith Bailey.
Of the original 4-Fold gospel, healing and sanctification receive considerable less attention than they did historically. Much of that change can be traced to the exodus in the early 20th century from the Alliance into what became the Assemblies of God. The Alliance is not stated anti-charismatic but in practice the gifts and the elements of healing embraced and evidenced in this book by Simpson are just not a viable and important part of most Alliance Churches.
There still remains a very strong appeal for the faith and experience of Simpson. This is an excellent work to study and see from whence the C&MA has come and where it is now. Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far and Simpson ironically has something more to say to his prodigal movement today.