Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book Review: The Question that Never Goes Away

The Question That Never Goes AwayThe Question That Never Goes Away by Zondervan Publishing

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Philip Yancey was required reading in a Freshman Bible class in college, but it's because he has good things to say.  Twenty years later, he has written a sequel to Where is God When It Hurts (which eBooks were given away free of that book right after the Newtown tragedy).  His latest book, The Question That Never Goes Away revisits pain and suffering.

The timing for me to review this book (I received a copy free from the publisher) was unfortunately all too appropriate.  During the time I read it, my mother got pneumonia, was released from the hospital and seemed to be doing okay considering she had a chronic illness and passed away suddenly -- while I was at church, no less!  Then there was more drama that went on afterwards than in a junior high school.  While one person passing away is not like the war in Bosnia, the Newtown tragedy, or the Fukishima disaster that Yancey discusses, it is my very own heartbreak.

Obviously, there is no answer.   If you have ever spent time with a pre-schooler, the question "Why?" is asked incessantly.   I think as we age, we no longer ask why the sky is blue, but "Why did my mother die the way she did?"  "Why me?  Why did my test results come back like this?"   "Why am I 38 and still single?"   All are questions I have asked.  I think in some ways, we are still toddlers asking questions that really can't be answered.  The best we can sometimes do is just go on.

The spoiler to this book is this:  There is no real answer to Why.   Just like a child doesn't accept "Because I said so" we won't ever accept any answer as to why a plane disappeared because, now, the technical part is not what we are looking for -- we want to know the reasons that lives were changed.

This book may leave you with more questions as to why things happen, but at the same time it's comforting.  It shows the hope left in the aftermath.  Bad things happen, and will continue to happen.  But how we respond to our own suffering and the suffering of others is key.  A church has organized ongoing counseling for those affected in Newtown.  There are beacons of hope like flowers shooting up through an area damaged by forest fires.

While this book won't give you answers, I highly recommend it, and I do believe it will be comforting if you are asking "Why"?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers 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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