“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