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The God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith
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The God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith [Kindle Edition]

Christopher J. H. Wright , John R. W. Stott
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If we are honest, we have to admit that there are many things we don’t understand about God. We do not have final answers to the deep problems of life, and those who say they do are probably living in some degree of delusion. There are areas of mystery in our Christian faith that lie beyond the keenest scholarship or even the most profound spiritual exercises.

For many people, these problems raise so many questions and uncertainties that faith itself becomes a struggle, and the very person and character of God are called into question.

Chris Wright encourages us to face up to the limitations of our understanding and to acknowledge the pain and grief they can often cause. But at the same time, he wants us to be able to say, like the psalmist in Psalm 73: “But that’s all right. God is ultimately in charge and I can trust him to put things right. Meanwhile, I will stay near to my God, make him my refuge, and go on telling of his deeds.”


Editorial Reviews

Review

'Christopher J. H. Wright boldly explores the four most difficult subjects Christians will generally face: the problem of evil, the genocide of Joshua, how modern culture can make sense of the cross, and prophecies about the end of the world. In each case, Wright uses his long experience as a theologian/teacher to skillfully and winsomely bring us through the dead-end solutions we often hear and lead us in fruitful and promising directions. This is not a book filled with the usual piety or apologetic drivel so often found in such treatments: it is a tough-minded and courageous wrestling match with profound issues of faith reminiscent of John Stott. Few of us would take on such a task. Wright has not only done it well--- but supremely well.' -- Gary M. Burge, Professor, of New Testament, Wheaton College <br><br>

About the Author

Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright is International Director of the Langham Partnership International. He also serves as chair of the Lausanne Movement's Theology Working Group and chair of the Theological Resource Panel of TEAR Fund, a leading Christian relief and development charity. He has written several books, including Living as the People of God (An Eye for an Eye in the US), God's People in God's Land, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, Walking in the Ways of the Lord, Deuteronomy in the New International Biblical Commentary, The Message of Ezekiel in the Bible Speaks Today series, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, The Mission of God, and The God I Don't Understand. Chris and his wife, Liz, have four adult children and six grandchildren. SPANISH BIO: Christopher J. H. Wright es director internacional de Langham Partnership International, donde tomo el cargo que ocupo John R. W. Stott durante treinta anos. Tambien sirve como presidente de la junta directiva del Grupo de Trabajadores del Comite Teologico Lausana y del Panel de recursos teologicos del fondo TEAR, una fundacion lider en la ayuda para cristianos y desarrollo caritativo. Es autor de un sinnumero de libros, incluyendo Conociendo a Jesus a traves del Antiguo Testamento, etica del Antiguo Testamento para log hijos de Dios, y el galardonado La Mision de Dios. Chris y su esposa, Luz, tienen cuatro hijos y cinco nietos.

Product Details

  • File Size: 442 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B0057D9268
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 26, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLKV9A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,973 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worshipping the God We Don't Always Understand May 9, 2009
Format:Hardcover
In conversation with 20somethings and teens today, I have discovered that there is an aversion to simplistic "Sunday School" answers to the tough passages of Scripture. Dissatisfaction with easy answers is widespread among the younger generation. Whereas previous generations prized practicality over everything else, the up-and-coming generation is looking for depth in its quest for truth.

We do not want to devote our lives to the worship of a God made in our own image. Neither do we wish to confine God to a box. Let us do business with what the Bible teaches, no matter how complex or difficult or unpleasant the journey may be.

Christopher Wright's book, The God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith is a welcome addition to a spate of recent books that demonstrate a willingness to tackle the hard questions raised by the Bible. The God I Don't Understand is an appropriate title. Wright does not exhaustively answer the difficult questions he poses, but he shares valuable reflections that display his pastoral insight and personal piety in seeking the truth.

The God I Don't Understand is for people who ask, "Why?"

Why did God judge the Canaanites the way he did in the Old Testament?

Why is there evil in the world?

Why do good people suffer?

Why do we have to believe this or that about the cross?

Why are there so many views about the end times?

Christopher Wright ponders these questions and then provides some insights that help clarify the issues:

"To me it is a profoundly moving thought that the word that introduces our most tormenting questions - `Why' - was uttered by Jesus on the very cross that was God's answer to the question that the whole creation poses.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Honest and Helpful Book on Difficult Questions January 7, 2009
Format:Hardcover
Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world? Why did God command Israel to kill all the Canaanites if he is a God of love and mercy? How does the cross of Jesus accomplish our atonement and what are the implications of it for us? What happens when the world ends, or does it end? In his new book, The God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith (Zondervan, 2008), respected biblical scholar Christopher J. H. Wright engages these questions. I say engages because he does not answer them, at least not completely or to the satisfaction of every questioner and critic. He does not because he admits that he cannot. The Bible does not give conclusive answers to such questions, and Wright takes the Bible very seriously as the Word of God, noting what it says and does not say on these matters.

So let me say, at this point, that this is one of the most refreshing things about this book. This seasoned biblical scholar confesses that there are questions that he continues to wrestle with despite all his years of studying, reflecting on, and teaching the Bible. In fact, many times throughout the book he moves to citing Christian hymns or biblical praise texts. That is, his questions ultimately lead him to the mystery of God and, thus, to praise.

Although Wright admits that he cannot give definitive answers, he does help us explore the questions in a fruitful and faith-affirming way. He tackles these questions, as the subtitle of the book suggests, from the perspective of faith, not as one who is trying to believe, if only he can have all his questions answered. Thus, each question is addressed within the larger framework of the biblical text and Christian faith. For each question he discusses both what the Bible says and does not say on the matter.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Is Generally Good But Has Some Problems March 14, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Overall I enjoyed reading "The God I Don't Understand." It was thoughtful and readable. Part One was especially helpful. Wright is not satisfied with just giving usual answers. I especially appreciate his extensive use of the Old Testament. I can imagine that next time I teach this subject, I would incorporate some of his arguments into my teaching. If I'm allowed to make a critical comment, however, his reasoning behind the following comment in page 40 seems to be weak: "Nevertheless, we may discern the fingerprints of Satan in what is described in these poems [Isaiah 14:4-21 and Ezekiel 28:1-17], since it is clear that these arrogant human beings were brought low because of their blasphemous pride and boasting against God." Now, I don't deny a possibility that Satan was behind these two kings, but he never explains the connection between them. It sounds like a circular reasoning. I'd like to see a clearer explanation here.

Parts Two and Three were generally helpful.

I had a problem with Part Four. Trevin Wax, in his Amazon review, says, "Yet, I did not find part 4 as relevant to the book's overall theme as the previous sections." I tend to agree. Wright seems to think that the dispensational interpretation of end times is as dangerous to Christianity as the other three issues he has dealt with in this book. But is it true? I agree that there are some people who are too obsessed with end times prophecies to remember why those prophecies are there in the Bible. [Those prophecies are to encourage holy living among believers, if I mention just one of the purposes.] But most dispensationalists do not belong to that category. Wright, in his eagerness to criticize the whole movement, does not distinguish serious dispensational scholarship from garbage. This is very unfortunate.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!
A fabulous book! A must read! Highly recommended!
Published 2 months ago by Glenn L. Weaver
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
I found the questions raised and the answers provided thought provoking in the best sense of the word. It challenged me to always think biblically. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps you to reflect on yourself
I really like the author providing ample examples and scriptures to help me reflect on myself, about what I have done and should be doing in the future.
Published 8 months ago by Ezra Lau
4.0 out of 5 stars Addresses issues head on
Heard Dr. Wright touch on this topic at All Souls in London. I think the first 2/3 is great--really wrestles with the issues. The last 1/3 less so.
Published 11 months ago by Indolawson
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Very good book, but very heavy topics covered. It gave me a lot to mull over. Definitely not a casual read.
Published 16 months ago by Rachel's mom
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't reflect my theology
Initially bought this book for a church book study but after a careful read I found the author's views too conservative for our group. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Excellent book, sent by an excellent provider. This book is a must read for all pastors. Provides great information for the pulpit.
Published 23 months ago by Coy
3.0 out of 5 stars The God I REALLY don't understand
In his new book The God I Don't Undertand (Zondervan, 2008), the well respected Christian leader Christopher Wright takes on some of the most difficult questions of faith including... Read more
Published on December 1, 2012 by Randal Rauser
5.0 out of 5 stars Deals straight with the problem of suffering
I have read many books that deal with suffering - books from many different Christian perspectives. This is by far the most truthful and straightforward book. Read more
Published on December 21, 2010 by barbreads
4.0 out of 5 stars Good For Theists
Wright offers a good examination of some difficult concepts and facts in the Bible, such as the existence of evil and suffering, the Old Testament history of the conquest of the... Read more
Published on October 11, 2010 by Paul A. Nelson
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More About the Author

Christopher J. H. Wright (Ph.D., Cambridge) was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His doctorate is in Old Testament ethics. He taught Old Testament in India for five years (1983-1988) at Union Biblical Seminary, and then returned to the faculty of All Nations Christian College, a missionary training school in England, where he was principal from 1993-2001.

Wright is now the international director of the Langham Partnership International (known in the United States as John Stott Ministries), providing literature, scholarships and preaching training for pastors in Majority World churches and seminaries.

He has written several books including commentaries on Deuteronomy and Ezekiel, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God and Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. An ordained Anglican, he serves on the staff of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, England.


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Heard Wright speak and can't wait to read it
I read a review copy of this book after hearing Wright speak. My interest is suffering and evil, which he deals with in part 1. In a very clear way, Wright explains that we do not know the origin of evil only its introduction into the created world. He continues to talk about what the Biblical... Read More
Nov 25, 2008 by Carol Spencer |  See all 2 posts
"Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith" is Apt Subtitle Be the first to reply
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