Professor Hall has written a major work on an agonizing subject, at once brilliant, comprehensive, and thought provoking.
In contrast to many writers who gloss over one or the other, Dr. Hall is true both to the reality of suffering and to the affirmation that God creates, sustains, and redeems.
Creative is his view that certain aspects of what we call suffering -- loneliness, experience of limits, temptation, anxiety -- are necessary parts of God’s good creation. These he distinguishes from suffering after the fall, the tragic dimension of life.
Unique is his structure:
- creation-suffering as becoming
- the fall--suffering as a burden
- redemption--conquest from within.
Professor Hall succeeds in moving the reader beyond the customary way of stating the problem: “How can undeserved suffering coexist with a just and almighty God?” He also evaluates five popular, leading thinkers on suffering: Harold Kushner, C.S. Lewis, Diogenes Allen, George Buttrick, and Leslie Weatherhead.