Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #BeautifulandTerribleThings #NetGalley
Bible scholar Christian Brady, an expert on Old Testament lament, was as prepared as a person could be for the death of a child—which is to say, not nearly well enough. When his eight-year-old son died suddenly from a fast-moving blood infection, Brady heard the typical platitudes about accepting God's will and knew that quiet acceptance was not the only godly way to grieve.
With deep faith, knowledge of Scripture, and the wisdom that comes only from experience, Brady guides readers grieving losses and setbacks of all kinds in voicing their lament to God, reflecting on the nature of human existence, and persevering in hope. Brady finds that rather than an image of God managing every event and action in our lives, the biblical account describes the very real world in which we all live, a world full of hardship and calamity that often comes unbidden and unmerited. Yet, it also is a world into which God lovingly intrudes to bring comfort, peace, and grace.
“Bible scholar Brady mines scripture and his own experiences of grief in this touching testament to the value of hope after a tragedy…. This thoughtful and heartfelt inquiry into biblical lessons on suffering will satisfy any theologically inclined Christian.”
“Brady’s sensitivity to his grief and his varied background provides something for a wide audience. The book is both intensely personal and clear-eyed, unflinching yet hopeful.”
“Brady’s witness is to the costly process of grief and the prospect of faith that will not alleviate but will carry us through that cost. This book will serve well those who face such anguished loss. Beyond that, the book is enriched with study questions for those who know that, sooner or later, we will all lose our loved ones and will be summoned to such grief.”
—Walter Brueggemann, award-winning preacher and author of Sabbath as Resistance
“When Christian Brady and his wife experienced the unthinkable, the sudden and unexpected death of their young son, waves of grief surged from this tragedy. This tender and powerful volume stands in honest solidarity with all who have suffered loss and in gentle and deep conversation with all whose loss has provoked questions of faith.”
—Thomas G. Long, author of What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith
“Christian Brady has written a book that asks many questions—questions both you and I have asked, such as: How it is that the God who created this world could allow so much suffering? There are many who need and must process these questions, and this book may help. It’s a study of life, suffering, and death in this world, a study of uncertainty, tragedy, and personal loss, but it’s also a proclamation of hope, which at its conclusion brings needful reassurance.”
—Phil Keaggy, award-winning guitarist and vocalist
“Among smart but accessible readings of the books of Wisdom, Brady weaves his own wrenching experience as the bereaved father of a son taken too soon. In so doing, he reveals a path of faith I recognize: standing, trembling with gratitude, before the whirlwind of God.”
—Rebecca Gayle Howell, author of American Purgatory and Render: An Apocalypse