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This is not a book about the stages of grief, or the 10 steps to overcoming it. In fact, it's more about suffering in general than bereavement in particular. Garrett (The Gospel According to Hollywood) draws on a summer he spent doing clinical pastoral education-a kind of boot camp for hospital chaplains-to discuss age-old theodicy questions. The book challenges certain myths that American Christians have swallowed about God-e.g., that God is a transactional ATM who is obligated to dispense good things to the faithful, or that it's Satan, not God, who makes rotten things happen. Some of these myths are eloquently debunked, while others-such as Americans' persistent faith in consumerism and their ability to "buy" health and happiness-deserve more ink. Garrett scores points with the powerful stories of the hospital patients he prayed alongside as well as his own autobiographical discussions of dealing with severe depression. Christians who are looking for theologically nuanced ways of thinking about suffering can learn much from this brief book.
Where is God in the midst of suffering? How do people find strength and comfort in times of terrible adversity? Award-winning writer Greg Garrett addresses these questions and others as he helps readers grapple with the question of where God can be found in times of tragedy. He explores the theological themes of biblical stories and American myths and discusses how these stories have shaped our beliefs about God. He further examines what these foundational narratives reveal about our understanding of God, how they inform how we live our lives, and how we experience God's presence in the midst of grief and suffering. This well-written volume is engaging reading for clergy, chaplains, pastoral counselors, and all who must find the courage and faith to support individuals and families in times of suffering and grief.
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