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Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace
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Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Michael Beates's concern with disability issues began nearly 30 years ago when his eldest child was born with multiple profound disabilities. Now, as more families like Michael's are affected by a growing number of disorders and difficulties ranging from autism to food allergies, the need for programs and paradigm shifts is greater than ever. Beates thus seeks to motivate ...more
Published August 15th 2012 by christianaudio (first published July 31st 2012)
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Daniel Threlfall
(This book review first appeared on my blog,

Before reading Disability and the Gospel, I was a bit skeptical. On the one hand, I was fearful of yet another "gospel and ____" book. On the other hand, I was afraid that the book would not apply to me, since I'm not exactly "disabled."

I was in for a surprise.

Big Idea of Disability and the Gospel
This book is a theology of disability. The author discusses biblical texts dealing with the topic, surveys disability from a historic
"Due to the fall, all people are helplessly broken before God, and - in all honesty - before each other. Though some people are more visibly broken than others, all people - disabled and able-bodied - need redemption and the saving love of Christ."

In 'Disability & The Gospel', Michael S. Beates explores how disability reveals the brokenness of humanity and how desperately we all need God's grace. He outlines how the Old Testament reveals God as the Creator and humanity as being made in His
Father of a disabled adult child, pastor, Wheels for the World short term missionary, and Board Member of Joni and Friends, Int'l.

Well written, good word-smithing, good overview of OT, NT, historical church figures, secular figures and views about disability.

I took away a number of significant points:
1. God creates some people or allows people to have or become disabled, simply for the sake of His glory. Obviously hard to humanly accept yet myriads of family stories through the ages of how God's
Nathan Fields
Just finished Michael Beates book on Disability and the Gospel. This book was very influential in my understanding, and my perspective of scriptures in understanding a bigger picture of disabilities. The discussion on the Image of God was particularly helpful. I wish I could buy a hundred and give them to people. There are some very helpful passages from Genesis to Revelation that Dr. Beates exposits to explore the themes of God's sovereignty in special needs. The conversation from history to cu ...more
Not that I need to, but I will tell you that we have spent months in various children's hospitals with our daughter praying for her life. My son's best friend has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We have known disability.

I found this book to be a scold.

Michael S. Beates early on (pg. 18) begins scolding the church for not being accepting and loving. He states that he dropped his wheelchair bound daughter off in the Sunday school class and was appalled that the teacher dared to question, "You're not
Dec 04, 2012 Mike added it
Actually, i wrote it -- not a good one to review it. . . . :-)
I knew this audiobook would be challenging to listen to, but I was surprised how encouraging it was. It wasn't a book that made me feel guilty for being able bodied, but enabled me to understand how disabled people have been marginalized by the church though the centuries. One thing that did make me feel uncomfortable was the use of the word retarded throughout. Considering the author has a severely disabled daughter I am very surprised this phrase was used, as I know this is an insult amongst d ...more
I have worked with mentally handicapped and developmentally disabled persons in a volunteer and professional capacity. There are also members of my extended family with various disabilities and health challenges. When someone offered me this book, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed.

Dr. Beates divides his discussion into 4 sections:

1) The Voice of God--what the Bible has to say about disabilities
2) Voices from the Past--what rabbis, early church leaders and more modern spokespersons
While I disagree with some of Beates' theological conclusions - especially disability being a way God seeks to show God's glory - I am glad for his vulnerable and thorough reflections and explorations of the Biblical texts, ancient, modern, and contemporary theologians on understanding disability as part of our human condition and not necessarily as divine punishment. I found the chapter on empowering and enabling congregations and what is required of leaders and the whole community to be most e ...more
Adam Shields
Short Review: Throughout the book, the author is using these two lenses to think about disability. On the one hand the traditionally understood disabled (blind, paraplegic, Down’s Syndrome, etc.) On the other hand, all of us as humans are disabled by sin and need to realize that we need God and that God works in us best though our weakness. Relatively early in the book the authors says that the body’s purpose is to show weakness and point toward a future in Heaven. Overall, I like the split focu ...more
A viewpoint that is much needed; life-changing. As a mother of a child w/ Autism & seeking to start a Disability Ministry at my church, this was a timely & much-needed read. Brought me to tears at several places.
Christine Dattilo
Only partly through, but wish the extended Bible passages had been printed. Find myself constantly flipping from passage to passage, and then back to the book. Makes it difficult to follow Beates train of thought.
This is a great book for those of us who are disabled and for anyone who cares for a disabled person, as well as for those in various ministries and churches.
I guess I was a little bit disappointed with this book.

Excellent , Excellent book!
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