A Brave Attempt,
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This review is from: DISAPPOINTMENT WITH GOD MASS MARKET: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is brave, honest, well written and certainly has its heart in the right place. It also offers some very interesting views on why God doesn't appear to be 'present', especially in times of grief and distress. If you're looking for a cure-all for unhappiness however, you won't find it here. But then, it's not supposed to be one.
The book speaks to those who believe in God, but who feel abandoned, unsure of what to make of him, confused by who or what God is and the nature of his relationship with us, or generally just angry with him. It asks questions other books don't ask, but instead of "neatly overlooking the fact that none of this helps in the slightest when you're hurting", as one reviewer said (before unfairly referring to the book's Christian readers as "smug"), because let's be honest very few - if any - authors can or would attempt to take away the pain of bereavement or loneliness in two hundred and odd pages, it approaches the subject differently: -
- It takes the old (and rather hackneyed) accusation that goes "if God's supposed to be great, yet there's suffering in the world, then which of them is it to be - either he isn't great or loving, or he doesn't exist?!"; and instead of assuming that the question is somehow its own answer, goes on to explore what answers there might actually be.
Sadly, the solution falls a little short. For much of the book we get well-thought-out and novel examinations of why it is we feel abandoned and why we're mistaken in attributing certain characteristics to God (and then blaming him for not displaying them); and the author obviously feels great love for all those people going through distressing times, and a genuine desire to offer some light at the end of whatever tunnel they're going through. But once again, as with so many similar arguments, the reader ends up feeling left with little more than "God is mysterious, we just can't work it out I'm afraid".
And that, I'm afraid, is the most disappointing thing about the book.