Customer Reviews for

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Average Rating 4.5
( 75 )
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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

For anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one, especially to diseases like cancer where suffering is devastating to the patient and his/her family.

When my Mom died from cancer, after a long fight, a close friend recommended this and gave me a copy. Our church, main stream Protestant, givs it to our members as a gift after a death, although it is written by a Rabbi and has an Old Testament outlook. Nothing has he...
When my Mom died from cancer, after a long fight, a close friend recommended this and gave me a copy. Our church, main stream Protestant, givs it to our members as a gift after a death, although it is written by a Rabbi and has an Old Testament outlook. Nothing has helped more people deal with loss, in my experience, than this book.

.

posted by 994078 on August 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

'There are better works to understand God's ways...'

Dr. Kushner was well-intentioned in his authorship of this book to be sure. However, his basic conclusion is that God is either all-powerful or all-loving. Since bad things happen, God isn't all powerful. The theology is faulty. As Christ was fully God, and still fully...
Dr. Kushner was well-intentioned in his authorship of this book to be sure. However, his basic conclusion is that God is either all-powerful or all-loving. Since bad things happen, God isn't all powerful. The theology is faulty. As Christ was fully God, and still fully human, so God can be loving and powerful without losing either attribute. God's power never works outside His perfect will, and sometimes that will permits evil. A much better book on endurance through adversity is 'With Joseph in the University of Adversity'. This book will answer most questions Kushner poses from a much more conservative and scriptural point of view.

posted by Anonymous on June 16, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2009

    For anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one, especially to diseases like cancer where suffering is devastating to the patient and his/her family.

    When my Mom died from cancer, after a long fight, a close friend recommended this and gave me a copy. Our church, main stream Protestant, givs it to our members as a gift after a death, although it is written by a Rabbi and has an Old Testament outlook. Nothing has helped more people deal with loss, in my experience, than this book.

    .

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    When I was going through a deep depression before/after my mother died, I read this book. It helped to move me beyond the deep loss I was feeling and brought me to a place where I began to accept that Bad things do happen to good people. I highly recommend this book.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2005

    Restored My Sanity

    I was floundering, wondering if I could ever trust God again with the safety of my family after the death of my 19 year old son in a collision with a drunk driver. I did not understand why God did not protect Christopher, after all,I prayed constantly for his safety. I could not see how any sin I may have committed was so bad as to cause another person to lose their life. I could not reason how my son's death could benefit the world in some great Master Plan. I was SO SO angry with God until I read Kushner's book. I now realize that God cried too when Chris died. The man who killed him had free will and chose to drive drunk. He was driving a vehicle much older and larger than my son's Honda Civic. The laws of nature took over. This book does not go against God in any way -- it reaffirms God's love for us and his wishes for our safety. And it literally saved my life.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    Thought Provoking Read

    Rabbi Kushner's writing style and brilliant ability to show contrast with real life situations creates an eagerness to read on and an insatiable need to learn more. From the tone of this book it leads you to assume that Rabbi Kushner is just a lovable human being, rich in modesty and humility. This is a very short book which will be of value for both religious and non religious people. Whether religious or not, Rabbi Kushner's book has the ability to put a new prayer or creed in your heart, and will also enlighten you to not lose sight of the meaning of life in your life. People need not wait for some tragedy to come along to pick up this book. Personally, I am not currently dealing with a loss however, after completing this book I feel more prepared to take on the burden of coping with any unfortunate occurrences, which the future may hold. I bought this book to enable me to pass on comforting words to people close to me which were going through some tough times in their life. The majority of the readers of this book has mis-interpreted this book primarily from the misquoting of the title of the book. If you get the title wrong then this book will not serve its proper purpose to you. If you seek a bridge to the New Testament read Melvin Tinker's 'Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People'. In Tinker's 'Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People' you will find a more expanded interpretation of the Book of Job and other important passages in the New Testament that delivers what Kushner could not due to his commitment and belief in the Jewish faith. In my judgment, the two merged will give you a wider scope of learning.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    When Bad Things Happen to Good People

    This is an excellent book. I have read this twice. It is good after some life setbacks such as deaths, loss of property, money issues, and marital problems.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2001

    Intellectually Honest, Yet Sensitive and Thoughtful

    It was Kushner's great insight to see that people who are caught in tragic circumstances not of their own making usually get stuck in some version of the dilemma: if God is all-powerful, why do tragedies occur? On the other hand, if God is not all-powerful, of what use is this no-longer-supreme deity to us? Patiently, and with great wisdom, Kushner sorts through issues of God and grace. I'm a Protestant but I got more out of this book than years of Sunday School. 'When Bad Things Happen to Good People' may be a little oversimplified in places but it's a great place to start--especially if you're mad at God!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Life Changing

    One of the best books that I have ever read. Not only for the wounded, but also for the healer. Not only for the mourner, but also for the comforter. Not only for Christians or Jews (I am neither) but for those of any faith. Not only for the heart but also for the mind.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    A Classic Kushner Book for those coping with loss

    We have given this book to many friends, who found it insightful and inspiring when going through the most difficult of times.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2004

    'There are better works to understand God's ways...'

    Dr. Kushner was well-intentioned in his authorship of this book to be sure. However, his basic conclusion is that God is either all-powerful or all-loving. Since bad things happen, God isn't all powerful. The theology is faulty. As Christ was fully God, and still fully human, so God can be loving and powerful without losing either attribute. God's power never works outside His perfect will, and sometimes that will permits evil. A much better book on endurance through adversity is 'With Joseph in the University of Adversity'. This book will answer most questions Kushner poses from a much more conservative and scriptural point of view.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Best book ever written on the subject of loss, and trying to make sense of it.

    Best book ever written on the subject of loss, and trying to make sense of it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2010

    I found this book to be very helpful

    Regardless of your religion, I think this book can be very helpful in gaining a better understanding of God, your "Higher Power" or whatever name you use. I found that the author provides logical explanations that have allowed me to find the answers to many questions I have had. The real-life examples that he uses make it easier to understand the concepts he is discussing. In addition to helping me to better understand how God works, this book will be invaluable to me as I try to comfort others who experience loss.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2004

    Left me cold...and uncomforted

    I bought this book because it came with very high recommendations. 'Best selling....4 million copies sold!' Well I started reading, and half way through the book, I found myself not only not comforted in any way, but a bit irritated that many of the thoughts and beliefs that I hold were batted down as unimportant, or untrue according to Mr. Kushner. I was, quite frankly, surprised that this book was not more compassionate since he obviously writes from a place of knowing firsthand about loss and tragedy. It may work for some, but this book left me cold.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2003

    This book changed my life!

    I was hit by a drunk driver and injured. The pain was terrible, and the doctors couldn't find the cause. Life was so hard, and there was no pleasure. I barely kept my business going and had some not very happy clients in the process as I struggled to do that which was required. A friend recommended this book. Not only did it provide the support I needed at the time, it clarified for me the role of God in our lives. How many times I hear people say things implying that bad things happened to them because they fell short somehow. Kushner banishes such thinking. Our trials and challenges are not due to our own short-comings or to an ever-watchful and harsh God who punishes us. The only short-coming we can really have is forgetting to turn to God when bad things do happen.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2001

    The First Reasonable Answers

    This is the first time I have read or heard a reasonable answer to the recurring questions of, if there is a God why does he permit these things to happen and why does he choose to ignore my prayers for help? So much common sense and wisdom in such a small book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2000

    KEEP YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AWARE OF YOUR FEELINGS

    At a time when I wanted to get into bed and shut the world out Kushner reminds us of the importance of communication. Communication with our family, friends and faith. God bless him and anyone who needs answers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2000

    The best book i've ever read

    This book was great. i didn't believe in God before i read this book. it helped me spiritually and it has made me a better person. everyone should read this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    A wonderful book

    I was going through a tough time trying to accept that the dearest person I knew had been dignosed with Alzhimers. I was given this book and it changed the way I viewed life, death and my relationship with G-d. I aways keep a copy or two of this book just to give away. It is a wondeful book. A must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Great book!

    Heartfelt writing from the author!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Compassionate and Wise

    The only words that have ever come close to helping make sense out of the senseless things that happen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An Oldie But A Goodie

    I first read this many years ago. Ordered several to give to friends who are facing troubling issues and questioning God's place in their lives. Kushner's explanations make such good sense to me. I highly recommend reading this again and again.


    I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score" for anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain. I thought that the book was just about forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. It was about how you should deal with friends, family and yourself and more importantly, how to keep these relationships strong when things go wrong.

    Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it. It is on sale here on BN.com.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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