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Why, O God?: Suffering and Disability in the Bible and the Church Paperback – July 7, 2011


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Why, O God?: Suffering and Disability in the Bible and the Church + An Introduction to the New Testament, Vols. 1-3 + Has the Church Replaced Israel?: A Theological Evaluation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (July 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433525801
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433525803
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Who doesn’t ask why? It is the question we all consider. I am grateful for this biblical and personal approach to suffering which will minister love and healing to the body of Christ.”
Jack Graham, pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church; former President, Southern Baptist Convention

“It has been said that suffering is the most common denominator among humans. Whether you are one of the 660 million people worldwide affected by disability, or your suffering takes another form, you’ve probably asked the question, ‘Why, God?’ Here is a book that addresses the difficult issues surrounding suffering and disabilities. I commend Waters and Zuck, and the other contributors, for powerfully calling the church to provide a biblical response to suffering and to point people to Christ.”
Steve Bundy, Managing Director, Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability

“This is the most comprehensive biblical theology on the mystery of human suffering I have ever read. Illustrated by deeply moving experiences from the lives of many of its authors, it can easily be adopted for effective public teaching.”
David C. Cotten, Pastor of Senior Adults, Edmond Faith Bible Church; Retired Vice President for Student Services, Professor of Pastoral Ministries, Dallas Theological Seminary

“Sadly, ministry to the disabled within our churches is a much-neglected area. This book rightly identifies it as a priority that demands our thoughtful response. Yet never before has a single book combined such a rich harmony of insights from scholars across so many disciplines, ranging from biblical studies to the medical field. It reminds us, too, that disabled believers have an important ministry to the non-disabled in the church as bearing witness to the grace of God who redeems all our sufferings with a loving purpose. This book will serve as a valuable resource in churches, colleges, and seminaries for years to come.”
Gary Cook, President, Dallas Baptist University

“The question as to why righteous individuals suffer is as old as the days of Job. Why, O God? first faces the problem biblically, searching the Scriptures to find God’s perspective on suffering. Then it faces the problem experientially, as many who have seriously suffered share their stories to show the sufficiency of God’s grace and what they learned from their sufferings. A study of the first will provide a foundation for understanding of suffering, and a study of the second will be an encouragement to all who suffer because they bear testimony of the grace of God. This balanced approach provides a work that will answer many questions as to why the righteous suffer, and it is highly recommended.”
J. Dwight Pentecost, Distinguished Professor of Bible Exposition, Emeritus, Dallas Theological Seminary

“What a wonderful book! Waters and Zuck have uniquely addressed the problem of suffering through the testimonies of those who have suffered and the lessons God has taught them. The wisdom of these fellow pilgrims is thoroughly buttressed with profound biblical studies by seminary professors, giving us needed insight into the question why. Any pastor or counselor will benefit from reading this—most of all, anyone who suffers or who knows someone who does. Highly recommended!”
Joseph Dillow, Former President, BEE World; Founder, Internet Biblical Seminary

About the Author

LARRY J. WATERS (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, and also teaches for the World Missions and Intercultural Studies department. Before joining the faculty of DTS he served as a missionary in the Philippines from 1973 to 1999. His worldwide ministry continues, alongside his wife Mary, primarily in the Philippines. He is the author of Bible and Missions curriculum for the Internet Biblical Seminary connected with BEE World, and a New Testament Survey for a large missionary organization. Larry also serves as a Member of the Bibliotheca Sacra Editorial Advisory Committee.

ROY B. ZUCK (ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is senior professor emeritus of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary where has been teaching for the past 23 years. He has also served as vice president for Academic Affairs and academic dean. Dr. Zuck's ministry is noted for clear exposition of Scripture with emphasis on application of the Bible to life. He is the author or editor of more than 90 books, has written scores of articles, and has long served as editor of Bibliotheca Sacra.

Randy Alcorn (MA, Multnomah University) is a New York Times best-selling author and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. Alcorn has written over forty books, including The Treasure Principle, Heaven, If God is Good, and the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home, as well as the graphic novel, Eternity. He has also authored and contributed to several books for Crossway, including Tell Me About Heaven, For the Fame of God's Name, and O Love That Will Not Let Me Go. He has written for many magazines, has been a guest on hundreds of radio, television, and online programs, and has taught on the adjunct faculties of Multnomah University and Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. The father of two married daughters, Alcorn lives in Oregon with his wife and best friend, Nanci. They are the proud grandparents of five grandsons.

Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, which ministers to thousands of disabled people and their families through programs of practical encouragement and spiritual help. She is also an artist and the author of numerous best-selling books such as Joni; Heaven: Your Real Home; and When God Weeps.


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Customer Reviews

This book covers a wide range of topics.
G. Thomas
This book is meant to be read in a thoughtful and considerate manner where you have time to really pay attention to it's message.
JGS350
If nothing else please learn about how God wants you to keep the VOWS that you make.
William D. Curnutt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Easley VINE VOICE on August 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
According to some theologians, to live is to suffer. In "Why O God? Suffering and Disability in the Bible and the Church", Larry J. Waters and Roy B. Zuck provide us with and excellent text on suffering and disability. The book proffers a collection of essays by noted Christians on the topic. The text contains a rather extensive review of suffering in the Bible. Suffering is shown as natural and something to be expected. The writers draw extensively on personal experiences as well as scriptures.

When many of us see a person with disabilities, our reaction is that he needs help. Some of us try our best to aid the disabled, from pushing their wheelchair to fetching objects for them. We listen to their troubles and admire their ability to endure disability, but few churches offer the disabled as a resource. How often do we see the disabled as spiritual people? How often do we think that they might have something to offer us - some spiritual insights gained from their suffering and pain?

Why O God? surprised me. I expected a textbook thesis on the theology of suffering and how religious people are supposed to encourage each other that God loves them and that the pain will go away. This book presents a very different point of view. As a disabled veteran, I appreciate this book and its message.

Typically the first reaction of a healthy person who is suddenly faced with disability is "why me?" Often the next questions are "why God do I have this condition?", and "what did I do to deserve this problem?" Eventually they accept their new limitations and focus upon survival. Most people with serious disability devote much effort into overcoming the barriers that their body and society place between them and a happy self controlled life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Central Illinoisian in Chicago VINE VOICE on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My son has Autism - and while there are many children with conditions far worse than his, he is clearly disabled by it, rather than "enhanced". I've struggled with my Catholicism as a result of the experience, and have read many books and articles to try to come to grips with how a loving God, willing to grant miracles, could allow this tragedy to befall my lovely boy, and what He wants from me, my wife and my son.

This book didn't provide me with any answers beyond, really, "Life can be hard", and "Job had it worse". That's an exaggeration, I know, but I fear that anyone in a Church Ministry for the disabled will need other books to lean upon if they want to be able to deal with the challenges that suffering and disability presents to one's faith. In particular, there's nothing in the book that really helps those in such a Ministry to deal with the Parents or the Spouses of those affected. I have said many times that it would be far easier for me to deal with a problem that directly struck me - having it hit my child, and in a way that I can do little to protect him from has been devastating, both emotionally and spiritually.

I had hoped this book would provide some insight into that issue - how can you love a God that apparently doesn't care? The question is asked, and somewhat explored, but no real answers are given or really even hinted at, other than "Have Faith" and "Endure".

I have, and I will, but I was looking for something more. It may not be possible for any book to be written that can offer it, but if a Parent or Spouse walks into the Church and lays their spiritual burden at the feet of someone whose using this book as their primary guide, that Parent or Spouse is going to walk out of the Church soon after, with little to have gained from the experience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dorothyanne VINE VOICE on August 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As someone who is living with a disability, I found this book helpful for me to try to understand not only the "why?" of my disability but the "what next?" I am also convinced, after reading these articles, that churches should be aware of this segment of the population and strive to meet its needs. This book is a great source of practical information for implementing and carrying out this ministry, with persuasive arguments supported by Scripture. I have also learned that I am not disabled only to be ministered to, but to be able to use my disability to minister to others.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William D. Curnutt TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This new book from Crossway is one that every Pastor of Pastoral Care or every Pastor of Disabled Ministries is going to need to purchase and keep on hand. The essays are amazing. They are not so much academic in nature as they are personal and practical in nature.

Each of those contributing to the book have either dealt with their own disability (Joni Erickson Tada) or are the care giver for someone who is disabled (Gregory Hatteberg for his wife Lisa). Their experiences give them a platform from which to write with passion, grace, understanding and insight. Each of the authors also comes from a very deep Biblical Commitment to the truth of God's word and the truth of God's love for His creation, man.

I think one of the major things that struck me was the love each of these people has for their spouses. Often times you find the author referring back to the marriage vows that were taken when they first married. Those vows of in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better or worse. . . . these vows really come home to people who have a spouse who is dealing with a disability. They see how those vows are important. They are a commitment that they made before God and need to be fulfilled. When God made vows with man he made a commitment to always fulfill those vows, His Covenants were promises that were and are always fulfilled.

The statistics that get pointed out often are that many spouses abandoned or divorce their disabled spouse because it is too difficult to deal with. This is not what they signed up for. But low and behold the authors remind us that no, really, this is what they signed up for. This is how they will show the world the Love of Christ, how they respond to this crisis and to their loved one.
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