The Suffering of God: An Old Testament Perspective available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
In this comprehensive and thought-provoking study, Terence Fretheim focuses on the theme of divine suffering, an aspect of our understanding of God which both the church and scholarship have neglected. Maintaining that "metaphors matter," Fretheim carefully examines the ruling and anthropomorphic metaphors of the Old Testament and discusses them in the context of current biblical-theological scholarship. His aim is to broaden our understanding of the God of the Old Testament by showing that "suffering belongs to the person and purpose of God".
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The Suffering of God is good, hearty biblical theology that can be applied to preaching, academia, or faith formation. Fretheim lays out the pathos of God, the giving in and giving up of God's self for humanity's sake. From the beginning, when God breathes life into the first human being, "the words imply that God's life was in some sense being expended." Fretheim's alternative reading of the Bible in this way creates a space in which believers can rethink the character of God and their relationship to the divine, who may not just be all-powerful but also compassionate enough to give up that barrier of strength and unknowability for our sake.
I am currently reading this book. Fretheim is certainly not your average fundamentalist orthodox Christian in the way he thinks. He says some things in this book that would make your pastor turn red in the face and excommunicate you. I believe he provides great information and Biblical theology is much more useful than systematic theology. This guy is worth reading and is very deep. It is definately a book I will read again.
This is not a book for casual reading. The language is college-level and, at times, difficult. Heavy with scriptures, 'The Suffering of God' is WELL WORTH every minute spent in it. A real eye-opener for those who have always perceived God as being cold, distant, and uninvolved in the affairs of this world.