what I believe is a neglected area in Christian theology

I believe one current trend in Christian Theology that is cutting edge (and one that can tend to show the church is often a few steps behind the culture) is the work being done on a theology of disability – what does the church or what should Christians believe about people with disabilities (be it mild to severe)?  That is the cutting edge right now and one that is desperately needed in the church.

I haven’t done any specific reading in this yet but I am noticing some titles show some theological reflection in this area – so I may be picking up a book or two.  I know for some and maybe even many, it may not be an exciting or overly enthralling topic of discourse but I can imagine the relief that could be coming to many a family who has a child with a disability who has in one form or another been rejected by the church or church fellowships.

I am glad to see some are starting to write on this topic of “a theology of disability.”  It is good to see – for so long the church has marginalized the disabled, and many still do – especially in charismatic churches where having people with disabilities around might put a dent in their theology of divine healing (which is totally beside the point – and I say that as a person with a hearing impairment and as a pentecostal pastor).   Talk about a theology of weakness, no?  lol!

Here are some works I have noticed (in book form at least, I imagine there are journal articles out there somewhere):

Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality

Human Disability and the Service of God: Reassessing Religious Practice

The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability

Theology and Down Syndrome: Reimagining Disability in Late Modernity

Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics

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5 responses to “what I believe is a neglected area in Christian theology

  1. It’s not just physical disability of course, mental disability / illness is just as neglected and many in the church suffer through judgement or are denoiunced for lack of faith or even demon possession.

  2. Brian–I don’t know if it’s “cutting edge,” but this topic definitely needs to be discussed. Our common friend in seminary who was visually impaired did a practicum with a church in another state (under 200 members). The pastor actually had him paint the church’s fence. Yes, somebody who cannot see was asked to paint a fence.

    It’s a good topic to remind believers, especially church leaders, about compassion and accepting everyone.

    • That is really wild! Thanks for sharing that – would you happen to have any contact with our common friend? I know he did a chaplain residency in KS but that was the last I have heard or seen of him.

  3. Brian–Unfortunately, I haven’t had contact with him in a while. I need to try and reconnect with him. I’ll let you know what I find out.

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