Also by this author: Where Is God in All the Suffering?
Series: Questioning Faith #5
Published by Good Book Company on September 1, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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Suffering and evil affect us all, both at a general level, as we look at a world filled with injustice, natural disasters and poverty, and at a personal level, as we experience grief, pain and unfairness. And how we think about and process the reality of pain is at the heart of why many people reject God.
Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing is no stranger to pain and gives a heartfelt yet academically rigorous examination of how different belief systems deal with the problem of pain. She explains the unique answer that is found in Christ and how he can give us hope in the reality of suffering.
This empathetic, easy-to-read and powerful evangelistic book is good for both unbelievers and believers alike. It will help those hoping to answer one of life's biggest questions as well as those who are either suffering personally or comforting others.
In this book, Amy Orr-Ewing shares personal stories and theological insights, exploring the ever-difficult question of why a loving God would allow suffering, and where He is in the midst of it. She does not presume to have all the answers, but explores how the Christian worldview offers a deeper, more meaningful understanding of suffering than other ideologies can offer. This is a short book, so she has to simplify the other worldviews that she addresses, but she clearly explains how Christianity provides a robust view of human dignity and honors the reality and pain of suffering in a way that materialistic worldviews cannot. We are not just molecules; we are souls, and the reason why we feel such agony over death, evil, and brokenness is because human beings matter.
She does not sugar-coat life to make it seem better than it is, and shares stories from her own life and social circles to address issues like grief, sickness, death, mental health issues, and systemic injustice. After she sets the stage at the beginning of the book, she focuses on a different type of suffering in each chapter, which makes the book particularly accessible for someone with questions about a specific topic. One of the chapters is specifically about natural disasters, and she addresses our current pandemic here, as well as alluding to COVID-19 in other parts of the book. I appreciate how she was able to include this immediately relevant concern without sharing a simplistic hot take.
Where is God in all the Suffering? is accessible to both Christians and skeptics. Orr-Ewing draws on Scripture to illustrate her points about the significance and value of human life, engages with difficult questions about God’s involvement in suffering, and creates a compelling picture of Christ as the suffering servant who took on the world’s sin and death for our ultimate healing. However, she writes all of this with an ear to skeptic’s concerns, and presents her arguments in logical syllogisms, rather than relying on a shared belief background alone. This is a compelling and meaningful book that can help believers and skeptics engage with the topic of suffering, and even though it is short and simple, it is intellectually honest, tender, and heartfelt.