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Where was God when that happened?

And other questions about God’s goodness, power and the way he works in the world

from 6 reviews

An engaging and accessible guide to the Bible's teaching on God's sovereignty

Part of the Questions Christians Ask series.

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This is a warm, pastorally hearted guide to the Bible's teaching on God's sovereignty.

When a disaster happens; when personal tragedy strikes; when we are perplexed by world events, Christians can begin to doubt that God is either truly good, or truly in control.

Christopher Ash faces these questions head on, without flinching at any of the difficulties. First he looks at six different ways people have answered this question — both as Christians and from other religions and none. He then reveals the Bible's answer: the revelation of God's character and purposes throughout history.

Product details


  • Introduction: Is God Really in Control?
    1. God over all
    2. God unseen
    3. God over evil
    4. God the Father
    5. God who wins
    6. God who waits
    7. God only wise
    Conclusion: Facing the future with God in control

Free extras


Contributors Christopher Ash
ISBN 9781910307236
Format Paperback
First published February 2017
Dimensions 4.3" x 7" x 0.4"
Weight 3.07 oz
Print size 9.0pt
Case quantity 108
Language English
Pages 96
Publisher The Good Book Company

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Carl R Trueman

Dept. Chair of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, Author, Pastor and Ref21 blogger

Christopher Ash's book on God's sovereignty is exactly what readers of his books would expect: clear, succinct, and written with a charming simplicity that yet rests upon profound theology.  Using examples from everyday pastoral ministry, he provides biblical answers to the kind of questions which all believers ask and also offers firm responses to the various common errors and mistakes which people make concerning such matters as God's providence, evil, and suffering.  This is a great book to have on your church book table, to give away, and, of course, to read for yourself.

Peter J Williams

Principal, Tyndale House, Cambridge; author, Can We Trust the Gospels?

Christopher Ash tackles with great clarity and sensitivity the toughest questions about suffering. Against views which try to derive comfort by denying God's existence or sovereignty, he shows that the only true comfort is in a thoroughly scriptural vision of who God is. This is a book which warms the heart and feeds the mind.

Aimee Byrd

Author, Housewife Theologian and The Sexual Reformation

If there is a God, how could he let (fill in the blank) happen? Whether we trust him or not, all people wonder how God runs the world. Once again, Christopher Ash writes with understanding while teaching us that there is a God, he is in control, intensely involved in every detail, and he is good.

Independent reviews

Deep yet accessible

Marcus Nodder, Evangelicals Now, March 31, 2017

Although weighing in at less than 100 pages, this is not a superficial book. It is theologically deep and precise, biblically rooted, and carefully nuanced, but manages to do all this in an accessible way. Any church member would benefit from it.... continue reading


"Immensely useful"

Matt Porter, Bethinking, May 14, 2017

I’m amazed by how well it deals with different aspects of the vast topic in under 100 pages. Ash doesn’t skirt around the difficult and tricky pastoral issues. He engages evenly with each aspect, never seeming rushed but allowing the reader space to think as well.... continue reading

"This is a little book that packs a big punch."

Jonathan Gemmell, The Proclamation Trust, July 14, 2017

The Bible teaching in this book is helpful and profound, Christopher’s pastoral insights are tremendous and winsome. For those struggling to comprehend their turmoil and stand firm under it this book is a strengthening hand and a warm theological hug.... continue reading

Customer reviews

Jan. 21, 2024

“Excellent service”

It was so helpful to find two concise, readable books to give to my friend who is going through very difficult and faith testing times. Just what I needed. Thank you.

Feb. 28, 2023

“Very good book”

(Review written for 'Where was God when that happened? (ebook)')

This is a very good book. Very Bible-centred and very clear.

May 14, 2020

“I can’t say I agree with much of this”

Im sorry I can’t see this book the way other reviewers have. I struggle with so much of the theology and biblical analysis on evil and suffering. I’m afraid if you handed this book to parents who have lost their child, or a family member due to the current covid pandemic they would feel broken by what is said here. Maybe it is my lack of Calvinism which makes me struggle with it but I did not enjoy this book at all.
I’m only giving two stars because there were SOME helpful illustrations.

Thank you for this heartfelt and honest review of your reaction to Christopher’s book. This series tries to sum up the Bible’s teaching on the subject of pain, suffering and evil; I agree that much of it is hard, and difficult to get our heads around. And you are absolutely correct that we should exercise extreme caution with giving books to grieving and struggling friends and Christian brothers and sisters. I am reminded that Job’s comforters only started to make mistakes when they opened their mouths to the grieving father who had suffered so much. They did well to sit in silence for seven days, and we likewise must be so careful to comfort and nurse the broken and bruised in an appropriate way. But the prime question is whether this book accurately sums up the teaching of scripture or not. At some stage, those who are grieving will ask the difficult questions about God and his place in our world of pain and suffering. False answers at this stage may seem more comforting, but are ultimately more cruel than what we perceive to be “hard truths”. A god who is powerless, unloving, distant, incapable or non-existent — the alternatives to the Biblical view of a sovereign loving God — is no comfort at all, and not worthy of our praise and devotion.

Tim Thornborough, Editor

Aug. 6, 2019

“Reassuring book”

Bought this book for my book group and found it to be most helpful addressing the question of suffering. It's short yet thorough and I've already passed it on to a friend. Having experienced the sudden death of my husband, I was comforted by reading this book reminding me Christ walks with us through our pain.

March 17, 2017

“Get it. Read it. Tell it.”

This is a very good book and keeps to the subject matter throughout. A no nonsense book which covers the topic well yet very easy to read. Non academic or any preconceived ideas. Recommend it.

March 13, 2017

“Great Little Book”

This is possibly the clearest and most helpful book on suffering I've read. It doesn't shy away from the tough question of God's ultimate control over everything. Plus it's short- great for passing on and also for re-reading. I will definitely be buying this in bulk!

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Where was God when that happened? | Christopher Ash |
$7.99 $4.79