Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Question That Never Goes Away by Philip Yancey


It is a question that cries out for an answer when we can't wrap our minds around the Hand of God allowing pain. 

Yancey writes with clarity and honesty, never deviating from the strong belief that God is Love, even in the darkest moments: Sarajevo, tsunamis, twenty little kindergarteners whose lives are snuffed out at Christmastime. Is God there? Does He care? Yancey examines these questions from a variety of religions and world views, including atheism, concluding logically that only Christianity provides hope and redemption for the heartache and pain of humanity. 

Just 154 pages, this is an excellent book to give someone who has experienced great loss.  Yancey's crisp, sweeping, journalistic style of writing includes thoughts from some of my favorite writers on the subject of pain: C.S. Lewis, Nouwen, Jerry Sittser.  Because of Yancey's extensive research, many short quotes from other sources are shared. Two rather confusing ones made me pause though: one, an evolutionary view of how humans show compassion, and the other referring to "the God of 14 billion years since the beginning of the universe." Elsewhere the author affirms his own views on our Creator God, but the lack of clarification would make me hesitate a bit before I gave the book to an unbeliever. 

Having experienced the loss of a child, I know that some of the greatest healing came to my heart from reading books people gave to me.  I have a shelf dedicated to grief and loss and it's kind of a revolving library because I give away the best ones to others who would benefit. The Question That Never Goes Away is already headed to a friend of mine, so I will have to order my own copy to restock my bookshelf. 

This hopeful, clear, healing little book validates pain while pointing to our Creator Who sent His Son to die so that pain and sin wouldn't define humanity forever.
Disclosure: I received this book for free through the blogger review program, BookSneeze.  I was not required to write a positive review. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you ... I remember stumbling across Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb when I was 20 and grappling with my first heartbreak. You probably remember. That was my first introduction into God allowing suffering for our good ... and now here I am 11 years later about to lose a baby and grappling through this all over again. Loved your previous post on Gabe, too. Time is a vehicle that brings healing ... thank you for that.