There's an interesting article over at Think about the relationship between theology and healing. Although it doesn't directly address the issue of whether and to what extent we should expect healing today, it still pokes me in a sensitive place: my failure to be a charismatic.
It's really not through want of trying. My background is hard cessationist: canon complete, no more apostles, therefore no more gifts or miracles. Full stop. For a variety of reasons, I've moved away from that position. I've come to think that the "therefore" doesn't really work. For a variety of reasons, including thinking more about the doctrine of Scripture and pondering the role which miracles and spiritual gifts seem to play in the NT churches, I couldn't sustain it. And philosophically, I began to suspect that cessationism had more in common with the Enlightenment than its Reformed advocates would have liked to admit. It's been a while since I've been a cessationist - in principle, anyway.
I remember chatting to a pastor who described himself as a failed cessationist. He was inclined toward cessationism, it fit his view of God and church and revelation, he was alarmed by the clear excesses and often dubious theology of those elements of the charismatic movement with which he came into contact. But at the same time, he couldn't make the Biblical evidence fit. Whilst his experience pushed him towards cessationism, his reading of the Bible prevented him from landing there.
In some ways I feel like the opposite. Theologically and philosophically I feel inclined towards the charismatic position. In common with all evangelicals, I believe that God can do the miraculous today. Unlike cessationists, I can see no reason why - given that he has done in the past, which is accepted by all sides - he would not do so today. Particularly when it comes to healing, my understanding of the gospel pushes me to think that healing ministry ought to be a regular part of church life. But my experience holds me back. I have been in church all my life, but have heard no clear and credible accounts of miraculous healing. None at all. Maybe I'm setting the standard of credibility too high, but it seems to me that lots of people have 'friend of a friend' stories, and not many people even claim to have first hand experience of this sort of thing. In terms of my own experience, I want to be 'open' to the miraculous, but to be honest my (very limited) experience of being in charismatic churches has been a massive turn off. So, my theology pushes me towards the charismatic position, but my experience prevents me from landing there.
And that's a frustration.