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Making Sense Out of Suffering [Paperback]

By Peter Kreeft (Author) & Sheldon Vanauken (Designed by)
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Item Number 46074  
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Item description for Making Sense Out of Suffering by Peter Kreeft & Sheldon Vanauken...

By the time you finish reading this book, many people will have died violent deaths, many others will have suffered the ravages of a terminal illness, and thousands of innocent children will have been abused by their parents. And it is not only innocent children and others like them who suffer but also you and I. This book is for anyone who has ever wept and wondered, "Why?" Peter Kreeft observes that our world is full of billions of normal lives which have been touched by apparently pointless and random suffering. He then records the results of his own wrestling match with God as he struggles to make sense out of this pain and suffering. This account of a real and honest personal quest is both engaging and convincing. It delights as well as informs, much in the style of C. S. Lewis. Written from a deep well of wisdom derived from experience and careful observation, MAKING SENSE OUT OF SUFFERING is a book for empty hearts, not full ones. Read it if you are hungry for insight into the mystery of suffering.

Publishers Description
This book is for anyone who has ever wept and wondered, "Why?" Peter Kreeft observes that our world is full of billions of normal lives that have been touched by apparently pointless and random suffering. This account of a real and honest personal quest is both engaging and convincing. Written from a deep well of wisdom derived from experience and careful observation, Making Sense Out of Suffering is a book for empty hearts, not full ones. Read it if you are hungry for insight into the mystery of suffering. A Servant Book.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Servant Ministries
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.02" Width: 5.24" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1986
ISBN  0892832193  
ISBN13  9780892832194  

Availability  150 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 12:23.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Peter Kreeft & Sheldon Vanauken

Peter Kreeft Peter J. Kreeft (Ph.D., Fordham University) was born in 1937 and is professor of philosophy at Boston College where he has taught since 1965. A popular lecturer, he has also taught at many other colleges, seminaries and educational institutions in the eastern United States. Kreeft has written more than fifty books, including The Best Things in Life, The Journey, How to Win the Culture War and, with Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics.

Peter Kreeft has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Sheed & Ward Books

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Death & Grief > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Grief, Suffering, Consolation

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Reviews - What do customers think about Making Sense Out of Suffering?

The Problem of Suffering  Mar 17, 2007
* Why do bad things happen to good people ?
* If God is All Mighty, why is there any evil?
* Why do people suffer ?

In response to these age old questions, Boston College's Dr. Peter Kreeft first explores the "easy answers" of Atheism, Demythologism, Psychologism, Polytheism, Scientism, Dualism, Satanism, Pantheism, Deism, and Idealism - finding them all to be more than wanting. He proceeds to mine clues from philosophers, artists, and prophets. In the end, this elegant book beautifully reminds us of God's Creation, Humanity's Fall, and Redemption:

* In creation, God first showed His almighty love and wisdom and announced His loving plan. The 1st people, our first parents, lived in perfect holiness & perfect justice: their relationships with God, with each other, with themselves, & with their environment - were all in perfect harmony. There was no death or suffering.

* People abused their freedom & rejected what God had given. The first people lost that original holiness & justice - not just for themselves, but for all people. We rejected God's offer & struck out on our own. Not born into that original holiness & justice - our situation is called "original sin." Our powers are now more weak: We can be ignorant; we suffer; we die; we sin.

* While the 1st people rejected God's perfect world for all people, that's not the end: Christ's victory over sin gave us greater blessings than those that original sin took away! Jesus' Redemption is better than what we lost!

* Jesus experienced evil, & He suffered. Through His death & Resurrection, He overcame evil. We can unite our sufferings to His - suffering can have redemptive value. God wouldn't permit any evil if He didn't allow for good to come from the same evil.
What's wrong with all the other answers  May 5, 2006
Peter Kreeft wrote a book twenty years ago that I've just gotten around to reading. I wish I had read it twenty years ago.

Kreeft is a philosophy professor at Boston College, and his book Making Sense Out of Suffering is a look at the implications of suffering in philosophy and theology. His audience is the skeptic, the person of uncertain beliefs and convictions who is tossed about in this world of sorrow and pain and is struggling to find some way to understand existence in light of that raw fact.

One thing that I really enjoyed about his book was his attention to various traditions and schools of thought. He starts with this observation:

"By the time you finish reading this book, ten thousand children will starve, four thousand will be brutally beaten by their parents, and one thousand will be raped.

If you took a poll asking who the profoundest thinker of all time was, the man who would probably come out second, after Jesus, is Buddha. Buddha's entire philosophy centers around his answer to the problem of suffering. How can we not hear him out?"

Gotama Buddha's voice is only the first of many which we must hear out. If we follow Kant's suggestion that the great questions revolve around God, the world, and the soul, then the question of suffering becomes a question of the existence of a supreme being and its relationship to the human world. The difficulty of suffering, for belief is that we are asked to accept the following:

1. God exists.
2. God is all-powerful.
3. God is all-good.
4. Evil exists.

How can this be?

Kreeft summarizes the possible alternate theologies, which differ on these points, either bluntly or subtly. For examine, the atheist may deny that God exists. Or one may more subtly say that God exists, but only as a psychological concept, thereby draining Him of real force and existence. All of these alternate answers have implications for the meaning of human suffering.

Kreeft's goal on the other hand, is to affirm Christian belief and answer a resounding "yes" to all these questions. The task then becomes making Christian belief intellectually credible and defensible. His technique is interesting -- rather than argue from cohesive deductive principles, Kreeft takes successive passes at the problem and allows answers and ideas to emerge suggestively, tentatively, rather than authoritatively and dogmatically.
Here and There  Oct 2, 2005
Kreeft's book is effective in introducing one to the contemplation of suffering. He certainly asks many of the right questions. However, his use of dialogue feels grossly manipulative and contrived; in fact, there's really no question about the manipulative part. There are a number of instances where you can see difficult questions coming, but they are deflected rather than confronted by yet another condescending and tangential foray into Kreeft's "cleverness."

The book is certainly worth reading. However, don't be suprised by the default evasions inherent in it. Every time a truly difficult question is posed, or rather allowed to be posed by Kreeft, it's usually answered with the portrayal of God as someone who's allegedly a loving father and how it's all going to be all right in the end. Machiavelli's Prince is a rank amateur compared to Kreeft's God.
One of the best Christian books on suffering  Sep 23, 2005
This is a fanatastic book on suffering and the "problem of Evil". Along with "Disapointment with God" by Phil Yancey, this is in my list of top books on the subject. Kreeft is a very intelligent person, and he takes on the issue from both a philosophical and religous angle. He has a number of good insights in here, and contrary to what other reviewers say, there are some smart insights here that are not found in CS Lewis writings. CS is a genius, no bones about it, but Kreef has written a better book on the subject than CS has.
One of the Best Books on the Topic  Mar 12, 2005
Eschewing easy answers, Peter Kreeft calls us to explore the mystery of suffering. Examining the thoughts of philosophers, artists, and prophets, he shares clues to the why of suffering. This culminates in Jesus, "the one who would solve the problem of suffering by suffering, who would solve the problem of death by dying, and in so doing transform the meaning of suffering and death."

People of our day think feeling good is the ultimate objective, and therefore see suffering as an incredibly bad thing. But when you realize the ultimate objective is the glory of God, suffering is truly a momentary light affliction. Peter Kreeft helps us understand that.

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