The Gift of Peace, Christians with Impairments, and the Church
Abstract: One of the demands facing the church is the call for unity with Christians with profound intellectual and physical impairments. As the church becomes a community of justice with and for people with impairments, she is an instrument of God's shalom. However, too many of our sisters and brothers with impairments find themselves on the outside looking in. How can the church continue to move toward a more complete welcome and participation? Responding to this theological question precedes clinical or legal concerns. The best the world has to offer is not what the church needs, though she can learn from reasonable professional approaches. The message and peace of Christ can undo the walls of separation that keep Christians with impairments out. Such a transformation would be a sign that the church is being built up in peace, and would offer a model of true communion among a diversity of people.
Keywords: impairment / shalom / subordination / diaspora / theology of beauty
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