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The question of why God would allow pain and suffering in the world has vexed believers and nonbelievers for millennia. Timothy Keller, whose books have sold millions of copies to both religious and secular readers, takes on this enduring issue and shows that there is meaning and reason behind our pain and suffering, making a forceful and ground-breaking case that this essential part of the human experience can be overcome only by understanding our relationship with God.
As the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, Timothy Keller is known for his unique insights into religion and culture. Keller’s series of books has guided countless readers in their spiritual journeys. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering uses biblical wisdom and personal stories of overcoming adversity to bring a much-needed, fresh viewpoint to this important issue.
“Nothing is more important than to learn how to maintain a life of purpose in the midst of painful adversity.” (Page 13)
“When pain and suffering come upon us, we finally see not only that we are not in control of our lives but that we never were.” (Page 5)
“The Bible calls trials and troubles ‘walking through fire’ (Isa 43:2) or a ‘fiery ordeal’ (1 Pet 4:12). But it also likens suffering to a fiery furnace (1 Pet 1:6–7). The biblical understanding of a furnace is more what we would call a ‘forge.’ Anything with that degree of heat is, of course, a very dangerous and powerful thing. However, if used properly, it does not destroy. Things put into the furnace properly can be shaped, refined, purified, and even beautified. This is a remarkable view of suffering, that if faced and endured with faith, it can in the end only make us better, stronger, and more filled with greatness and joy. Suffering, then, actually can use evil against itself. It can thwart the destructive purposes of evil and bring light and life out of darkness and death.” (Page 8)
“Looking back on our lives, Kathy and I came to realize that at the heart of why people disbelieve and believe in God, of why people decline and grow in character, of how God becomes less real and more real to us—is suffering. And when we looked to the Bible to understand this deep pattern, we came to see that the great theme of the Bible itself is how God brings fullness of joy not just despite but through suffering, just as Jesus saved us not in spite of but because of what he endured on the cross.” (Page 6)
Walking with God through Pain and Suffering may be the most comprehensive contemporary book on the subject. And for me, that’s saying something. The book is incredibly well researched, yet it is impossibly personal. Keller has a way of taking the walking wounded by the hand and gently placing it in the Savior’s.
—Joni Eareckson Tada
A luminous and ultimately hopeful examination of the many aspects of suffering.
It has something for everyone—something for the agnostic (Keller makes a strong argument that there are no true atheists); something for the philosopher (although he invites the wounded reader to skip that section); and something for the believer being beckoned into the inner sanctum of sharing in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings (a place no one naturally wants to go).
—The Gospel Coalition
It is a resource that takes a multidimensional approach to suffering—tackling the internal and external realities—and takes us deep theologically and practically.
—Vertical Living Ministries
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