Why doesn't doing good guarantee an easy life? One of the most common objections to the Christian Faith is 'If God created the universe, and is still in control of it, then why does He allow suffering and injustice?' Melvin Tinker considers the different opinions people have before investigating the biblical answers about a crucial topic that needs to be faced by an evangelistic church. Tinker looks at the situations biblical characters faced, the opposition to Jesus himself, and the suffering of the early church. This book provides the key factors behind the benefit and purpose of suffering.
“Some of the good which can be brought out of evil can be glimpsed in this life. For example, through suffering we may become more caring, sympathetic and, in a profound way, more whole people. We are reminded, quite rightly, that we are not gods, but contingent beings. Also it is no bad thing to have our minds focused on eternal matters through pain, so coming to the realisation that this life is not the whole story. Suffering can be a means into a deeper, more intimate relationship with the God for whom we were made.” (Page 30)
“From one point of view, the cross was the worst thing that could have happened (the murder of the divine Son, and so pinpointing even more forcefully our rebellious attitude towards God). Yet at the same time the cross was the best thing that ever happened (the divine means of rescuing us).” (Page 29)
“The second lesson we need to learn from this introduction is that God does not blame us if, in our suffering, we vent our feelings to him, that we cry to him, or even shout at him if necessary, so unloading the emotional pain on to him. That is what Job does in chapter 3.” (Page 52)
“What makes suffering morally unacceptable?’, a prior question needs to be addressed: ‘Is all suffering evil or is it evil only within certain contexts?’” (Page 18)
“The first lesson is that God is sovereign over suffering: that in a mysterious way which we cannot fathom, suffering falls within his overruling power.” (Page 50)
Right from the first page this book is easy reading, yet it deals with the most difficult subject Christians ever have to face - the question of why a loving God allows suffering. A wonderful antidote to self-pity, I can highly recommend this book to anyone, but particularly to those who struggle to know what to say or how to help when their friends are going through the mill.
—Jennifer Rees Larcombe, Christian Herald
...not only an apologetic and a pastoral help but also puts the reader into immediate contact with Job and the Psalmists as they struggle with the issues for real. The book is a deceptively easy read, written in an everyday style with biblical and contemporary illustrations. It is well worth a read.
Melvin Tinker is Vicar of St John’s Newland, Chairman of Yorkshire Gospel Partnership, co-director of Northern Training Course, and is a leading member of the Anglican group 'REFORM'. He is a popular author on culture and faith. He is married to Heather and they have 3 grown-up sons.