Augsburg Fortress

God and Human Suffering: An Exercise in the Theology of the Cross

God and Human Suffering: An Exercise in the Theology of the Cross

Professor Hall has written a major work on an agonizing subject, at once brilliant, comprehensive, and thought provoking.

In contrast to many writers who gloss over one or the other, Dr. Hall is true both to the reality of suffering and to the affirmation that God creates, sustains, and redeems.

Creative is his view that certain aspects of what we call suffering -- loneliness, experience of limits, temptation, anxiety -- are necessary parts of God's good creation. These he distinguishes from suffering after the fall, the tragic dimension of life.

Unique is his structure:
  • creation-suffering as becoming
  • the fall--suffering as a burden
  • redemption--conquest from within.

Professor Hall succeeds in moving the reader beyond the customary way of stating the problem: "How can undeserved suffering coexist with a just and almighty God?" He also evaluates five popular, leading thinkers on suffering: Harold Kushner, C.S. Lewis, Diogenes Allen, George Buttrick, and Leslie Weatherhead.
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  • Publisher Augsburg Books
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780806623146
  • Dimensions 5.56 x 8.38
  • Pages 224
  • Publication Date January 1, 1987


"I seldom call a book 'great' but do so in describing this book. It probes with freshness and profundity faith's most perplexing dilemma. It combines careful intellectual discriminations with passion. It illumines the possibilities for faith and inspires action in the world."
--John C. Bennett

"This brilliant theological essay on God and evil, faithful to the gospel, and in solidarity with sufferers and victims, offers a moving invitation to mourn, to act, and to hope."
--Gregory Baum

"Douglas John Hall is Karl Barth's type of theologian, with the Scripture in the one hand and a daily newspaper in the other. He has a deep perception of the Christian tradition--moving Christologically--and razored insights into the problems of our culture."
--James A. Nestingen