Reynolds argues that the Christian story is one of strength coming from weakness, of wholeness emerging from brokenness, and of power in vulnerability. He offers valuable biblical, theological, and pastoral tools to understand and welcome those with disabilities. Vulnerable Communion will be a useful resource for any student, theologian, church leader, or lay person seeking to discover the power of God revealed through weakness.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 67.
- Review Date: 2008-02-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Chris Reynolds, the author's 17-year-old son, has been diagnosed with a host of problems including Tourette's syndrome, Asperger's syndrome, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The author, who teaches systematic theology at the University of Toronto, writes movingly of his deep love for his son: living with a child with disabilities has opened him “to a surplus of grace that can only be called divine.” This book, however, is neither memoir nor practical advice; it is a heavily footnoted scholarly treatise written in a largely academic style, arguing that disability is the norm; the image of God means not rationality but relationality; redemption is a result of God's own vulnerability; and the proper Christian response to otherness is hospitality. Reasoning from experience and from the Bible, Reynolds develops a theology of creation, sin, redemption and the church designed to produce a “metaphorical reversal” that challenges our culture's “cult of normalcy” by “privileging disability.” Despite an occasional tangle of postmodern jargon, Reynolds's insights are often compelling: “The basic question of human existence is whether there is welcome at the heart of things, whether we can find a home with others who recognize us, value us, and empower us to become ourselves.” (Apr.)