Pastor John started his sermon on March 20 noting that “it is possible to live in an evangelical, Bible-believing, Bible-loving world and never hear the criticism of the Bible that is commonplace in university religion departments around the country and in the classrooms of many mainline churches.”
The opposite is also true.
Dr. Hans Reinders writes frequently on the topic of theology and disability, and I have found him to be an interesting voice.
But he surprised me in his most recent article in the March 2011 Journal of Religion, Disability and Health, “Is There Meaning in Disability? Or Is It the Wrong Question” where he writes:
(T)he notion of providence does not seem to do much work in the life of contemporary Christianity.
Even though Christian liturgy is replete with songs and prayers full of the promises of what God will do, there is not much attention paid to the notion of providence in contemporary theology.
Apparently, it is not a topic that weighs strongly on people’s minds. (Emphasis mine)
Really? I think about it a lot!
I’ve been to conferences with several thousand other people who also think about it a lot, and they go on to preach in churches to hundreds of thousands of others, who learn to pay attention to the notion of providence. We had more than 3.5 million ‘unique’ visitors to the Desiring God website last year – I think most of those probably also pay attention. Even Time Magazine noted the rising influence of ‘The New Calvinism’ a couple of years ago.
I’m not making fun of Dr. Reinders; his world is different than our evangelical world. It takes effort to look outside our bubbles.
I know I’ve seen his email address somewhere in my studies. I’d like to let him know there are significant scholars like D.A. Carson and Al Mohler who take providence very seriously.
It would be good to have a scholar of his standing (he was just named Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Religion, Disability and Health) paying attention to those who take the sovereignty of God over all things, including disability, seriously.