Book Review: How Can A Good God Let Bad Things Happen?

I flipped open How Can A Good God Let Bad Things Happen?  (Navpress) and wondered “How could I have chosen another heavy book to review?” Why hadn’t I chosen chick lit or children’s books? I wearily plowed through the first few pages, my shoulders hunched in responsibility–until I realized who I was reading. I recognized Tabb’s name from his earlier book, Living With Less: The Upside of Downsizing.

I remember Tabb clearly because his God doesn’t resemble the one portrayed in Sunday morning service or feel-good Christian self-help books. No, Tabb’s God resembles, well, the God found in the Biblical book of Job. Tabb’s God allows children and parents to die in horrendous accidents and does not reach out His hand to save them. Yet Tabb’s God is the one found in the Bible. And He is the one, like it or not, Christians have committed to follow.

[Romans 8:28] does not say that God has some hidden purpose behind every event that happens in my life, at least not a purpose I will ever see or understand. Nor does the verse tell me I can force something good out of this. I cannot control God’s hand, and when I try to force some good purpose onto tragic events, that’s exactly what I am trying to do. (p.21)

Tabb sees the whole of God. He isn’t willing to willy-nilly throw out portions of Scripture because they don’t line up with his feelings. He tackles doubt and faith, neglect and protection, fear and relief using Scripture, the words breathed by the God who is in the midst of all of them.

If you’re ready to lay aside your preconceptions and prejudices and learn to see God as He really is–truly wild and unpredictable, yet perpetually trustworthy–get yourself a copy of How Can A Good God Let Bad Things Happen? And a pencil–because I’m sure you’ll make as many notes in the margins as I did. I give away dozens of books a year because I am determined to keep only the best; this is definitely a keeper.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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One response to “Book Review: How Can A Good God Let Bad Things Happen?

  1. Do you think this is a good book to recommend or give to someone going through a really hard situation or is this something to use to reflect on that type of situation after it’s over? I’m hoping you understand what I’m trying to say.

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