Why, O God? (Foreword by Randy Alcorn): Suffering and Disability in the Bible and the Church - eBook
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Publication Date: 2011
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With two in seven American families affected by disability, the body of Christ has a great opportunity for ministry. This new anthology uniquely points the way, training churches, caregivers, pastors, and counselors to compassionately respond.
The books contributorsranging from Joni Eareckson Tada and others living with disabilities, to seminary professors, ministry leaders, and medical professionalsdo more than offer a biblical perspective on suffering and disability; they draw from very personal experiences to explore Christians responsibility toward those who suffer. The volume addresses various disabilities and age-related challenges, end-of-life issues, global suffering, and other concernsall the while reminding readers that as they seek to help the hurting, they will be ministered to in return.
This unprecedented work, which includes a foreword by Randy Alcorn, belongs in the hands of every Christian worker and caring individual who is seeking a real-world, biblical perspective on suffering.
pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church; former President, Southern Baptist Convention
It has been said that suffering is the most common denominator among humans. Whether you are one of the 660 million people worldwide affected by disability, or your suffering takes another form, youve probably asked the question, Why, God? Here is a book that addresses the difficult issues surrounding suffering and disabilities. I commend Waters and Zuck, and the other contributors, for powerfully calling the church to provide a biblical response to suffering and to point people to Christ.
Managing Director, Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability
This is the most comprehensive biblical theology on the mystery of human suffering I have ever read. Illustrated by deeply moving experiences from the lives of many of its authors, it can easily be adopted for effective public teaching.
-David C. Cotten,
Pastor of Senior Adults, Edmond Faith Bible Church; Retired Vice President for Student Services, Professor of Pastoral Ministries, Dallas Theological Seminary
Sadly, ministry to the disabled within our churches is a much-neglected area. This book rightly identifies it as a priority that demands our thoughtful response. Yet never before has a single book combined such a rich harmony of insights from scholars across so many disciplines, ranging from biblical studies to the medical field. It reminds us, too, that disabled believers have an important ministry to the non-disabled in the church as bearing witness to the grace of God who redeems all our sufferings with a loving purpose. This book will serve as a valuable resource in churches, colleges, and seminaries for years to come.
President, Dallas Baptist University
The question as to why righteous individuals suffer is as old as the days of Job. Why, O God? first faces the problem biblically, searching the Scriptures to find Gods perspective on suffering. Then it faces the problem experientially, as many who have seriously suffered share their stories to show the sufficiency of Gods grace and what they learned from their sufferings. A study of the first will provide a foundation for understanding of suffering, and a study of the second will be an encouragement to all who suffer because they bear testimony of the grace of God. This balanced approach provides a work that will answer many questions as to why the righteous suffer, and it is highly recommended.
-J. Dwight Pentecost,
Distinguished Professor of Bible Exposition, Emeritus, Dallas Theological Seminary
What a wonderful book! Waters and Zuck have uniquely addressed the problem of suffering through the testimonies of those who have suffered and the lessons God has taught them. The wisdom of these fellow pilgrims is thoroughly buttressed with profound biblical studies by seminary professors, giving us needed insight into the question why. Any pastor or counselor will benefit from reading this-most of all, anyone who suffers or who knows someone who does. Highly recommended!
Former President, BEE World; Founder, Internet Biblical Seminary
Pastor DanWichita, KSAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Essays on Suffering and DisabilityJuly 27, 2011Pastor DanWichita, KSAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This new book from Crossway is one that every Pastor of Pastoral Care or every Pastor of Disabled Ministries is going to need to purchase and keep on hand. The essays are amazing. They are not so much academic in nature as they are personal and practical in nature.
Each of those contributing to the book have either dealt with their own disability (Joni Erickson Tada) or are the care giver for someone who is disabled (Gregory Hatteberg for his wife Lisa). Their experiences give them a platform from which to write with passion, grace, understanding and insight. Each of the authors also comes from a very deep Biblical Commitment to the truth of God's word and the truth of God's love for His creation, man.
I think one of the major things that struck me was the love each of these people has for their spouses. Often times you find the author referring back to the marriage vows that were taken when they first married. Those vows of in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better or worse. . . . these vows really come home to people who have a spouse who is dealing with a disability. They see how those vows are important. They are a commitment that they made before God and need to be fulfilled. When God made vows with man he made a commitment to always fulfill those vows, His Covenants were promises that were and are always fulfilled.
The statistics that get pointed out often are that many spouses abandoned or divorce their disabled spouse because it is too difficult to deal with. This is not what they signed up for. But low and behold the authors remind us that no, really, this is what they signed up for. This is how they will show the world the Love of Christ, how they respond to this crisis and to their loved one.
Further the book gives many practical suggestions to us the church about how we should minister to the disabled. How we should treat the handicapped. How we need to be careful that we don't treat these people as though they are broken or sinful or (can I really say this) dumb. Yeah, several times it is pointed out that we at times treat the handicapped as though they don't have any IQ or cognitive abilities. That is not always the case. So there are good practical notes for us to take as we develop our ministries and reach out to our communities.
One last major section that I appreciated was the discussion often to us about the Biblical aspect of Suffering. How do we respond to people who are in pain? How do we respond to people who are disabled? How do we answer their honest questions of, WHY ME?
How do you help people to move past the bitterness and anger at God and help them to honestly see the blessings and gifts that God has given to them. I really think the best chapter for me was Chapter Five. Gregory Hatteberg tells of the terrible development in his marriage with Lisa when they discovered that she had MS. She gave birth to four fabulous children and had a husband who was in Seminary and wanting to go into ministry. What would the MS do to their dreams. Well, you need to read it for yourself. But Gregory's selfless love for his wife and family are the things that we Pastors wish we would see in all couples who get married in our churches.
Well, I have gone on to long. Do you realize by now that I loved this book? I think we all need to read it, think about it, and gain all of the insights we can from it. If nothing else please learn about how God wants you to keep the VOWS that you make.
God bless and Enjoy!
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