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Suffering can make even secure and mature Christians wonder: How can I believe that God is good, that he is with me and for me? It is by no means certain that suffering people will find comfort in Christianity. Some Christians even choose to reject their ...

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JEFFREY Trapp

February 14, 2014  10:54pm

"It is only in the past 200 years, Keller argues, that Westerners have used evil and suffering as arguments against the existence (or goodness) of God." Keller is wrong. Epicurus, the ancient Greek philosopher, asked if God is all good and all powerful, how can there be suffering? If he is all good, he would want to alleviate suffering, but suffering exists; thus he cannot be all powerful. If he is all powerful and suffering still exists, he must not be all good. Boethius refers to this argument by Epicurus in his Consolation of Philosophy, c. A.D. 530. Many theologians have tried to answer Epicurus' question, but there is no one definitive answer.

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Janna Marie

February 06, 2014  11:31am

I am so glad that I found this link in my twitter feed today. I have been suffering with pain since I was 12 yrs old and I am now 29. At times I am terribly disheartened and feel helpless, but I love the Lord and I have a wonderful church family as well as my immediate family & friends who support me and don't treat me as if I will always suffer. I have wanted to read Timothy Keller's book for months now, ever since simply walking through a bookstore and happening upon it. I wasn't in a good place at the time and didn't pick it up, but the title really struck me and stuck with me. I really enjoyed this review and I think it was the push I needed to get this book.

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Sally Apokedak

February 05, 2014  10:13pm

Thanks for this wonderful review. From what you wrote here, I would think the best time to read this book would be before you suffer. So you won't be surprised and so you'll know how to react when the suffering comes. There is really no need to be surprised by suffering. And if we know ahead of time that God disciplines those he loves and that our trials develop perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so we may be mature, lacking nothing, then it is possible to consider it pure joy when we suffer trials of various kinds. So I'd say this would a great book to give to college kids. And a great book to give to young married couples.

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Grady Walton

February 05, 2014  11:29am

When a person has suffered (especially in physical pain) for decades, well-intentioned books like these can seem appealing, but ultimately they can sound like platitudes. Intense, persistent, long-term suffering does not loosen its grip because of reasoned arguments and thoughtful encouragements. As Christians, we often want to offer a few quick words of encouragement, say a prayer, and move on. We are uncomfortable with walking alongside the suffering person year after weary year. Perhaps this reality says more about us than the victim of suffering. Anyhow, all a suffering person can do is to ask God for relief and endurance. Of course, the suffering person also has a responsibility to pursue relief and healing.

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