What John Piper Has to Say About Disability

Article by

Director of Donor Partnerships

Because this culture has declared war on people with disabilities, you need to be equipped to fight. And if you’ve been in this fight for a long time, you need to be refreshed. This war, after all, is complex (Ephesians 6:12).

While the prosperity gospel is one side of Satan’s attempts to distract us from our real treasure in Jesus, it isn't the only battle.

There's another one being fought in academic institutions, scholarly journals, and educational conferences.

The Importance of Exegetical Faithfulness

For the past two decades some very impressive scholars have promoted the idea of a liberation theology of disability. A few of those scholars are careful with the Bible, but many are not. And they have been able to use the boldness of the movement to cover their shoddy scholarship. It gets really dangerous when we realize they are frequently writing for academic journals and teaching in seminaries or other institutions that are preparing people for ministry or teaching.

One of the passages in the Bible they focus on is Mark 2:1–12, the healing of the paralytic who was lowered down to Jesus through the roof.

Lord willing, John Piper will be looking at this passage in depth this November. To help us treasure God more, and see more of what Jesus is actually accomplishing, the plan is for Pastor John to, in the Spirit's power, faithfully open this text up to us.

Real Lives Are at Stake

The goal is that when strange, unbiblical, seemingly plausible (but ultimately vacant) assertions are made about Jesus and disability, you will be equipped “to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). And for those of us who now measure living with disability in our family in decades rather than months or years, we will be reminded how much Jesus is for us. We can rest in him.

Real lives are at stake in this wrestling against Satan. Real lives. We may see it most clearly in abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia of those with disabilities, or in those who are marginalized and abused because of their disabilities, or in families that crumble under the relentless pressures related to disability. 

But Satan would be equally happy if there existed lots of good programs for people with disabilities, as long as Jesus is considered irrelevant to this issue, or is treated as confused about it.

So, I invite you this November 8 to the conference, "The Works of God: God's Good Design in Disability." Come and let's consider together, under Pastor John’s teaching (along with others) who Jesus is in Mark 2 and why it matters for disability.

This conference "about" disability is primarily and ultimately about God’s good design in all things, for his glory and for your joy.


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(@johnpknight) is Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God. He is married to Dianne, and together they parent their four children: Paul, Hannah, Daniel, and Johnny. Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments, and a seizure disorder. John writes on disability, the Bible, and the church at The Works of God.