Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering
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Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering

IVP Academic / 2017 / Paperback

In Stock
Stock No: WW851799


Product Description

God doesn't remove pain, but he does provide resources to endure so as to give him the glory. Kapic invites us to think of the sorrows and agonies Jesus endured, and how he now comforts, consoles, and fortifies us. His reflections on suffering represent a wealth of autobiographical, theological, and ethical musings.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830851798
ISBN-13: 9780830851799

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Publisher's Description

"This book will make no attempt to defend God. . . . If you are looking for a book that boasts triumphantly of conquest over a great enemy, or gives a detached philosophical analysis that neatly solves an absorbing problem, this isn't it." Too often the Christian attitude toward suffering is characterized by a detached academic appeal to God's sovereignty, as if suffering were a game or a math problem. Or maybe we expect that since God is good, everything will just work out all right somehow. But where then is honest lament? Aren't we shortchanging believers of the riches of the Christian teaching about suffering? In Embodied Hope Kelly Kapic invites us to consider the example of our Lord Jesus. Only because Jesus has taken on our embodied existence, suffered alongside us, died, and been raised again can we find any hope from the depths of our own dark valleys of pain. As we look to Jesus, we are invited to participate not only in his sufferings, but also in the church, which calls us out of isolation and into the encouragement and consolation of the communal life of Christ. Drawing on his own family's experience with prolonged physical pain, Kapic reshapes our understanding of suffering into the image of Jesus, and brings us to a renewed understanding of—and participation in—our embodied hope.

Author Bio

Kelly M. Kapic (PhD, King's College London) is professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He is the author or editor of numerous books including , , , , , and .

Editorial Reviews

"Elegant and accessible, Kelly Kapic's personal and probing book Embodied Hope gives a theological exploration of suffering that stands apart from other books. Instead of giving Christian clichés or therapeutic platitudes, Kapic testifies to the way in which the triune God's light shines in the darkness of physical pain, chronic illness, and loss. With pastoral sensitivity and theological insight, Kapic calls the church to live into her God-given identity, even in difficult seasons. I highly recommend it!"
"I am all too familiar with the topic of this book, having lived as a quadriplegic for nearly fifty years and dealing daily with chronic pain. So I'm always heartened when I stumble upon a rich new resource that really encourages. That describes the remarkable book you hold in your hands. Rather than focus on why, Kelly makes much of how—how to trust God in this world. Best of all, Embodied Hope leads the reader to the foot of the cross, the only place to find true relief and healing. I love this book!"
"Kelly Kapic's Embodied Hope is a well-written and tremendously helpful theological meditation on pain and suffering, with many examples of ongoing and long-term conditions, including his wife's chronic pain. It is full of biblical realism, acknowledging struggle, confusion, longing, and lament as human in a compassionate and humane way, centered in Christ and his incarnation, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming. It also emphasizes the need for loving and prayerful support from one another in the body of Christ and faithfulness in loving God and others in the midst of such chronic pain and suffering. Highly recommended!"
"A famous Christian once described preaching as 'truth through personality.' By that definition, Kelly Kapic's new book is powerful preaching indeed. Kapic presents a range of biblical expositions, all filtered through his deeply personal wrestling with the ongoing chronic pain of his wife and some of his other friends. Here is sermonic theology to comfort, console, and fortify your faith."
"Out of Kapic's own encounter with pain has come a book that reflects deeply on the theological challenges it poses. As a theological meditation, it helps sufferers dispel distorted images of God and gently nudges them to engage in consideration of God's full identification with us in the incarnate Christ to find an existential answer to an existential problem. Pastors ministering to people facing the enigma of suffering will find here a resource that is at once theologically robust and pastorally sensitive."
"I know of many books about loss. I know of very few books about physical pain, which is the subject of Kelly Kapic's insightful and challenging book. His wife's experience of pain awakened him to the problem, and his broad study and deep reflection prepared him for the writing. Kapic accomplishes what is most difficult. Embodied Hope is personal, to be sure. A book like this one almost has to be. But it is also learned and pastoral. He interacts with great minds, both past and present. He explores relevant, even surprising topics, such as the significance of embodiment. Above all he lifts up Jesus Christ as the one who suffers with us and for us, who conquers death, who stands with us. This fresh book does it all. I learned a great deal while reading this book; I also felt a great deal. It is the combination of the two that I found so helpful."
"True theology is shaped, refined, and informed by the harsh realities of life. In Embodied Hope, Kelly Kapic re-examines Christian theology from the vantage point of the ongoing physical suffering that has invaded his own family. This is theology that touches down in real life. It moves from abstract, theoretical notions of God to truth that is necessary for faith to survive. Against the backdrop of human suffering, Embodied Hope invites honest engagement with the God who loves us. This book is a gift for those who are wrestling with hard questions and an important resource for ministry leaders in the church and the academy."
"Here is a rare gift of love to the Christian church—especially for sufferers, their watchers, and all who observe deep pain. Kelly Kapic combines love for Scripture, familiarity with the spiritual masters of the past (Athanasius, Luther, and John Owen, to name but a few), and friendship with contemporary sufferers, together with a gracious sensitivity to the sometimes inscrutable wisdom of God. Kapic's reliable and gently applied theology, married as it is to personal experience, offers exactly what the title suggests: embodied hope."

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  1. Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Theology and Practical Insight!
    September 27, 2017
    Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Kelly Kapic dives deep into the theology of suffering in this fine volume. Theres nothing of glib, overly-generalized platitudes, or fluff to be found in its pages. Theres no attempt to dissect suffering in a dry academic way either. No, this book probes what the Bible actually teaches on the subject of suffering that interacts with all our lives in some way.

    Though there is starting to be a sizable body of work on suffering in print today, this work can qualify as a theological work. That is not to say, however, that it lacks heart at all. In fact, the author was probably the perfect candidate to pen this book. On the one hand, he is a trained theologian, while on the other hand, his wife has faced incredible suffering. Having already survived cancer, she has also lived with connective tissue disease as well as Erythromelalgia, or man on fire syndrome. As you can imagine, the author struck the right balance between heart and head as he wrote here.

    The book itself is divided into three main parts. In part one, he examines the struggle itself. He admits that we can have hard thoughts about God in times of profound suffering. Along the way, he explains how important lament is to suffering despite peoples preference for the stiff upper lip. In describing our questions that come with pain, he exposed our tendency to jump back and forth between self-praise and self-condemnation. Of course, neither are the sole answer. He also explained how we should be mindful of our mortality and how that might be tied up in the things we learn in suffering.

    In part two, he tackles what he calls the strangeness of God. With skill, he takes us to Jesus Christ and His cross. In the final section, he makes worthwhile practical conclusions. I was enlightened as I read.

    This book has already been recommended by several people who have our ear on the subject of suffering. For example, Joni Eareckson Tada, who herself has written much on pain, says she loves this book.

    Whether to put on your theological shelves, or to help you wrestle in lifes dark moments, I recommend this book as a winning effort.

    I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
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