In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others.
This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.
"Suffering is suffering, and it is universal," writes Tchividjian (Jesus + Nothing = Everything) in his newest book, which examines the value and meaning of suffering. Sidestepping the traditional apologetic arguments to explain why humans experience pain despite the existence of a good God, the author instead aims to drive readers to Jesus when torment approaches. Regularly citing the Old Testament book of Job as well as pop culture and classic theology, Tchividjian first discusses the pervasive severity of suffering before he critiques the many futile and frustrating ways that the world attempts to deal with pain. Tchividjian also keenly condemns empty theologies of glory from suffering that he contends make the misery worse. Deconstructing customary curatives for agony, the author posits that suffering sets individuals free to more fully rely on Jesus and his suffering on humanity's behalf. The question of "why?" when it comes to suffering is replaced with "Who?" For some readers, this might leave questions unresolved. Undeterred by the unsolved mysteries of theodicy, the author repeatedly underscores that through suffering, God is not in the business of giving explanations, but liberating the anguished from the "prison of Why," being strong for those who are weak, victorious for those who feel loss, glorious for those in the midst of ruin. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.