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When God Takes Too Long: Learning to Thrive During Life's Delays [Paperback]

By Joseph Bentz (Author)
Our Price $ 11.89  
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Item Number 48114  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.12" Width: 5.26" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2005
Publisher   BEACON HILL PRESS #29
ISBN  0834122189  
EAN  9780834122185  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
God's timing is a mystery. Joseph Bentz helps you alter your perspective on waiting as you transform your frustration into a positive force.

Publishers Description
One of the greatest frustrations of the Christian life is having to wait for God to act. We wait, sometimes for years, for our prayers to be answered, for our deepest longings to be fulfilled.Some devoted Christians get stuck in dead-end jobs even though they feel certain they could serve God in greater ways if only He would open the opportunity. Why doesn't He? Some wait for a godly spouse, some couples wait for the gift of children, and some, who have dedicated their lives to serving the Lord, wait in disappointed bafflement as their work seems to yield no fruit. Why?As Christians, we yearn to serve the Lord, to step forward and obey Him like the great heroes of the Bible, but we are confused, waiting for clear orders, kept at a distance by the invisible barriers of God's silence, His inaction, or His unhurried pace.In When God Takes Too Long, Joseph Bentz examines the mysteries of God's timing and shows Christians how to thrive in the midst of one of life's greatest frustrations--waiting. He offers those who have been discouraged by a life of waiting a chance to alter not only their perspective on waiting, but also their actions in response to it, transforming this frustration into a positive force that will enrich and change their lives.When God Takes Too Long addresses: How not to wish (or wait) our lives awayHow to better understand the nature of timeHow to master the discipline of waitingHow to cast off the boundaries of time to view our lives from an eternal perspective

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More About Joseph Bentz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! JOSEPH BENTZ is the best-selling author of When God Takes Too Long, Silent God, Pieces of Heaven, and four novels. He is professor of American literature at Azusa Pacific University. He earned a BA in English from Olivet Nazarene University and an MA and a PhD in American literature from Purdue University. He lives with his wife and two children in Southern California. More information about his books and speaking can be found at

Joseph Bentz currently resides in Azusa, in the state of California. Joseph Bentz was born in 1961 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Not quite what M. Galishoff complains of...  May 19, 2006
Not sure exactly where said reviewer is coming from, especially since the exact same review has been posted by him/her for yet another book by a different author! This sounds like more of a soapbox than a fair review of the book.

You can't compartmentalize the spiritual from the material aspects of our lives, and I think this is what this book makes clear. The things we see within our own human perspective aren't the whole of reality-- if anything, this book reminds us that our own ideas of success, failure, good and bad are pretty relative in the scope of eternity. If you can't compare the details of our 21st century lives with Biblical characters, you're boxing the Bible in and overspiritualizing the omnipresence of God in all the details of our lives.

And there's no way the author is making all the mistakes M. Galishoff is pointing out-- just read the last 2 chapters and you'll hear about Scriptures imcredibly hard for Western American Christians to deal with, such as Hebrews 11 (all the people who never got to see the ultimate ripple effect of their lives or the 'rewards' for their faith and yet lived for what they couldn't see) and passages in Paul's letters about how eternity makes the present pale in comparison. Seriously-- you can't come away from this book thinking that it's 'all about me.' Clearly, it's all about God-- learning to live in surrender to his ways that are totally different than ours.
Theodicy that Must Ultimately Fail  May 13, 2006
There is much good and to commend here but I have some problems with the theology and doctrinal approach.

First, it seems that books of this nature, call them Christian "self-help" books, seem to have adopted a predictable formula. The author chooses a theme, chooses examples from his ministry, and then draws parallels from Biblical narratives tying the two into a neat package that supports the point in question. This is becoming a tiresome formula and it fails at several levels.

First, the examples chosen from the ministry, the so-called real life examples, often are adapted or telescoped to fit alongside a Biblical narrative. Our lives are not those of the Biblical characters although we may face many of the same spiritual trials. Secondly, the main emphasis of the ministerial example centers around worldly things and makes the focus of the problem the selfish "I" rather than "God." Third, the outcome is usually justified by the author in terms of worldly success rather than spiritual success. The latter is noted as important but rarely or never seems to be separated from the former. The book seems to be permeated with this subliminal notion that God is the answer to your worldly as well as spiritual problems and things will work out good for you in this world if you accept God and His ways. Although this is true, the definition of "work out good for you in this world" is in terms of the "I" or "me" and not in terms if "God" to whom we are called to submit. Where there are examples of unsolved disappointment, the author associates it with a failure to follow the program. God's justice is not quid pro quo and accepting God, truly accepting God means accepting the burden of the cross and not the expectation of rewards in this life.

The last error is the most dangerous. J. C. Ryle once wrote that before one accepts Christ he or she should count the cost. The cost was God's vicarious sacrifice of making The Son sin and crucifying Him on the Cross. To be a true follower of Jesus we are warned in scripture that we must crucify the old man, be prepared to give up all worldly things WITHOUT and assurance other than our daily bread and the joy of God's care, fellowship and love. The true fact is that for most Christians in the world, accepting Christ means danger, sacrifice, hatred, discrimination, isolation, poverty, suffering and sometimes a violent death. Books such as this discuss suffering in terms of exchanging one career for another, discovering God given gifts and overcoming illness and disability or hurts. But these worldly successes, though given of the Lord, are possible because we live in a wealthy country where people have choices and opportunities and can overcome life's obstacles praise the Lord.

Any theology of Theodicy, the basic theological subject of such works, must be universal and apply to everyone, everywhere and at all times. What would the vignettes in a book such as this mean to the people who life in the garbage dumps of Mexico City and survive off the rotten trash of others? It does not hold! Yet, they worship the same immutable God whose ways are constant and perfect. The theology of books such as these are tailored to the "me" generation of Americans and not to the greater brotherhood of God's people. The person who lives in the garbage dumps of Mexico City has no realistic hope of escaping the daily grueling suffering that is their worldly lot. Yet, when such a one accepts Jesus, his worldly lot may not change but his spiritual lot has radically changed. What great saints are those that suffer in poverty and can truly claim that their only portion is the Lord!

This is the joy and transformation that scripture talks about. The cross is not something to be dressed up and made pretty. It is an instrument of relentless pain, torture and death. We are all asked to pick up our own cross and follow the Lord. That means we are asked to voluntarily crucify our old selves, and the things we hold dear, unmercifully, totally and to the death. It is a painful thing to do.

Theology such as that offered here devalues and invalidates individual pain suffering and failure in the world. It ignores the countless millions who never succeed in this life yet are rewarded in the hereafter. It ignores the fact that there are many among us that are chosen to suffer till death for no other reason that we may present an opportunity for people to do good works and be divided into sheep and goats. God's people suffer, hurt and may not see any relief in this world. But in His mercy, God sends His Spirit, ministering angels and the Church.

The suffering of Theodicy is something that must be embraced. The sufferer's pain must be acknowledged and validated. It must be understood that most of the Christians on the world experience this suffering and misery. It is the cost of discipleship.

Books such as these offer rewards without counting the cost. The theology they expound ultimately fails. When this failure is realized, true harm is done.

Finally, almost every such book uses the Jacob-Esau story as an example of Jacob's spiritual formation by surrendering his will to God. While there is much good here, most err in failing to realize that the blessing of Isaac the Blind was a worldly blessing. The Promise, God's blessing, was not Isaac's to give. Jacob fooled the wrong father. And as Jacob's spiritual eyes are opened at Peniel, he begins to be called Israel. Yet Jacob never truly fully matures to Israel and crucifies his old self. Some of Jacob remains in the final chapter of Genesis and in his decedents and in us. Commentators and such writers focus on the worldly comforts surrounding Jacob in his old age as evidence of his total transformation. If this was the case than the Bible would be one chapter and the Cross unnecessary.

It is my prayer that the Authors will take these words in the Christian spirit of love in which they are offered.
Take time to digest  Mar 30, 2006
A friend gave me this book during a waiting period in my life otherwise I probably would have taken a look at the title and decided I could skip it. Had I skipped it, however, I would have missed some really wonderful insights. Joe Bentz takes the stories we so lightly read over in Scripture and delves into them pointing out the silences in the stories that are so important and yet so easy to miss. I especially appreciated the "Almost, not yet" sequence with Moses and the plagues.

On a practical level, the book is divided into comfortable sized chapters/sections that make it work very well as a daily devotional. It's a book that will make you want to keep reading, but it's best taken one bite at a time (with plenty of time in between to chew and digest).

If you want a new perspective on all those waiting times from stop lights to career moves to retirement, this is the book to read. It will almost make you grateful for that red light!
Excellent Relevance  Dec 30, 2005
Bentz has an incredible relevence in this book to those of us who feel like we are waiting! I highly recommend this book and this author. He writes with a wisdom and clarity of understanding. His words are helpful and illluminating. A worthwhile read.

Write your own review about When God Takes Too Long: Learning to Thrive During Life's Delays

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