Top critical review
Good for teaching reference, but not a major breakthrough
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2015
From the perspective of trying to learn how to help others in the midst of suffering, this book was good. Had I read this in the midst of my own season of loss/grief, I probably would have quit by chapter 2. The first 3 chapters of the book seem like a philosophical treatise on why the secularist or any competing religion really, cannot handle the problem of pain and suffering as well as the Christian. While this may be intriguing for some, it was largely boring for me and entirely too long. Additionally, various other sections of the book felt like they were a bit unnecessary.
With that out of the way, I can say that many of the chapters hold great thoughts, some original to Keller, but many credited to the saints before us. As such, a pastor looking for a resource to help with teaching on this matter will find many great anecdotes and stellar quotations notable names. I personally found myself highlighting various stories and quotations to save for later use.
For someone looking to learn how to walk with God, while they are “walking through pain and suffering” I’d recommend starting elsewhere (I'd give this 2 stars for that). For a teacher looking for a solid reference work on suffering in general, I recommend this (4 stars for that), but it would not be my first recommendation. Zacharias and Vitale’s recent book “Why Suffering?” offered a bit more for someone wrestling with the question of God’s goodness (or existence) in the face of evil, though Keller’s book does cover a broader spectrum of discussion.