This week, I thought we might try something different for the blog. Rather than putting together thoughts on some topic from a biblical/ministry perspective, I thought that I might provide some resources that might accompany the sermon from this past Sunday.
The sermon was entitled “Where the Gospel Meets Disability” (can be found at the following link – https://youtu.be/YGS-Yz5r0jI?t=3453) and it took a closer look at John 9:1-5 and the healing of the blind man. We discussed an improper theology of disability that was displayed by the disciples and was very common in ancient cultures. We also looked at Jesus’s view – the proper theology of disability. In addition, we sought answers as to how to interpret Jesus’s instruction that miracles like He engaged in were meant to be done “as long as it is day”. This impacts our understanding of how the Church today takes part in the work that Christ did during the days He walked the earth.
However, there is, obviously, a vast number of questions that can still be asked and even more answers that can be explored in the area of disability theology. This week, I thought I might provide some links below which will send you to other resources that engage this topic. Because of the particular interest that our church has in this area, please consider spending some time looking through them and enjoying the voices of those who have learned first-hand how God builds up the Church through disability.
Each of the green titles are clickable and will relocate you to the resource in question upon clicking the link:
- joni&friends “is answering the call of Luke 14 to, ‘Go out quickly…and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame…so that my house will be full.’”
- Access InterVarsity “is an accessible and disability inclusive space for all to belong, grow closer to Jesus and use their God-given gifts.”
- Daniel Bowman Jr. is a novelist, poet, and professor at Taylor University with a passion to address autism, creative writing/literature, mental health, and all things teaching and learning.
- The Autism Pastor’s calling and passion as a pastor and autism advocate “is to continually contribute to the challenge of changing our culture for the better” by “creat[ing] awareness, promot[ing] acceptance, and empower[ing] advocates.”
- ‘Love Thy Neighborhood’ EPISODE 54: WHERE THE GOSPEL MEETS DISABILITY
- ‘Love Thy Neighborhood’ EPISODE 19: WHERE THE GOSPEL MEETS SPECIAL NEEDS
- ‘Gravity Leadership’: Daniel Bowman Jr. on Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity
- ‘Theology in the Raw’ EPISODE 894: A THEOLOGY OF DISABILITY: DR. BRIAN BROCK
- ‘Theology in the Raw’ EPISODE 908: DISABILITY AND THE CHURCH: DR. LAMAR HARDWICK
- ‘Theology in the Raw’ EPISODE 973: DISABILITY, THEOLOGY, AND THE CHURCH: DR. DEVAN STAHL
- ‘Theology &’ EPISODE 5: Theology & Disability
- Biblestudytools.com: 14 Encouraging and Empowering Verses for Parents of Special Needs Children
- Biblestudytools.com: How to Grow Closer to God as a Caretaker
- Sojo.net: Styrofoam Jesus, Or, Autism and My First Communion
- The Gospel Coalition: 4 Ways to Be a Welcoming Church to Special-Needs Families
- Dallas Theological Seminary: Why Theology Needs Disability
- Devotional: A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada – “In this devotional, you will find great comfort and encouragement by focusing on the one who longs to lead and guide you every step of the way, every day. Don’t ever think your life is too ordinary, your world too small, or your work too insignificant. All of it is a stage set for you to glorify God.”
- Small-Group Study: The Gospel in Hard Times by Pat Verbal – “The Gospel in Hard Times is a small-group study that explores how a loving faith community—one body with many parts—can not only meet our needs, but also help us walk alongside others who are afflicted, disabled, and marginalized.”
- Kids’ Book: God Made Me Unique by Joni & Friends – “God Made Me Unique shows children that God creates every person in his image and each individual has tremendous value, regardless of his or her appearance or abilities.”
- Book: On the Spectrum: Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity by Daniel Bowman Jr. – “Rather than viewing autism as a deficiency, Bowman teaches readers–through stories of his heartbreaks and triumphs–authentic ways to love their neighbors as themselves, including their autistic neighbors who are fearfully and wonderfully, if differently, made.”
- Book: The Scars That Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Rendall Risner – “Vaneetha Rendall Risner begged God for grace that would deliver her. But God offered something better: his sustaining grace.”
- Book: When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes – “Joni and Steve explore God’s heart, His future hope for us, and the work it accomplishes in our lives today.”
- Book: Disability and the Gospel by Michael S. Beates – Learn how God uses our brokenness to display His grace.”
- Book: Finding Your Child’s Way on the Autism Spectrum by Dr. Laura Hendrickson – “Every child is uniquely made by God and can become the adult God designed him or her to be, differences and all. Wherever your child is on the autism spectrum, you’ll find helpful and hopeful information here.”
- Book: Same Lake Different Boat by Stephanie O. Hubach – “There’s a role for everyone in the body of Christ – even those with disabilities! This book presents a biblical view of disability, along with a call to churches to develop an inclusive community for all people.”
- Book: Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families by Gary Chapman – “Sharing dozens of stories from parents of children with special needs children, they teach you how to: protect your marriage amidst the stress, discover and speak the love language of your child-even if they’re nonverbal, accommodate the love languages for children with special needs and disabilities, show love to every member of your family when you have limited time, money, and energy.”
- Book: Another Kind of Courage by Doug Mazza and Steve Bundy – “In Another Kind of Courage, you will learn about God’s design for fathers of families affected by disability. Mothers and wives, you’ll get a valuable look inside the heart and mind of your husband, gaining insight about his journey as the father of a child with a disability.”
- Booklet: Disability Pressures Our Marriage by Ernie Baker – “Is it possible to have a close and healthy marriage when caring for a child or spouse with a disability? Pastor and counselor Ernie Baker answer with a resounding “Yes!” showing that marital joy, success, and stability are all possible because the Lord Jesus Christ provides strength and help through his always-relevant Word.”
- Book: Disability: Living into the Diversity of Christ’s Body by Brian Brock – “Brock, the father of a child with special needs, weaves together theological commentary with narrative reflection, offering rich theological wisdom for shepherding people with disabilities.”
- Book: Wondrously Wounded: Theology, Disability, and the Body of Christ by Brian Bock – “Brock reclaims the church’s historic theology of disability and extends it to demonstrate that people with disabilities, like all created in God’s image, are servants of God’s redemptive work… Wondrously Wounded is an appeal to the church to find itself broken and remade by the presence of Christ on offer in the lives of those society has labeled “disabled.’”
- Book: Disability and the Church: A Vision for Diversity and Inclusion by Lamar Hardwick – “Too often disabled persons are pushed away from the church or made to feel unwelcome in any number of ways. As Hardwick writes, “This should not be.” He insists that the good news of Jesus affirms God’s image in all people, and he offers practical steps and strategies to build stronger, truly inclusive communities of faith.
- Book: Imaging and Imagining Illness: Becoming Whole in a Broken Body by Devan Stahl – “Using their insights from the medical humanities, literature, visual culture, philosophy, and theology, the scholars in this volume advance the discourse of the ill body, adding interpretations and insights from their disciplinary fields.”