Suffering and pain is part of being human. Many who struggle with faith wonder how a God who loves you can allow such evil happen. Anyone who has endured intense suffering likely has asked this same question. Others may see suffering around them and intellectually ask why suffering exists in the world. Either way the question of suffering is a pressing one.
Evil and Suffering sets out to explore this very issue in a short, little book that is part of Little Black Books series (as the series notes: “Books that get to the point”). Author, Scott Petty, has written an engaging book for the teen, young adult or really anyone who wants a brief biblical explanation to a tough topic. Petty is a native Australian youth pastor and knows his audience and writes with an Aussie style.
The book is divided into three chapters: The question of suffering, the question of evil, and the question of God. Petty uses the book of Job to discuss suffering. Of course, Job is no stranger to suffering and sorrow. At one point in the book,
“Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: May the day of my birth perish, and the nigh it was said, ‘A boy is born’ “. Job 3:1-3
Petty wisely uses Job’s life to make his teaching points on suffering, Satan and evil, and the sovereignty of God. Petty also makes several conclusions about the nature of God’s relationship with those who suffer and satan, from Job’s experience as well.
Petty sets out to work through a tough issue in a short format. In my opinion, this is not an easy task. However, he skillfully moves through his teaching points with multiple highlights that point his reader to the truths in Scripture and how to conceptualize suffering, evil, and God. He clearly wants his reader to know God cares and is interested in him/her. The book of Job is a clear choice of suffering and demonstrates these truths well. Petty also wants the reader to know that as Christians, we don’t have all the answers, and the area of suffering and evil is yet another area that we don’t know everything. Petty points his readers to having a personal relationship with God as a foundational aspect of working through suffering. He directs his reader to www.twowaystolive.com to find out how and why you can have a personal relationship with God. This site is sponsored by the author’s publisher and it does an excellent job walking through the steps of salvation and having a personal relationship with God.
If anything, this book left me wanting a little more. However, what this book and others in the series set out to do– “Books that are to the point”– it does quite adequately and quite well. I would recommend this book, particularly for anyone wanting a brief and to the point explanation that is grounded in biblical truth. One concern I have is that I think this type of book may draw someone who is hurting in their life or knows someone suffering. I would have liked some information / resources for that person. On a five star system, I would give it 4 stars.
Sooner or later we’re all affected by suffering and evil—sometimes in horrible ways—and we often want to know why.
In this short book, Scott Petty guides us through the Old Testament story of Job—a man who suffered excruciating pain and grief without ever knowing why. On the way through, Scott deals with some of the common questions people have about suffering and evil:
» Why do bad things happen to Christians?
» Does God cause suffering?
» Is God in control of suffering and evil?
Like all the Little Black Books, this one gets straight to the point.
- Publisher: Matthias Media
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1921441763
- ISBN-13: 978-1921441769
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- For Youth / Young Adults (15-20)
Available in print or e-format on
About the Author
Scott is the youth minister at Christ Church St Ives in Sydney, and loves the tricky questions young people ask about the Christian journey. He also loves his beautiful wife, Carolyn, his three energetic sons, racing bicycles, Italian
coffee, food in general, rock‘n’roll and Apple computers, probably in that order.
About Little Black Books
A new series of books that get straight to the point on the topics that Christians always have questions about. Not too big, not too fancy, and not at all boring. LBBs are ideal for young Christians (ages 14-20+), but speak biblical truths applicable to any age range.
Also Available in Little Black Book Series