This book details various cultural approaches to pain and suffering and offers strategies for coping with suffering from a Christian perspective. Author Timothy Keller addresses sticky questions such as the relationship between the sovereignty of God and the free will of mankind. I read it looking for ways to address suffering in my own life and for guidance in helping others deal with suffering. I found it very helpful and thought provoking on both counts.
Part One of the book focuses on the various approaches to suffering and the problem of evil as dealt with in other cultures and from a secular viewpoint in contrast to the Christian approach. Part 2 looks at suffering from God’s viewpoint and what it might accomplish in our lives. The author also considers the impact of our suffering Savior on our faith. Part 3 suggests ways to walk with God through pain and suffering.
According to Keller, there are benefits to suffering and God uses suffering to shape us as Christians. He includes scriptural examples of suffering with a focus on Job and the voice of a sufferer as found in Psalm 42.
Extensive notes give ample reference to the author’s findings. While the book is not light reading, Keller’s writing is very clear and understandable. I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to better understand how to face life’s challenges without losing faith.