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Using the book of Job as a guide, author Mark Tabb explores the age-old questions about God, His goodness, and why bad things happen.
Following Christ seems to make life harder, not easier—why should we continue?
Using the book of Job, Mark Tabb searches for the answers to age-old questions about God, pain, and living our lives. Encounter an honest discussion of suffering and find real-world comfort and strength for the trials you face.
How Can a Good God Let Bad Things Happen?
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Available in Spanish
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A Biblical Picture of Suffering
One of the most common objections to the idea of God in general and Christianity in particular is the question of suffering: If God is good, why do bad things happen? Traditionally, the "pro-God" answer falls into one of two categories: Either God is completely good, but not capable of intervening (as argued in Harold Kushner in Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People), or God is capable of intervening, but He's not good.
You won't find either of these in Mark Tabb's book, How Can a Good God Let Bad Things Happen.
Instead, Tabb offers a third explanation, a biblical one, focusing on one of the most important statements in the story of Job: "Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" (Job 2:10 NLT)
Tabb does a wonderful job conveying the human perspective of suffering—the pain, the confusion, the frustration... everything that comes with it—but never strays from what Scripture has revealed about God. He provides strong answers that don't minimize the struggles people deal with. What he offers instead is the truth that nothing is random, even if we can't understand it. Even if we don't ever get the "why," God is working for our good. But, "[t]he good for which God works doesn't guarantee happiness or comfort or miracles today. He works toward a far more permanent good" (pp. 99-100). But in the end, God owes us no explanation.
That's the rub, isn't it? God is completely good, completely sovereign—and not obligated to explain Himself. For us, this is frustrating, infuriating at times... but ultimately it's a source of comfort. Because a God who we can completely figure out, who we can fit in a cozy box, is no God at all. So we learn to trust Him as He as revealed Himself, and we look toward the promises of Scripture. That there's a day coming when He will wipe every tear, and there will be no more suffering, no more death. But for now, we wait for that day and press forward, serving others in our suffering.
10/12/2009 7:25:23 PM
Every day horrible things happen around the world. Many times we stop to wonder why because our Lord is a good God. How can a good God let bad things happen? And how can these things happen to believers? Mark Tabb attempts to address these questions and more. Can we trust God? Is there a purpose to the suffering? How are we supposed to go on after trials?
I was a bit reluctant to read this book for a couple of reasons. The first being that I was in the middle of some trials and didn't want to read a bunch of cliches. The second was that there are many books out there dealing with the topic, some of which are quite good. Obviously, I read it anyways. By the time I finished the book my trials had subsided and I came to the conclusion that such books are to be read during times of relative peace and calm in our lives so that we can store the Word in our hearts. In times of need, they will come back to us. How does this book rank with the others I have read? I found it to be different, so I can't rank it with others. This book is for the believer. It is for someone who has acknowledge God in his or her life. Many other books on this subject are addressed for the doubters. My one negative thought regarding this title is that it does seem to get a bit repetitive at times. I found myself skimming parts. Overall, I would recommend it if you wonder about accepting both the good and the bad from God.
8/12/2009 8:31:12 AM
A Great Bok on Why We All Go Through Suffering
Mark Tabb takes the story of Job in the Bible, analyzing all the suffering he went through, the pain of losing everything in his life and applies it to the sufferings that we all go through.
The first time I saw this book, I thought that it might be boring to read. I did not know who Mark Tabb was and the cover seems so stark and straightforward. The title, however, caught my curiosity and since our family has been going through some hard times, I thought that this could be a good book to read.
This is not the kind of book you read from cover to cover in just one sitting. From the first chapter, I’ve had to keep putting the book down and digest what the author was saying. I can’t help but apply it to my own life and see how God is working there.
At first, the things he wrote about the Godhood of God were actually hard for me to digest. He wrote about God in such a way that you will actually start being scared of God, but encourages you to keep on trusting Him anyway. He wrote about a God who is capable of doing anything and everything in your life including letting bad things happen to you. Then he explains why God does let bad things happen to us.
The book’s message lets you know more about God through our suffering and is written in a very simple and understandable manner. The message is actually doctrinal but he explained it so that an ordinary person like me can easily understand.
This is a worthwhile book to buy and read. Plan to spend weeks on finishing it because you just have to stop after every few pages and ponder on the message and how good and gracious is our God.
6/29/2009 2:38:19 AM
For the hurting Christian
How Can A Good Got Let Bad Things Happen? is written for parents who have lost their child. It is written for the couple struggling with infertility. It's for the man who has lost his job. It is for the widow. It is for the man whose wife has left him. It is for all hurting, confused, and angry Christians.
Mark Tabb has tackled the difficult topic of why God allows His people to suffer. Looking at the life of Job, Mark Tabb walks the reader through questions like:
* How could God let this happen?
* Can I ever trust God again?
* Could God have some purpose behind all I've been through?
* Why does the road have to be difficult?
* How can my life go on from here?
Mark Tabb deals with these questions honestly and with great respect for God. Mark is open about his own anger and confusion in the face of suffering, but he draws the reader right back to trust in God. He reminds us of God's promises to be with us always, and the ultimate promise of eternal life.
This is a book every pastor, every grief counselor, every leader in the church should read.
5/11/2009 8:37:40 PM
God Can Be Trusted!
I really appreciated Tabb's honesty and his willingness to tackle the hard questions. We deffinitely aren't going to understand why God allows certain circumstances or people into our lives. That's why we need to trust Him. He sees the big picture. We don't. When there are so many out there complaining or blameing God, I am ecstatic about glorifying Him by exemplifying trust in Him. He deserves it. There is nowhere else to turn. We either partner with Him or we are miserable and alone. Tabb's book is a very simple and easy read despite the difficult subject.
5/7/2009 10:08:30 AM
How Can A Good God ...
Most of us don’t want to admit we can’t figure God out. Instead we try to explain him away. And when we hear someone cry out that God isn’t being fair … we step in with our best God talk and give that person all the answers. (p38)
I wasn’t sure what to expect picking up this book by Mark Tabb. There are so many classic books trying to face down the problem of evil and the problem of suffering and I was wondering "Not another heady intellectual exploration!" I was pleasantly surprised. The problem of suffering is, in reality, neither a theological nor a philosophical problem, it is an existential one. The book comes at issues reflecting on real life and Job’s reflections of life and at the same time holds theological and philosophical insights in tension. Each time as emotional responses came from me to something I read, the following chapter provided a deep insight. This is an unusual book well worth reading because it really doesn’t solve the problem but you feel like yours and Job’s issues have been addressed fairly and realistically. It is a simple book to read without being simplistic about the problem, made all the more difficult when desiring to maintain the notion of the sovereignty of God..
3/30/2009 11:27:41 AM
Loss is inevitable in life. The intense pain we experience at certain points in our existence often causes us to question God and our faith in Him. It is in our nature to look for answers in the midst of our suffering as we try to understand why God would allow a tragic event to occur, especially when the circumstances seem unjust. The tough questions we are often reluctant to ask are the centerpiece of this book. Mark Tabb uses the story of Job and Joseph to address the challenges we face when we try to comprehend a God who allows us to suffer.
This book takes an honest look at our failed human logic to rationalize why God permits us to experience tremendous heartache. As the author discusses theories on suffering, he is compassionate in his approach to encourage the reader to look at the human heart and the grace of God through an unbearable experience.
I would recommend this book to someone who is struggling with the existence of God due to a significant loss or disappointment in life. Mark Tabb uses biblical insight to address the human perception of a God in the midst of great suffering.
3/25/2009 10:56:17 AM
Who are we to ask why
Great reinteration of what we all must come to realize. I agree with the writers point of view concerning how people are often afraid or honest answers. He shows you where to find them. We sometimes don't like the ugly truth. The more we try to hide it the more noticable it is. Eternity is unavoidable and so are tragedys and problems, however, while we live if we have accepted Christ, there is hope for a bright future. Facts don't change and neither does God. Who are we to ask why? Selah
3/6/2009 12:39:39 PM
How Can A Good God Let Bad Things Happen
The author weaves the story of Job in the Old Testament together with questions about the great tragedies of human history and real stories of personal struggles. As we consider life and the world as it is, we begin to question why God would do this. We shake our fists to the sky, angry that God would allow us to suffer. We don’t deserve this. Or do we?
“This world we now live in is the end result. God did not speak into existence a world of drive-by shootings and random acts of violence. Human beings created this world for themselves.” p. 31
The honesty in the writer’s frustrations with suffering and death allows the reader to think clearly about God and His motives. Are we afraid of the real answers? Tabb helps readers face the truth in the balance of Scripture rather than the simple, trite statements of comfort that offer no comfort at all in the midst of pain.
In the end the author focuses the reader’s attention away from self and toward the reason for comfort and hope: the treasure of eternity with Jesus Christ. “The hope of heaven…the final chapter, that makes all the other chapters make sense.” p 215
2/21/2009 11:58:44 AM