Shane Clifton
Pneuma 36.2: 204 – 225.
Publication year: 2014

This paper explores the relationship between disability and Pentecostal theologies and
practices of healing. First, it draws on the testimony of people with a disability, describing the
challenge of being the “elephant in the room” – the obviously unhealed in a social space where
supernatural healing is understood to be connected to the gospel, a reward of faith, and a
central part of a life and ministry of the church. Second, it deconstructs Pentecostal theologies
and practices of healing, identifying their potentially alienating effect. Finally, it proposes an
alternative orientation, replacing the emphasis upon divine healing with a focus on well-being.
To this end, it draws on the holistic intention of the Pentecostal full gospel, and relates this to
the virtue tradition, with its concern for long-term flourishing in the midst of the hardship and
fragility of life.

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