Monday, June 13, 2016

Between Pain and Grace by Peterman, Schmutzer

book cover
Between Pain and Grace
by Gerald W. Peterman,
Andrew J. Schmutzer

ISBN-13: 9780802409676
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Released: June 7, 2016

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Why does suffering exist? Where is God in it? Despite how common suffering is, we still struggle to understand it, and even more, to bear through it.

Born from a popular college course on suffering, this book answers many of our critical questions, like: Is God personally involved in our pain and suffering? How should Christians handle emotions like grief and anger? What does the Bible say about issues like mental illness, sexual abuse, and betrayal?

Between Pain and Grace is useful both in the classroom and for personal reading. The authors pull together Scripture, personal experiences, and even psychological research to offer a well-rounded take on suffering.

My Review:
Between Pain and Grace provides a Biblical view of pain and suffering. It has an academic tone and appears to be aimed mostly at Christian leaders and counselors. The authors believe that God is both all-good and all-powerful. Much of the book focused on what the Bible says about the topic (either in teachings or in historical narratives).

They started by discussing pain, suffering, and the difference between them. They explored the origins of suffering as found in Genesis and discussed the verses where either God or Jesus is described as suffering. They discussed the language of lament in the Bible and urge the modern church to use laments in their services. They looked at redemptive anger (against injustice, which leads to action to make things right) and the Lord's Prayer. They talked about the role of Christians and Christian leaders regarding suffering--especially how they act toward suffering people in their church. They devote a chapter each to fractured families, sexual abuse, and mental illness.

This is probably not a book you want to hand someone in fresh, deep emotional pain, but it is a good look at the theology of suffering and how the church as a whole can better help those who are suffering.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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