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A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering [Kindle Edition]

Michael S. Horton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In a world of hype, we may buy into the idea that through Jesus, we’ll be healthier and wealthier as well as wiser. So what happens when we become ill, or depressed, or bankrupt? Did we do something wrong? Has God abandoned us? As a child, Michael Horton would run up the down escalator, trying to beat it to the top. As Christians, he notes, we sometimes seek God the same way, believing we can climb to him under our own steam. But we can’t, which is why we are blessed that Jesus descends to us, especially during times of trial. In Too Good to Be True, Horton exposes the pop culture that sells Jesus like a product for health and happiness and reminds us that our lives often lead us on difficult routes we must follow by faith. This book offers a series of powerful readings that demonstrate how, through every type of earthly difficulty, our Father keeps his promises from Scripture and works all things together for our good.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 374 KB
  • Print Length: 209 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310327407
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Reprint edition (24 Aug. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TFE5V8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #477,638 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have read on suffering and pain 16 Jun. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As many of you probably know, there is a whole bunch of Christian books about pain and suffering, I have read way to many with bad theology, either not acknowledging pain or focusing too much on it. In Hortons book I have found a welcome change, as he explains how God can be good and sovereign at the same time, taking his center in the cross and Christ dead. Even though the subtitle tells me to "Prepare yourself for suffering" I found this book encouraging, uplifting and pulling me gently back to hold Christ as center in my sufferings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 30 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Simply the best Christian gospel-centred book on suffering. I'd like to give it 6 stars. As J.I Packer says 'There is much wisdom here. Make it yours. It is wisdom that we all need'. Michael Horton becomes now my favourite author alongside Tim Keller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good theology of suffering 2 Feb. 2011
By John Greco - Published on
This past weekend, I read through Michael Horton's A Place for Weakness (previously released as Too Good to Be True). On the surface, this book is about how a Christian ought to face suffering and hardship, but on a deeper level, this book is a celebration of the gospel. What I mean is this: Too often we approach the subject of suffering as if its secondary to the Christian life. We don't deny that people suffer, but we don't expect it to happen to us. We believe that if it does happen, we'll find strength from God to deal with it, so after all it won't be that bad. This allows us to push suffering and hardship to the periphery and let's us embrace a theology that sees God as merely the purveyor of good times. We don't want to see suffering in our lives as having come through God's permissive hand.

Horton beautifully weaves his own stories of hardship and uncertainty with sound teaching about God's sovereignty and with biblical stories of those who have suffered under God's providence. Never does he come up with easy or pat answers to the common questions related to suffering and evil. He writes:

"We cannot know what God has decided in his deep and mysterious hiddenness, and we can only know what God condescends to reveal to us as he cloaks his unapproachable light in humility and weakness. We cannot climb up to God, but he can descend to us. This is the gospel in a nutshell and it sustains us in suffering" (83).

We have no guarantee that we'll be able to understand, this side of eternity, why God has allowed certain difficulties into our lives. Like Job, we must affirm that both good and bad things come from the hand of God (Job 2:10). But we must also take the lesson from Job's story: God is God and we are not. We have no right to question his goodness, his justice, or his will for our lives. This of course does not look good on a T-shirt, nor is it particularly seeker sensitive. Horton, therefore, spends much of the book discussing the inadequacies of popular theology and its emphasis on health and wealth. Yes, we should ask God for healing and for his blessing, but we should not presume upon it. As one of the book's chapter titles puts it, the gospel is "good new for losers." We are a people who are called to suffer because we have a Savior who suffered.

I really enjoyed A Place for Weakness as I look forward to reading Horton's systematic theology The Christian Faith, which was just released last week. I would not recommend it to someone who is currently suffering a difficult period of life because the primary force of this book is instruction and biblical reflection. Instead, this is a book I would recommend people read before they enter such a season, as the subtitle suggests, in order to prepare for the inevitable suffering that Jesus promised would come to his followers.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Depths of Suffering 17 July 2012
By Qadosh2him - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book differs quite radically from all the other books "out there" on the topic of suffering. Michael Horton approaches the topic initially by describing some of the suffering he and his family have been through...and later in the book reveals more. But rather than dealing with the "why" of suffering as most books do and then ending up somewhere in the area of God's sovereignty and goodness; Horton discusses the theology of it relates to the cross...and how the cross relates to us in the midst of our pain. It was a good book and absorbing despite treading through some deep ideological waters.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for anyone who will ever face trials and suffering! 26 Feb. 2013
By S. Czerwinski - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best and most completely thought out books I have read on suffering. I think that it does an excellent job of pointing us to God and His purposes in suffering. I highly recommend this book for everyone, as we will all face suffering in our lifetime.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needed in our Day 10 May 2013
By DocTheology - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great book that deals with the issue of God, suffering, and His sovereignty. I was talking to a person in church the other day that could accept only the good things and profitable ($$) from God, anything like suffering, death, and illness could never flow from the hand of God. We, in America, seem to think that we are immune to suffering, but it part of the human condition since the Fall of Adam and we must understand that all suffering is not bad. At times, it keeps us still and waiting upon the Lord for our strength. Excellent book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I usually can gauge how good a book is to me when I start writing ... 2 July 2014
By C. Weaver - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book gives a perspective of scripture that goes deep in knowing God as well as taking an honest look at ourselves and the depth of our sinfulness. I usually can gauge how good a book is to me when I start writing sections of it in my journal so I can go back to it again and again. Here is one of them: When Moses asked to see God's face, he was warned, "No one may see me and live." (Exodus 33:20). In fact, as the people of Israel arrived at Mount Sinai to receive the law, God told Moses to place limits around the mountain, "lest (the people) break through to gaze at the Lord" (Exodus 19:21) Thus throughout biblical history (and history in general) there is this flight from the I Am, the God of power and glory. Our consciences testify to this God, but in our wickedness we try to suppress this awareness. We create a chasm and either plead ignorance (skepticism) or substitute projections of our own imagination or felt needs (idolatry). We build suitable projections of gods who will not threaten us, gods who are too far away to cause any harm, or, if they are friendly and useful enough, gods who do not judge. Indeed, they are projections of ourselves (See Romans 1 and 2). Religion, especially in its upbeat mode, assumes that everything is fine between God and us (this was Israel's original assumption until he actually spoke). We're basically good people, and God is only capable of love anyway. We have God on our side. But revelation upsets this nice picture. God's presence is a danger as well as a blessing. It is very much worth the read!
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