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Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering

ISBN: 9780830890972

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“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.

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“My wife describes feeling at times that God has more important things to deal with than one woman’s pain. The needs of a suffering world require his full attention, and she just needs to toughen up. Such thoughts, as she would say, are incorrect and only drive the sufferer to isolation from God. But sufferers commonly find these thoughts creeping in, twisting their image of the divine. God’s concern about such hard thoughts arises not because he cannot answer our questions or becomes defensive. No, they concern God because they keep us far from him.” (Pages 10–11)

“He will not only see physical pain everywhere but experience it deeply himself, and he will defeat sin and all the chaos it brings about, both in the human heart and in all our relationships. The Son of God comes as God’s great answer to Job’s deepest questions and concerns. He comes silently, quietly, humbly. But he comes.” (Page 69)

“Take careful note of the places that the Bible’s descriptions of God make us uncomfortable, and ask why they do so. These observations reveal broader problems in our thinking and attitudes. These are the places to dig in and rebuild.” (Page 12)

“Second, the suffering discussed here will normally mean the suffering associated with serious illness or physical pain” (Page 14)

“When these misconceptions take hold, they throw cold water on the small embers of our love for God.” (Page 11)

  • Title: Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering
  • Author: Kelly M. Kapic
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2017
  • Logos Release Date: 2020
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Suffering › Religious aspects--Christianity; Pain › Religious aspects--Christianity; Hope › Religious aspects--Christianity
  • ISBNs: 9780830890972, 9780830851799, 0830890971, 0830851798
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T01:28:28Z

Kelly M. Kapic, since 2001, has served as an associate professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of several books, including The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics.


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    Digital list price: $15.99
    Save $3.00 (18%)