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Paperback When Suffering Persists: A Theology of Candor Book

ISBN: 0819218294

ISBN13: 9780819218292

When Suffering Persists: A Theology of Candor

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Book Overview

Sometimes pain passes quickly and small losses are easily absorbed. But when suffering goes on and on, for people of faith, the resulting crisis can be deeper and more destructive than the loss itself. We look for ways to comfort those who are hurting. But sometimes, in spite of our good intentions, the cliches and simplistic theology we offer only add to the pain and misery. In When Suffering Persists, Frederick W. Schmidt presents a pastoral exploration...

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an antidote to the dumb things people say

When Suffering Persists is a masterpiece of practical theology: learned, elegant, nuanced, passionate, and yet absolutely accessible to those without theological education. Schmidt delineates a theology of suffering by exploring the inadequacy of our identifying God as both absolutely omnipotent and absolutely "good." He is remarkably sympathetic to and generous with claims that he sees as ultimately wrong-headed, but he is equally clear that when suffering persists then these claims unravel in devastating ways. When Suffering Persists offers a gentle but clear account that will prove both comforting and thought-provoking for people whose suffering has been deepened at times by inadequate theology or clumsy clergy. Schmidt argues that a theology of suffering must see God as unfailingly present, compassionate, and sustaining--not as an omnipotent figure who might have stopped or prevented suffering but who chooses not to. He makes that claim convincing, and at least for me has banished forever a whole collection of the dumb things some people say when tragedy strikes.
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