The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand

Suffering & Evil

Anyone who takes on the challenge of a book on suffering and evil, bases it on Job, and does so in less than 60 pages deserves our admiration and respect. Scott Petty is just such a man and the result is highly commendable. Petty has a thoroughly engaging style and this little book, probably aimed at a teens and twenties age group is highly readable and, given the conciseness, a good treatment of a difficult subject. He uses jargon free language and has some contemporary illustrations as he deals with `The Question of Suffering’, `The Question of Evil’ and `The Question of God’.

I do have two issues, however. The first is probably an editorial one, but on p14, explaining the causes of suffering, the section is headed with the bold statement, “Suffering is not God’s punishment for your sin”, which brought me up sharp. To be fair, Petty actually says in the text which follows, “Suffering may not be linked to any specific sin at all” and “Suffering is not necessarily God’s punishment for sin” but the section header is unfortunate. Secondly, on p21, Petty, drawing a comparison between Job and Christ, makes the statement that, “both are blameless and upright”. As an unqualified proposition that is not a helpful comparison since the nature of their blamelessness is very different.

Those problems aside, I enjoyed and would commend this little book.

For the purpose of review, I received a complimentary copy of the book from the Publishers. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.

Review written in 2011

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