Acts of God by Bob Russell

“Why does God allow so much pain?” is the subtitle of this book that attempts to address a question with no simple solutions. The author uses the Biblical account of Joseph to illustrate how God works behind the scenes to redeem what appears on the surface to be terrible circumstances. His theological stance seems to be that God allows but does not cause most suffering, which is the inevitable result of living in a fallen world, where the devil intends evil and personal sin leads to disastrous consequences. However, the author’s goal is not to convince the reader of this, but rather to focus on the good that can come from pain and the closer walk with God that results from trusting Him. Topics such as trials and temptations, waiting, discouragement, aging, family problems, injustice, and forgiveness provide the crux of each chapter. Joseph’s story is tied together with each main point the author conveys to paint a picture of the significant rewards of obedience and perseverance in times of trouble. Occasional statements are made without adequate Scriptural references (like the common idea that believers face demonic attack to the degree that they are being used by God). After reading other authors tackling a similar theme (notably C. S. Lewis and Philip Yancey) this one was only mediocre to me in its overall organization and style. With all due respect, I realize that Bob Russell is an accomplished writer, pastor, speaker, and ministry leader. As an avid reader of up to 50 books per year, I have developed a very critical eye for what appeals to my own heart and mind.

untitled1Required Federal Trade Commission disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through the Moody Press blogger review program in exchange for an honest appraisal.



2 thoughts on “Acts of God by Bob Russell

  1. Thanks Crissy! So for this author, Isa 45.7, which says, ‘I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’ — would instead read, ‘I form the light and let darkness overtake , I make peace and cannot stop calamity; I, the LORD, do all the good things, and someone else does the bad.’ And here I thought He was God and there is no other (Deu 4.35). That’s what happens when what we think and say about something is divorced from what God has to say about it. I’d say your critical eye is functioning just fine… (smile)

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