The unique, conversational format of this review was proposed by the reviewers.
Of Such Is the Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability
Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019
Charli: You and I both have read and written a lot about disability, including disability in the Church. But Summer Kinard’s book, Of Such Is the Kingdom, is different from books we’ve read before. What stands out about this book to you?
Monica: Well, the first part of the book provides some sorely needed Orthodox theological foundation for how the Church has approached and should approach disability. It’s been problematic for a long time in all churches. Not one church seems comfortable with the topic, and the way it gets thought and talked about can vary from slightly awkward to outright spiritually abusive. We really needed some exploration of the Scriptures and the Fathers on the matter, and I’m most pleased Summer has done so. The Orthodox Church, at least, has never cast doubt on the possibility of salvation when it comes to people with disabilities, but Summer makes a clear case for something better than the usual assumption that people with disabilities get to enter heaven under something like an Economia Clause in the spiritual contract. Spiritual life is important, being part of the Church is important, and she makes it clear that both of these are possible for everyone, disability or no.
As Summer says, we don’t know what our resurrected bodies are going to look like, and whether there will be disability in heaven. As she says, Christ’s resurrected body still showed the signs of crucifixion. As a matter of interest, that’s how He was recognizable to His disciples! There won’t be handicaps in heaven, that we know for sure. At any rate, we are being saved, disability and all. Read More