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Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace Paperback – July 31, 2012
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“Disability and the Gospel tackles head-on the spoken and too often unspoken questions about disability. Well researched and at times provocative, Michael Beates digs beyond the surface in search of reconciliation among the realities of suffering, disability, and the teachings of Scripture. Disability and the Gospel is an important work that reveals not only a biblical worldview on physical disability, but gives comforting confirmation that God is indeed always sovereign, always in charge, and all purposeful.”
—Doug Mazza, President, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
“Mike Beates has been a good friend for twelve years, and I’ve observed his godly character as well as heard and read his insightful teaching. I have read Disability and the Gospel at several stages, and I recommend it highly. The church needs to be awakened to the presence of the disabled in our communities and, as Mike stresses, to the disabilities we all have as sinners in need of God’s grace. The book contains excellent exegesis, theology, and historical studies that make a powerful case. I don’t know a better place to hear God’s Word on this important matter.”
—John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando
“Why should the church embrace people with disabilities? Because they need us? Perhaps. But in Disability and the Gospel, Michael Beates reminds us that the transforming power of the gospel can only be ours when we, the able-bodies, admit our own brokenness and weakness and learn the truth that God uses the weak people of this world to confound the wise. The church has as much to learn form people with disabilities as she has to give to them.”
—Dawn Clark, Director of Disability Ministries, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois
“Disability and the Gospel is a wonderful book! It’s biblical, profound, practical, and challenging. It is also a book written at the right time and by the right person. Every Christian in America needs read this book, and every church should study it, underline it, and live it! What a gift Michael Beates has given to us and to those to whom the church is called to show mercy, understanding and compassion. I rise up and call Mike Beates blessed. Read this book. You will too!”
—Steve Brown, Host, Key Life Radio Program; author, Three Free Sins: God Isn't Mad At You
“In Disability and the Gospel, Michael Beates urges Christians to invite people with disabilities into our churches and our lives not because they need our help, but because worshiping and ministering alongside people with disabilities helps us to recognize our own brokenness and learn that God’s grace is most apparent and powerful when we are most weak and wounded. While my own theology of disability differs from Beates’s in significant ways, I recommend this thorough, accessible book for pastors, congregations, and individuals who want to engage more fully with those in their communities living with disabilities, and thus live out the Gospel in new and transforming ways.”
—Ellen Painter Dollar, author, No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction
About the Author
Michael S. Beates (DMin, Reformed Theological Seminary) is the husband of Mary and father of seven children, one of whom lives with profound disabilities and two others who face challenges. Mike has served on the International Board of Directors at Joni and Friends since 2000 and has been involved in Christian ministry for 30 years. He also serves as dean of students at the Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida. Mike has written more than 50 articles for publications such as Tabletalk magazine and the Orlando Sentinel and has contributed chapters to several books focusing on disabilities and hope.
Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, which ministers to thousands of disabled people and their families through programs of practical encouragement and spiritual help. She is also an artist and the author of numerous best-selling books such as Joni; Heaven: Your Real Home; and When God Weeps.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book shows how our disabilities fit into the gospel, and the conclusion points to the reality that all of us broken sinners have disabilities. Beates reveals the role of those with "apparent" disabilities in relation to God's sovereignty and his goodness. What we learn is that God has his purposes, and we learn how the church has responded to God's working in and through the disabled.
The book takes readers through a survey the topic of disability in the context of the Old Testament, the New Testament, the early church, influential theologians and contemporary voices. This is enlightening and well done. We begin to see a contrast in God's view and the world's view when it comes to the human weakness and brokenness. Along the way, Beates adroitly quotes relavant citations from others including several from Joni Eareckson Tada who suffered paralysis and has developed a worldwide ministry. Beates writes with significant depth and breadth in these surveys.
Beates incorporates the full gospel message in this book and emphasizes the inclusivity of the salvation of Jesus Christ for all people. I have been convicted to examine my own relationship with the disabled and how I have influenced my church and family to respond to those with special needs. I think the way I look at all people has been changed for the better by this book.
I encourage you to read this book, and when you have the same passionate response I did I hope you will encourage others to read it too.
Con: Misrepresents the Terri Schiavo case and manages to slur Obama at the same time. Disparages other "liberal" Christian views on disability, and implies his view is the only valid view. Does not provide description of a specific church that is welcoming to the disabled. Does not address all the practical concerns of physically disabled attending a church service: where to park, ramp location, automatic doors, working elevators, personal assistance, audio assists, restroom situation, worship location, where to sit for service. Gets too consumed in scripture to be useful to a church or a disabled person.
Right away the fact that people with disabilities are often absent from church is brought to light, but by Gods word we are all part of the body. These people like myself need the church but getting there for many differeent reasons doesn't work. We then feel forgotten. This is not how God would choose.
This book is full of encouraging Scriptures to remind us we have a place. It helps dispel the lies we hear from the secular world telling us we are a burden or not usefull. God wastes nothing, Paul had a disability we are not told what but it was a thorn in his flesh. I think that was so we can all put ourselves in his shoes.
This book points us to hope, hope comes from God. In small ways we my not even realize God uses us to be his presence to others. In my world having the privilege to review books and items here on Amazon helps me know in a small way I can be of help to people trying to make a purchase choice.
It all boils down to listening to that still small voice of God. The roar of the world tries to drown it out...don't let it. We have a place a moment in history don't waste another moment listening to lies. This book is not a speed read, it is to be taken in slowly and pondered. I read it in a 3 week span now going back and highlighting points for quick reference.
If you or someone you love struggles with a disability this would be a wonderful gift. It is Christian based so the person needs to be at least willing to read from that perspective.