SKU (ISBN): 9780802804273
Binding: Trade Paper
Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Print On Demand Product
If God is loving and almighty, why do people experience so much pain, misery, and guilt? In the face of human suffering, the cry WHY? echoes through the ages. In this book A. van de Beek grapples honestly with the mystery of suffering and evil. His writing reveals a pastoral heart keenly aware of the profound evil and suffering in our world today, and he considers these perplexities in a fresh, different way, pointing to how we can live with God through the experience of suffering.
Numerous thinkers – particularly con-temporary theologians such as Barth, Moltmann, and Pannenberg – are considered in this study. Moreover, van de Beek carefully scrutinizes Scripture, especially Old Testament passages that relate God to evil and suffering. God is revealed in the Old Testament as changeable and free – at times even unpredictable in his actions – yet he re-mains faithful to his people and contin-ues to move salvation history along.
In the New Testament, however, God’s ways and work are determined by the incarnate Christ. In Jesus God has chosen to suffer with and for his people; Jesus’ suffering and death help answer (but do not explain away) our questions about God and suffering. God’s way in Jesus is also the way of the Spirit, whose work in completing the process of redemption takes a zigzag tack here on earth. The Spirit works along with human wills and choices: prayer and argument with God are the human ele-ments of God’s salvation weave. / Why? On Suffering, Guilt, and God is intended for all who are theologically interested, not just for professional theo-logians. More specialized explanation appears throughout the book in smaller-print excursuses. This more scholarly material, while illuminating, is not essen-tial for understanding the flow of van de Beek’s thought-provoking discussion.