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Beautiful and Terrible Things

A Christian Struggle with Suffering, Grief, and Hope

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Westminster John Knox Press
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5.5 x 8.5
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Bible scholar Christian Brady, an expert on Old Testament lament, was as prepared as a person could be for the death of a child—which is to say, not nearly well enough. When his eight-year-old son died suddenly from a fast-moving blood infection, Brady heard the typical platitudes about accepting God's will and knew that quiet acceptance was not the only godly way to grieve.

With deep faith, knowledge of Scripture, and the wisdom that comes only from experience, Brady guides readers grieving losses and setbacks of all kinds in voicing their lament to God, reflecting on the nature of human existence, and persevering in hope. Brady finds that rather than an image of God managing every event and action in our lives, the biblical account describes the very real world in which we all live, a world full of hardship and calamity that often comes unbidden and unmerited. Yet, it also is a world into which God lovingly intrudes to bring comfort, peace, and grace.

Perfect for book clubs! Download the Reading Group Guide.

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Christian M. M. Brady is a professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and the inaugural dean of the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky. He is also a priest in the Episcopal Church and is Canon Theologian in the Diocese of Lexington Kentucky.
Beautiful and Terr...
A Christian Strugg...
by Westminster John Knox Press
“Bible scholar Brady mines scripture and his own experiences of grief in this touching testament to the value of hope after a tragedy…. This thoughtful and heartfelt inquiry into biblical lessons on suffering will satisfy any theologically inclined Christian.” —Publishers Weekly
“Brady’s sensitivity to his grief and his varied background provides something for a wide audience. The book is both intensely personal and clear-eyed, unflinching yet hopeful.” —Library Journal
“Through Brady’s story, we are witnesses to a comprehensive theological reflection on suffering, grief and hope. It is a lament that moves both Brady and his readers to praise and hope, while rooted in the world where unexplained suffering visits the innocent and undeserving.” —The Presbyterian Outlook

“This book exemplifies engagement in faith-based meaning-making and theological reflection in the wake of tragic loss… Many will find in this book permission to grieve, lament, and ask difficult questions.”
Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

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