This is a book review for Suffering and Evil by Scott Petty. This book is part of the Little Black Book series that he has written and published through Matthias Media. Scott is a youth minister at Christ Church in St. Ives, Sydney, Australia. I received a free copy of the book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for this review on my blog and on Amazon.
The Little Black Book series is primarily written for youth and young adults, ages 15-20. That caught my interest as I wondered if the tough topics he tackles might be a good fit for my teen-age grandchildren. After reading this book, I plan to read the others in the series and share with my children and grandchildren. I found the book to be well worth my time giving me an even greater understanding of God’s grace in dealing with suffering and evil as it affects His people.
In a world where we regularly see, and are often times touched by suffering and evil, young and old alike ask “why?” Why do innocent people die in mass shootings? Why does God allow that kind of evil to touch His children? Scott approaches the subject of suffering and evil in our world with a running comparison to the Book of Job. Early in the story of Job we learn that he was “blameless and upright in the sight of God.” So why did he have to suffer? Why do people suffer in this world, often times unjustly? In his very easy to understand writing style, Scott points out the suffering may not be God’s punishment for sin, which is often touted as a common theme after mass sufferings.
In the same fashion that he talks about suffering he tackles the question of why God allows evil to exist in the world. In the end he sums it up in the point I wish to tuck away in my heart. Scott writes, “The last thing to realize on this whole topic of evil and suffering is that God is bigger than we think. This means that the Christian life is not about knowing all the answer to life’s questions, but about knowing the one who does know all the answers.”
This little black book has reminded me that I intimately know they One who knows all the answers and sometimes that will just have to do, this side of Heaven.
While the book was written for questioning youth or young adults, it was an excellent read for me and I plan to read the rest of his series. Other subjects he has covered in Little Black Books include, Sex, The Bible, What’s Life All About, Science and God, The Holy Spirit, and Predestination.