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Suffering and the Goodness of God (Theology in Community) Hardcover – September 22, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Theology in Community (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1ST edition (September 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581348592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581348590
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"When people are hurting they need biblical answers, not platitudes. Here the editors and authors have thoroughly combed the Scriptures to give us the answers we need in tough times. This book should help both those who are suffering and those called upon to comfort and encourage others in their suffering."
Jerry Bridges, author, The Pursuit of Holiness

"The skeptic chides: 'If God is good, he is not God; if God is God, he is not good.' With Scripture to answer the pain of real life questions, and with real life pain to question Scripture, these theologians address the hardest questions with honesty, tenderness, and deep truth."
Bryan Chapell, President Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois

"Those who read this book will thank the gifted team of authors for their careful biblical, theological, philosophical, and ethical engagement with the problem of suffering and evil. This timely book addresses these crucial and challenging issues with clarity, conviction, and pastoral sensitivity. Readers will be strengthened, edified, and encouraged. I highly recommend this most important book."
David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University

"Morgan and Peterson have assembled a fine community of biblical scholars and theologians, all committed to Christ and the church, to address the problem of suffering. There are no easy answers to this problem, but there are plenty of wrong answers, misunderstandings, and confusion. This book-this community-will point you in the right direction."
Stephen J. Nichols, President, Reformation Bible College; Chief Academic Officer, Ligonier Ministries

"This volume should be warmly embraced by readers anxious to receive realistic good news from the Bible on this perennially-important subject. The writers are biblical, pastoral, reflective, and honest. I am grateful for their helpful and theologically-rich analysis."
Paul R. House, Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School; author, Old Testament Theology  

About the Author

Christopher W. Morgan (PhD, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of theology and dean of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University. He is the author and editor of several books, including Suffering and the Goodness of God.

Robert A. Peterson (PhD, Drew University) is professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, including The Glory of God and The Deity of Christ.

William Edgar (DTheol, University of Geneva) is professor of apologetics and coordinator of the apologetics department at Westminster Theological Seminary. His books include Reasons of the Heart, The Face of Truth, and Truth in All Its Glory.

John S. Feinberg (PhD, University of Chicago) is department chair and professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of Ethics for a Brave New World (with Paul D. Feinberg) and is general editor of Crossway’s Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Suffering is a universal and perennial problem. No one escapes it, and all are left buffeted and bruised by it. And most people are riddled with many profound questions about suffering. As long as people have been plagued by suffering, they have thought and wondered about it.

As a result, countless gallons of ink have been spilt on this issue. This recent volume looks at the issue through the lens of Christianity. It explores how God and suffering are to be understood in light of biblical revelation. Given that so much has already been written on the subject, it is hard to expect anything radically new or different to appear here.

But the ten essays presented here by eight evangelical authors make for a nice overview of the biblical discussion of the issue. Many similar sorts of things have been written before, but this book offers a nice collection of articles dealing with the main themes.

Thus there are several chapters on how the Old Testament addresses the problem; how the New Testament treats this issue, how the bible story line as a whole deals with it; the theological and philosophical problem of evil; and other aspects to the debate.

Walter Kaiser's two chapters on how suffering is handled in the Old Testament are nicely presented. He spends time on the main documents, such as the Book of Job, the Wisdom literature, Lamentations and the lament psalms, and the story of Joseph.

He also looks at eight types of suffering found in the Old Testament. Of course there is retributive suffering, that is, reaping what one sows. It is "one of the fundamental principles by which God governs the world". Choices have consequences, and bad choices (sin) invariably meet with negative consequences.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By PastoralMusings VINE VOICE on January 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that I was especially looking forward to reviewing. As a pastor I deal often with people who are in trouble. In 2008 my family faced trouble. I lost my only brother to brain cancer. He was only forty-two years of age. Circumstances such as this often cause the strongest of Christians to question God's goodness. Here is an honest-to-goodness attempt to tackle the issue Biblically, philosophically, emotionally, and coherently. I applaud the motivations.
The contributing writers write out of their theological knowledge, their philosophical knowledge, and their experience of heartache and suffering. They have done their job well.
Honestly, I did not anticipate the book being very good, though I had looked forward to reading and reviewing it. Why? It seemed dry at the first. Oh, yeah? Well, what do you expect from theology? I expect something to hold my interest. That it did. The apparent dryness did not last long. I was quickly involved in reading the Biblical and theological arguments addressing God's goodness, sovereign wisdom, and how suffering is related to them. I was not disappointed. The writers hold that God is indeed sovereign, and that nothing is out of His control. I especially liked how the writers took the issue of suffering and evil and essentially walked us through the Biblical data to find a Biblical theology of suffering and God's goodness. Both the Old and New Testaments speak to this subject. In the end, we are given the assurance that all will be well and suffering shall cease. It's the old, old story, but it surely is sweet to the suffering soul.
John Frame speaks both Biblically and philosophically concerning the subject. He did his job very well, too.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Deborah L. Gault on March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am using it for my seminary thesis. It is the best resource I have found. The chapters are written by different authors who give theological and personal accounts of how God's goodness prevails, despite the trauma they have endured. If I could, I would give this book 100 stars.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Holly A. Strand on February 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is awesome!! If you want to know what the scholars thing about why there is evil in the world. I took a class under one of the editors (Dr. Morgan) and he is a great mind to study under. It is an easy read; you don't have to have a dictionary sitting next to you as you read it!

Slow shipping though. Amazon had to ship it from an hour away from I lived and it took a week to get here!
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