Christopher Ash, Trusting God In The Darkness: A Guide To Understanding The Book Of Job. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2021.
The problem of evil and suffering is one of the most practical issues confronting all thinking human beings. Many times people blame God for the awful things that occur in the world. The book of Job is one of the many portions of His Word that deal with this difficult question. Yet many believers shy away from this large and difficult book.
Happily, Christopher Ash’s short book unpacks Job in an eminently clear and understandable manner. He spends a good amount of time detailing the errant theology of Job’s three friends, showing that due to their shallow-yet-dogmatic view of the world they drew unwarranted conclusions about the protagonist. He also explains Satan’s role, while defending God’s righteousness and sovereignty. Ash makes the helpful distinction between “armchair theology” and “wheelchair theology”: i.e. one who takes up this subject out of intellectual curiosity regarding hypothetical suffering versus someone who is confronted with actual suffering. There is much difference between the two categories, and Job represents the latter. In the end, this short book presents excellent keys for studying Job in greater detail, as well as devotional insight into the Lord’s ways in permitting and using suffering. I highly recommend this well-written work.