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First published in hardcover in 2014 and recently released in softcover, author Philip Yancey’s sequel to Where Is God When It Hurts takes a compassionate, unflinching look at the inevitable whys of human suffering and is as relevant today as it was almost a decade ago.   

Yancey relates how this book was a result of questions he faced in 2012 after visiting and speaking with audiences after three tragic events. In March, he spoke to a congregation in Japan on the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region and led to a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power station. In October, he visited Sarajevo, Bosnia, a city devastated by the longest siege in modern warfare, and spoke to people still affected by it. At the close of the year, he addressed the people of Newtown, Conn., after the fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In each place and circumstance, similar questions emerged: “Why do bad things happen? Why does God allow evil to take its awful course? What possible good can come from such events?”   

Yancey avoids pat, simplistic answers to the question of suffering, but eloquently writes, “Why? We have no more definitive answer than Job got. We have only the stubborn hope—so different from naïve optimism—that the story of Jesus, which includes both death and resurrection, gives a bright clue to what God will do for the entire planet. Optimism promises that things will gradually improve; Christian hope promises that creation will be transformed. Until then, God evidently prefers not to intervene in every instance of evil or natural disaster, no matter how grievous. Rather, God has commissioned us as agents of intervention in the midst of a hostile and broken world.”  

Recommended for all readers, since—whether in personal circumstances or in society—human suffering, creation’s groaning, the presence of evil, and God’s proffered hope-filled promises are a daily reality. (Zondervan)


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