The PhxP Book Review: Everything Happens For A Reason (And Other Lies I Learned to Love)/ Blessed
What would it mean for Christians to give up that little piece of the American Dream that says, “You are limitless”? Everything is not possible. The mighty kingdom of God is not yet here. What if ‘rich’ did not have to mean ‘wealthy’, and ‘whole’ did not have to mean ‘healed’? What if being the people of “the gospel” meant that we are simply people with good news? God is here. We are loved. It is enough.” Kate Bowler
I judge books by how long it takes me to read them.
This is because if I’m drawn in by an author I won’t leave the book until I’m finished.
“Everything Happens For a Reason” took me about two hours…
Bowler is a professor at Duke Divinity School…a church historian whose first book, “Blessed” is an excellent volume on the “prosperity gospel”.
She is my type of writer…an brilliant iconoclast with a unique voice speaking to our darkest places…in this case she wrestles with theodicy.
The short version of her tale is that she was living a “blessed” life when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.
The narrative is about how she wrestles with why God allows such suffering in the world from a deeply personal perspective.
There are two appendices at the book of the book on how to engage with people facing similar situations that are worth the price of the book.
There have been innumerable scholarly works on the subject of theodicy over the centuries…this popular one deserves a place next to them.
“I am a professor at a Christian seminary, so a lot of Christians like to remind me that heaven is my true home, which makes me want to ask them if they would like to go home before me. Maybe now?”
Bowler writes without the scorn and disdain for the practitioners and the people in the pews that usually accompany works about the health and wealth sects.
This allows the reader to engage with the history without making theological and ethical calls while reading the material and allows for more nuanced reflection.
She nails the history and explores why people are attracted to this theology.
If you are interested in the history of American evangelicalism this is a must read volume.
Give her another 5 stars…