Surprised by Suffering, Revised and Expanded   -     By: R.C Sproul
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Surprised by Suffering, Revised and Expanded

Reformation Trust Publishing / 2009 / Hardcover

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In this classic book, now in a revised and expanded edition, R.C. Sproul argues that we should not be surprised by suffering, rather we should expect pain and sorrow in this life. Sproul offers biblical counsel and comfort for those in trying times and those who minister to the suffering. His words will help believers who face difficult times stand in faith.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 157
Vendor: Reformation Trust Publishing
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.25 (inches)
ISBN-13: 9781567691849
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Suffering often seems to catch us by surprise. One day we are healthy, comfortable, and happy. The next we find ourselves ill or injured, struggling, and distraught. The pain that invades our lives may come from our own suffering or that of a loved one. But no matter the source, we didn't see it coming. All too often, our perplexity prompts us to suspect God of wrongdoing.

In this classic book, republished in a revised and expanded edition, Dr. R. C. Sproul argues that we should not be surprised by suffering; instead, we should expect pain and sorrow in this life. Some are actually called to a "vocation" of suffering, and all of us are called to undergo the ultimate suffering of death. God promises in His Word that difficult times will come upon us, but He also promises that He allows suffering for our good and His glory, and He will never give us more than we can bear with His help.

Dr. Sproul offers solid biblical counsel and comfort for those undergoing suffering and for tho

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Life is full of hardship; however, in his book Surprised by Suffering, Dr. R. C. Sproul explains that the obstacles we overcome are divine vocations designed by God for our ultimate good. Although many Christians view suffering as a stumbling block or a threat from Satan, Sproul argues that suffering is a pathway to redemption. Paraphrasing this idea, 2 Timothy 2:11 says: “If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him.” According to Sproul, the church is called to be the literal body of Christ, suffering with him to be redeemed with him.

Throughout the book, Sproul interprets Scripture and employs thought-provoking examples to illustrate his ideas. In a series of personal anecdotes, he explains that he learned the necessity of trusting Christ when his terminally-ill father taught him how to die. Since then, Sproul has seen suffering in perspective to God’s plan, understanding that the afflictions faced in this world cannot be compared to the blessings of eternity.

Senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew’s church in Sanford, Florida, he has authored more than seventy books. Sproul is also the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, and he hosts a daily radio program called Renewing Your Mind.

Using personal experiences and observations as a springboard for biblical interpretation, Sproul testifies to the power of hope amidst hardship – even death. His book is divided into two sections. “Part One: Unto Death” is about understanding the purpose of suffering and persevering in times of trial. “Part Two: After Death” focuses primarily on Heaven’s existence and significance. At the end of the book, Sproul addresses other commonly asked questions about suffering in a brief question and answer section.

Overall, Surprised by Suffering is a book of condolence. As a biblical scholar, Sproul relies heavily on Scripture to develop his ideas, and he uses modern examples to clarify complex concepts. With an appropriate balance of serious stories and humorous commentary, he presents an inspiring interpretation of difficult circumstances, and brings up several issues that would be good for small group discussion. Therefore, I would recommend this book to teens and adults of all ages who would like a better understanding of suffering from a biblical standpoint. – Kara Hackett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

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  1. Wisconsin
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Suffering through death and its trials
    March 28, 2011
    Ben Umnus
    Wisconsin
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Prior to reading this I wanted to learn more about suffering, be able to explain to others the concept of and purpose for it, and to understand how to handle that suffering when facing it head on. I had a desire to grow and learn spiritually, so I chose to read two books concerning this subject and one of those books was Surprised by Suffering. I enjoyed reading another book by Dr. Sproul earlier this year. I have also enjoyed listening to his podcast on occasion too. From those experiences, I figured Dr. R.C. Sproul would provide some valuable insight... Although I certainly learned from this read, I feel this book should have been renamed Surprised by Death or Enduring Death and its Trials of Suffering instead.

    Dr. Sproul dives into death's devastating effects on humanity, animals, the planet, friends, families, and especially the dying person themselves. He also speaks of what those who are in Christ can look forward to after death. I found interesting the brief discussion of the Biblical and Philosophical aspects of the after life. And I really liked reading his Questions and Answers section too; very informative. Surprised by Suffering is a certainly a book which speaks about suffering, however I found its primary focus was towards the suffering unleashed by death. Although I feel the title is slightly misleading and some of the philosophical talk was a little dry, what this book teaches is applicable towards other forms of suffering too.

    Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Reformation Trust Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Reformation Trust Publishing to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus. This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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