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Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses our Brokenness to Display His Grace (Beates)

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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 his are affected by a growing number of difficulties ranging from down syndrome to autism to food allergies, the need for church programs and personal paradigm shifts is greater than ever.

Working through key Bible passages on brokenness and disability while answering hard questions, Michael offers helpful principles for believers and their churches. He shows us how to embrace our own brokenness and then to embrace those who are more physically and visibly broken, bringing hope and vision to those of us who need it most.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: The Voice of God

1. The Voice of God in the Law, Prophets, and Writings: What the Old Testament Teaches about Disabilities

2. The Voice of Christ: What the Gospels Teach about Disabilities

3. The Voice of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles: What the Acts and Epistles Teach about Disabilities

4. Biblical Conclusions and Reflections

Part 2: Voices From the Past

5. What We Learn from the Rabbis, the Early Church, and the Reformation Era

6. What We Learn from the Modern Era

Part 3: Voices of Today

7. What We Learn from Current Secular Voices

8. What We Learn from Current Christian Voices

Part 4: Speaking Into Tomorrow

9. What the Church Must Say to the World in the Twenty-First Century

10. Sovereignty and the Whispering Voice of Hope



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.


"I wish I could adequately express how happy I am about his new book. This is an excellent resource that gives solid answers to tough questions and more." - Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

"Every Christian in America needs to read this book, and every church should study it, underline it, and live it!" - Steve Brown, radio teacher, Key Life

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, Florida