Combines professional insights along with the author s own experience and insights to speculate on how believers can make sense of their Christian faith when confronted with tragedy and suffering.
Table of Contents
Foreword James Martin, SJ vii
Chapter 1 God Is Not Out to Get Us 1
Chapter 2 We Grow through Pain, but It Is Not Sent to Make Us Grow 12
Chapter 3 And Now Lets Cross to God the Weatherman. Can We Stop Praying for Rain? 22
Chapter 4 We Are Invited to Respond to Gods Love, Not Forced or Programmed by It 37
Chapter 5 If God Did That to His Only Beloved Son, Maybe Im Getting off Lightly 52
Chapter 6 "Thus Have We Made the World" 67
Chapter 7 When Your Time Is Up, Your Time Is Up, and You Dont Get a Second More 85
Select Bibliography 99
Richard Leonard, SJ, is a writer and film critic who has written and spoken about cinema, culture, and faith on four continents. An Australian Jesuit with advanced degrees in theology and film, Leonard is the director of the Australian Catholic Film Office.
Where the Hell is God? is a page turner. Hard to imagine saying that about a theological book that takes up the age-old question of the goodness of God and the existence of suffering and evil. But its true. Moved by the terrible accident that left his beloved sister a quadriplegic before she turned thirty, Richard Leonard tackles some of the hardest questions such suffering raises. Every chapter forces you to reassess your image of God. Read this book; it could change your life.
- William A Barry SJ author of Spiritual Direction and the Encounter with God
This brilliant work by a gifted priest is one of the best books you will ever read on the question of suffering - in other words, one of the best books you will ever read on the spiritual life. Wise, insightful, pastoral, original, experienced and never settling for easy answers, Father Leonard is the compassionate guide that all of us wish we had in times of pain. This profound book is for anyone who will face suffering in life - that is, everyone.
- James Martin SJ author of The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything
Leonard, an Australian-born Jesuit who writes on Catholic approaches to film (Movies That Matter), has authored a brief, acute, and touching book on theodicy. For Leonard, guided in part by his own experience with a sister left disabled after an auto accident, and in part by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, God does not directly will or send pain, suffering, natural disasters, or punishments. We can approach God through these experiences and learn from them, but God is not their "author" in the simplistic sense many espouse. While Leonards God may feel more remote than the personal deity many have embraced, his liberation of God from personal evil is a breakthrough. VERDICT An explosive and progressive message in a small wrapper, Leonards book may frustrate Catholic and non-Catholic conservatives, but it will be a tonic for liberal Christians and seekers of all faiths.
- Library Journal