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Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering



“This book will make no attempt to defend God. . . . If you are looking for a book that boasts triumphantly of conquest over a great enemy, or gives a detached philosophical analysis that neatly solves an absorbing problem, this isn’t it.”

Too often the Christian attitude toward suffering is characterized by a detached academic appeal to God's sovereignty, as if suffering were a game or a math problem. Or maybe we expect that since God is good, everything will just work out all right somehow. But where then is honest lament? Aren’t we shortchanging believers of the riches of the Christian teaching about suffering?

In Embodied Hope Kelly Kapic invites us to consider the example of our Lord Jesus. Only because Jesus has taken on our embodied existence, suffered alongside us, died, and been raised again can we find any hope from the depths of our own dark valleys of pain. As we look to Jesus, we are invited to participate not only in his sufferings, but also in the church, which calls us out of isolation and into the encouragement and consolation of the communal life of Christ.

Drawing on his own family’s experience with prolonged physical pain, Kapic reshapes our understanding of suffering into the image of Jesus, and brings us to a renewed understanding of—and participation in—our embodied hope.

This product includes a companion study guide for further understanding.

Resource Experts

2018 Christianity Today Book of the Year Winner - Theology/Ethics

2018 WORLD Magazine Book of the Year Short List - Accessible Theology

2018 Creative Quarterly Professional Graphic Design Runner-Up

2017 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Top Shelf Book Cover Award

  • Explores the importance of hope and lament
  • Provides renewed understanding of our embodied hope
  • Invites readers to consider the example of our Lord Jesus

Part I: The Struggle

  • Hard Thoughts About God
  • Don’t Answer Why
  • Longing and Lament
  • Embracing Our Embodiment
  • Questions That Come with Pain

Part II: The Strangeness of God

  • One with Us: Incarnation
  • One for Us: Cross
  • Risen and Remaining

Part III: Life Together

  • Faith, Hope, and Love
  • Confession and the Other
  • Faithful
Here is a rare gift of love to the Christian church—especially for sufferers, their watchers, and all who observe deep pain. Kelly Kapic combines love for Scripture, familiarity with the spiritual masters of the past (Athanasius, Luther, and John Owen, to name but a few), and friendship with contemporary sufferers, together with a gracious sensitivity to the sometimes inscrutable wisdom of God. Kapic’s reliable and gently applied theology, married as it is to personal experience, offers exactly what the title suggests: embodied hope.

—Sinclair Ferguson, teaching fellow, Ligonier Ministries, author of Deserted by God?

Embodied Hope is a breath of fresh air and a source of hope, as Kapic takes a holistic approach to pain and suffering. Rather than downplaying orthodoxy in order to be practical and compassionate, he gives us a rich teaching of Christian anthropology, Christ’s person and work, and an eternal perspective. He takes care to deal with the physical aspects of suffering as well as its connection with the spiritual. This approach directs our gaze to Christ while not ignoring the hard questions that sufferers and caretakers must face.

—Aimee Byrd, author of Housewife Theologian and Theological Fitness

Elegant and accessible, Kelly Kapic’s personal and probing book Embodied Hope gives a theological exploration of suffering that stands apart from other books. Instead of giving Christian clichés or therapeutic platitudes, Kapic testifies to the way in which the triune God’s light shines in the darkness of physical pain, chronic illness, and loss. With pastoral sensitivity and theological insight, Kapic calls the church to live into her God-given identity, even in difficult seasons. I highly recommend it!

—J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament

In the Logos edition, this digital volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Citations link directly to English translations and original-language texts, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Kelly M. Kapic (PhD, King’s College London) is professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He is the author or editor of numerous books including A Little Book for New Theologians, God So Loved He Gave, Communion with God, Mapping Modern Theology, Sanctification, and Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition.


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