Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Let God Be God by Ray C Stedman- Book Review

I received this book for my baptism... and finally finished it- it took a while...

The book cover is a simple, yet intricate one featuring a cloudy sky and a silhouette of a person on a grassy plain. The almost monographic sepia tone image works well to intrigue and it does grab your attention with the simple font text as well.

The book contains fifteen chapters which explores the whole book of Job, and aims to explore and explain why we suffer, where is God when we suffer and so on... hard questions that everyone face at some point or another. There are also other deep meaningful issues that the book discusses and the limited theology we sometimes have when we think of suffering.

Anyway, the book, being set out in chapters, splits the book of Job as well into nice small chunks. Each chapter deals with a different topic or issue, and the fact that it also follows the book of Job in chronological order makes it really easy to follow.

There are also bible quotes within the book, so there isn't much need to flip through a Bible when going through this book. That said, there is a lot of paraphrasing of scripture, which to some, may be extremely helpful, but for others it may feel slightly repetitive.

Whilst the book starts off by introducing itself and the questions it answers makes you really interested, the book overall has a more bible commentary to it than really answering a lot of the questions. Whilst it does focus on the question for a part of the chapter, many times, it strays on to analysing words and phrases in scripture, and kind of goes off on a tangent. Although in the end, it does bring itself back to the point, it isn't immediately obvious, and sometimes a bit ambiguous, with the analysis slightly boring.

Nonetheless, the book overall DOES answer some deep questions and has lifted my insight into the issues raised in the book, makes me think more about the spiritual realm and that not everything is at a Human level. We cannot analyse everything and give an explanation to it.

The epilogue does extremely well in summarising the book and the things we can learn from it.

I have found the book very useful- it hasn't been the most interesting and uplifting, but it is very comprehensive, and covers the whole book of Job. Whilst a large part of it does give off a Bible Commentary feel, it succeeds in answering some questions it initially set out to do, and if not, it makes you think about them and really does challenge your thinking.

For anyone interested in the hard questions of why God lets us suffer and other related questions, this book could very well be for you!

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