Why, God?

You probably haven’t suffered the same level of grief and disease as Job. But you’ve probably turned to God in dismay through your own trials.

“We are all like Job,” write Bill Kynes and Will Kynes in their new book, Wrestling with Job: Defiant Faith in the Face of Suffering (IVP Academic). We are “engaged in a mysterious cosmic battle, as every day our faith is put to the test, and God himself is honored when we trust, obey, and worship him as the great and glorious God that he is.”

Bill Kynes is a Council member for The Gospel Coalition and until recently served for many years as the senior pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, Virginia. (You can read about him in TGC’s profile by Sarah Zylstra.) His son Will is associate professor of biblical studies at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and cohost of The Two Testaments podcast. He has written extensively on the book of Job and wisdom and suffering in the Hebrew Bible. Both of them earned their PhDs from Cambridge University. Their book Wrestling with Job combines the academic expertise of Will with the homiletical insights of Bill. I’ve never read anything quite like it. They find in Job real faith that holds us together when it feels like our world is falling apart.

Defiant faith in the face of suffering takes our anguished questions to God because he cares for us. Job knows God is good. That’s why he can’t make sense of this evil that has befallen him. The Kynes duo writes,

Following Job’s example, glorifying God as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death means taking one’s experience of God’s forsakenness directly to its source: God himself. It doesn’t mean giving up on God’s goodness or power, but it may mean holding God to those standards of his own character, and grappling in the darkness, as Jacob did (Gen. 32), until the sun begins to rise. That is a real faith.

Bill and Will joined me on Gospelbound to discuss whether Job is an example or a warning, the difference between lament and grumbling, the problem of God as the author of evil, and more.