Disabling Mission, Enabling Witness – Review

Disabling Mission, Enabling WitnessI recently read Enabling Mission, Enabling Witness by Benjamin T. Conner and I absolutely loved it. I am currently doing some research into disability and theology and this book just got me more excited about this topic.

What is unique about this book is that Conner brings together the two disciplines of missiology and disability studies. You may not think of these two together and yet Conner does it in such a natural way.

This book is not about evangelizing “the disabled” but about including people with disabilities in the church’s witness. There is much focus today in increasing diversity in the church but disabilities is often left out of those discussions.

Even when people with disabilities are included, it is often either just a matter of physical access or looking at them as cute mascots.

There is a better way. Conner draws from current disability studies to bring readers up to speed about how to speak about and relate to those with disabilities.

The area of disabilities is huge and it is difficult to make generalities. Conner helpfully uses the deaf community as an example of how missiology and disability studies can come together.

This book was very stretching (in a good way) and gave me much to think of. Just one example was the reflection of what it means to bear the image of God and what that means for people with disabilities.

I highly recommend Disabling Mission, Enabling Witness, not just for people interested in disability theology but for all church leaders, including (but not limited to) pastors.

I would also encourage you to check out the Graduate Certificate in Disability and Ministry that Conner is also involved in.

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