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When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God as Good When Life Isn't Paperback – Bargain Price, April 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rogers, a pastor at New Life Christian Fellowship at Virginia Tech, reflects on the tragedy that shook the campus (and the nation) in April 2007 when Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 fellow students and professors. However, this isn't primarily a message of pastoral comfort, or even a journalistic account about how students of faith have walked through their grief. (Rogers is more than 50 pages into the book before he mentions that one of the students who died attended his church.) Instead, it centers around Rogers's own heartache and struggle to understand how God can give so many good gifts and yet allow such horror. While there are poetic moments, and readers will be comforted by his thoughts on the way the world was meant to be and the world that is to come, there's little new, and all the brooding introspection can become wearying. With a release timed around the anniversary of the shootings, there promises to be a lot of interest and plenty of media opportunities. Unfortunately, the book could have been much better if Rogers had gotten out of his own pain and focused on the students he works with. (Apr.)
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Review

Rogers, a pastor at New Life Christian Fellowship at Virginia Tech, reflects on the tragedy that shook the campus (and the nation) in April 2007 when Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 fellow students and professors. However, this isn't primarily a message of pastoral comfort, or even a journalistic account about how students of faith have walked through their grief. (Rogers is more than 50 pages into the book before he mentions that one of the students who died attended his church.) Instead, it centers around Rogers's own heartache and struggle to understand how God can give so many good gifts and yet allow such horror. While there are poetic moments, and readers will be comforted by his thoughts on the way the world was meant to be and the world that is to come, there's little new, and all the brooding introspection can become wearying. With a release timed around the anniversary of the shootings, there promises to be a lot of interest and plenty of media opportunities. Unfortunately, the book could have been much better if Rogers had gotten out of his own pain and focused on the students he works with. (Apr.) -- Publisher's Weekly <br><br> --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310286816
  • ASIN: B00394DJ4S
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,127,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Rogers is copastor of New Life Christian Fellowship at Virginia Tech. Eight hundred students call it home.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Handisides on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Matt Rogers lived through the horror of the April massacre at Virginia Tech. As a Pastor and Hokie he experienced the horror and felt the grief and inner struggle of wonder how God could let this happen. In this book he give a wonderful and heartfelt look at life and our faith when things go wrong and there is tragedy in our lives. This is a great book for anybody who ministers to those who are suffering or those who are suffering and trying to achieve some sort of reason in a world that appears to be falling apart. It is an honest and heartfelt book written by one who has obviously struggled himself to make sense of horror and grief
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ross Gale on April 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Matt Rogers searches for God's presence in the beautiful South Carolina woods, along the Atlantic Ocean, and walking among the Colorado Rockies (which provide some of his best written scenes). He looks for God's goodness standing beside gravesites, among the poor and needy, and in the church community. He works through the process of grief and calls us to imagine what the world will be in the future. Continually reminding us of Christ's long-awaited renewal of the world. Written in a meditative style that echoes Philip Yancey, Brennan Manning, and Henri Nouwen, Rogers is a voice that will offer comfort and hope.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Todd L. Mehrkens on March 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
"When Answer's Aren't Enough" is a powerfully honest journey into those questions we all ask, but often don't verbalize. And Matt Rogers takes us even deeper than that - digging into and embracing those difficult thoughts and emotions we can't always verbalize. He takes on questions of why some people die early or tragically, when others do not; questions that follow massive natural disasters and questions about the "right way" to respond to suffering and loss. While the tragedy at Virginia Tech provides the framework of this journey, this book takes the reader up front, close and personal, as it considers other real experiences of suffering and loss, including our own inevitable death. Only from the perspective of just how powerfully hard things in life can be, do we begin to comprehend just how powerfully good and beautiful God is, in the midst of this hurting world. And it is from here that we can begin to imagine just how good things will be one day when Christ returns and sets everything aright.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric B. Fulcher on March 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
When we experience tragedy, we too often hear "answers" from people that really are not answers at all and really are not all that comforting. Matt Rogers does not attempt to give the answers, but rather communicates the hope that we have in Christ. The world is broken, and throughout the author's journey we can see it all too clearly. But the most poignant element of this book for me is the vision of the world that will come with the Kingdom of God. Throughout my reading of this book I was reminded over and again of the many reasons we have to experience God as good, even when our circumstances logically give us reason to doubt. It reminded me of the things in my own life that I often take for granted, the gifts that God has given that many times I don't even recognize as gifts.

As one who was closely affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech on April 16, this book put many things into perspective for me. I saw that it is OK to call out the evil in this world, and that this does not mean we have reason to doubt God's goodness. If you were also deeply affected by the tragedy, this book will help you sort through the tough thoughts and questions in an honest way. And for those who may not have been as close to Virginia Tech, there are many stories that Matt Rogers shares (some of tragedy, but many more of good and wonderful things) that are just as poignant. I can say with certainty that this book is for you as well.

This book is raw and real. I seldom find satisfying answers to my questions during times of suffering and doubt. This book was exactly the comforting response that I have been looking for.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Debra Davis on April 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I went into this reading with an incredible desire to have an explanation to the hurt we all experience. I found comfort and sound Biblical advice. Matt Rogers is a real person, with his genuine love for a hurting world oozing out of the pages. This book is peppered with sources to reach for when facing grief. I appreciated his look at the survivors of tragedy and their families and showing how they dealt with their circumstances. I felt his own personal hurt from the Virginia Tech horror. I identified with his concern when his Dad fell off the roof. I was deeply moved by his explanation of the finality of death and our need to look beyond to the promise. He is right in saying that tragedy goes from intellectual to emotional, and from theoretical to personal. Would I recommend this book? With a huge Amen. I am going to have several copies on hand. I think this is one of the most sensitive and helpful books I have come across in dealing with grief and tragedy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on April 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
When Answers Aren't Enough by Matt Rogers is the author's response to the pain and loss after the Virginia Tech shootings of one year ago today. Rogers is a pastor at a church near the campus, and one of the students killed wash is parishioner. The book starts with Rogers' anger and frustration at the senseless killings and God's apparent neglect in the face of this tragedy. He asks a common question: where is God in suffering? To find the answer he interviews a Hokie survivor, as well as a family who lost six of their children in a tragic accident. He addresses death in a way I've never seen before. When attending the funeral of a friend as well as the VT victim, he can't find the joy within him that Christians are supposed to feel when a believer goes home to Heaven. Instead, he's angry, and with good reason. Death is not natural to this life. When God created the world, death was not a part of it; it was introduced with sin. So it is natural that we feel sad, angry, and hurt when death affects us. We should feel that way, because it means that we aren't meant for this world and are looking forward to the next one. Rogers' insights on this and other issues make the book a must read. It reads almost like a longform Psalm, starting with a crying out to God in pain, seeking answers, and then praising God for His holiness and trusting in his plan. It not only offers wisdom about death and suffering, but a view on how to keep going as well.
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