Saturday, June 30, 2018

Going Deeper: Good Books on the Problem of Suffering

These are some of the books I'd recommend for people who are wrestling with the problem of pain and suffering:

When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty by Joni Earekson Tada and Steven Estes

The best book I’ve ever read on suffering by someone who has truly suffered. Joni shares from her experience as a quadriplegic after a tragic accident. Estes is her theological mentor and an EFCA pastor. Together they emphasize the compatibility of God’s wise sovereignty and His loving care.

Why Does God Allow Evil? Compelling Answers For Life’s Toughest Questions by Clay Jones

Jones is a professor of apologetics at Biola University. In this very readable book, he emphasizes the concept of free-will.

The Problem of Pain: The Intellectual Problem Raised by Human Suffering, Examined with Sympathy and Realism by C.S. Lewis.

A 20th century classic. Lewis approaches the problem on a more academic level but shows great compassion.

How Long, O LORD? Reflections on Suffering and Evil by D.A. Carson

Carson is the president of The Gospel Coalition and has taught for decades at the Trinity. His deeply insightful book is also on a higher level but is brimming with Scripture not just philosophy.

The Problem of God: Answering a Skeptic’s Challenges to Christianity by Mark Clark

Pastor Clark’s short chapter on suffering and evil is worth the price of the book. He suggests that the problem of pain is just as problematic to atheists and proponents of other religions and world views. Easy to read and thoughtful.

A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament by Michael Card

A beautiful elegy to tear-filled faith. The award-winning singer/songwriter reintroduces us to the rich biblical writings that express our sadness, especially the psalms of lament (like Psalm 13).

Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love by Ed Welch

How do we relate to people who are suffering? Life is hard, and we need each other. Welch gives us the do’s and don’ts of walking alongside folks who are hurting.