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Where the Hell Is God? Paperback – November 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Leonard, SJ, is a Jesuit of the Australian Province. He is the director of the Australian Catholic Film Office, a consultant to the Australian Catholic Bishop's Media Committee, and a film critic for all the major Catholic newspapers of Australia. A holder of a doctorate in cinema studies, he has lectured all over the world.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587680602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587680601
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting provocative story about an Australian Catholic priest and his sister, a good person and a nurse doing charitable works. In an accident she suddenly becomes a quadriplegic. Hence, the title of the book. She even considers euthanasia. Ethical questions arise. She grapples with decisions; decides to live and goes on to lead a productive life. It's an easy, interesting read. It makes those who are whole feel grateful and gives hope to those who are not.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author uses a personal experience of family tragedy to begin a reflection on who God is and who God isn't. He puts to rest many if not most of the misconceptions about who God is and what God's will is, from the erroneous to the mythic. I've already given away over a half dozen of these gems to folks who struggle with an understanding of God in their lives.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book. It has more thought provoking material in it than any book I have read. It is not long but it is not necessarily an easy read. I found myself stopping my read and re-read what I just read then just thing about what Fr. Leonard had written. He challenges our preconceived ideas and he give his raltional for make his point. I highly recommend the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book addresses the age-old question, "How can a loving God permit suffering and injustice in the world?" The answer is spelled out more clearly here than in any books on the subject I've read, which include summaries of the writings of St. Aquinas and St. Augustine and of contemporary theologians. The book is short and well written in everyday language.

The first chapter in the book is titled "God is not out to get us". And the first paragraph there is: "God does not directly send or will pain, death, suffering, and disease. God does not punish us with bad things." (And "directly" is elaborated upon later in conjunction with God creating an imperfect world - yes, IMperfect.) What the author says about this and everything else he covers is so concisely and clearly put that I cannot possibly summarize any of it and do it justice. Suffice it to say here that God's unconditional love for us all at all times is extensively elucidated.

It's all about our God being a close-up, loving, personal God who is with us intimately every step of the way, suffering along with us when we suffer and always leading us home. He's our very best friend.

Martin Fricke, Ph.D.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've ever found yourself really pondering questions such as "God, why me? don't you love me?" --and I doubt there are many believers who have not--then, this book is a MUST. So far the best book, essay, treatise, article on the subject I have ever read (not that I've read that many anyway, but I am trying to make my point). This book helped me get closer to the God of my misunderstanding by debunking some myths and negative beliefs. I am not one to say, but if this is a theological work, (and I think it is), don't be put off by that. Because it reads like a favorite book: it's personal, inspiring, intelligent, deep yet simple, and keeps you looking forward to your cozy and quiet evening reading time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This short work is based on the author's own experience of tragedy in his family, along with his theologically sound image of God. We all sometimes ask the question as to God's whereabouts when we or family members are suffering, but it is our image of God that is usually at fault. Leonard points out the notion of God that is implied in some of our commonplace observations, some of which have not changed since the Book of Job.
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Format: Paperback
The book is plugged as an unique blend of the personal and theological, but the personal aspect of it is not especially powerful.
Leonard does have some good things to say about the importance of free will and God's presence through suffering.
But chapter five in the book, an argument against the supplementary atonement of Christ's death and its purposeful nature is borderline heretical. To quote Matthew 16:21 - "21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Peter objected to what Jesus had to say, and I believe Jesus might have had a "Get thee behind me, Satan" for Leonard here as well.
Leonard's less than wholehearted affirmation of miracles is disappointing as well. He seems to lean toward the idea that "modern science" has ruled out the miraculous, but God can still do miracles "through us". He seems to believe that since a miracle didn't happen for his quadriplegic sister, it won't happen for anyone. Scripture teaches that God does indeed intervene in the world, even if rarely and not by human weems. Much better treatment of the miraculous can be found in C. S. Lewis' "Miracles" and Tim Stafford's recent book of the same name. (And while one is looking at Lewis, see also "The Problem of Pain" and "A Grief Observed" for the classics in dealing with these issues from first a theological and then a personal perspective.)
But Leonard does have some worthy arguments and is worth a look for people struggling with the problem of evil and pain.
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