Ashes and a Thunderstorm

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Though we often journey through life bewildered and disoriented, especially in the face of human suffering, with such wisdom as presented in Ashes and a Thunderstorm, we may emerge from a faithful, slow reading of the Book of Job as changed people, with a new outlook on life, God, and human suffering.
-David Robinson (MDiv, DMin), author of Cloud Devotion: Through the Year with the Cloud of Unknowing

In this groundbreaking work, author Craig Bingham offers a bold new interpretation of the book of Job, showing how Job’s story is a beautiful and hope-filled narrative about what it means to wrestle with suffering and trauma and move forward into new life.

The key to reading Job, he argues, is to recognize its underlying mirrored structure, in which events and paradigms are echoed and rearticulated as the book progresses. In an accessible and engaging manner, Bingham shows how the first half of the book portrays the author’s surprising literary set-up. It introduces certain problematic paradigms commonly used to understand suffering, such as the idea that suffering is a divine test of character, or that suffering is retribution for wrongdoing of some kind. Those paradigms are then systematically deconstructed by the agonized honesty of Job, who refuses to accept those paradigms as adequate explanations for his grief and suffering.

Job’s story, though, does not end with deconstruction. Instead, the second half of the book charts Job’s own journey of healing as he encounters the divine and is drawn into renewed life. Job chooses to embrace a world that reflects the wildness and wonder of God in spite of his own inexplicable experiences of suffering. Each aspect of the story is rearticulated in a transformed way, drawing us as readers and listeners into a profound shift in perspective.

If you have ever struggled with the story of Job, had experiences of profound suffering or loss, or simply want to better understand a commonly misinterpreted piece of literature, this book is for you.

-from the back cover