Sunday, April 01, 2007

Suffering and the Courage of God: Exploring Where Grace and Suffering Meet

From the Publisher's Weekly review:

In this brief, satisfyingly pastoral volume, Morris, an Episcopal priest, reflects homiletically on suffering and the nature of both God and humanity. He begins by rejecting the common Christian assumption that suffering is inherently good, and that God loves us best when we take abuse gladly. Instead, Morris exhorts his readers to respond courageously and redemptively to suffering, and to do so with Christ as a model. While he refers graciously to other faith traditions, Morris speaks from an unabashedly Christian perspective, and despite the slimness of this book, he manages to proffer some big ideas. With some especially fine insights about Job, he argues for a universe in which human actions, randomness and God's sovereignty combine to determine events. Moreover, he suggests that suffering is never as pervasive as God's love, goodness and ability to redeem even the worst situation. This optimistic proposition, however, does not take the form of pithy bromides that underestimate the depth of human suffering. Rather, Morris cites his own struggle with mental illness and the devastating stories of people to whom he has ministered to show that while God rarely makes all the pain disappear, God does bless sufferers in powerful and surprising ways.

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