When the reality of your pain doesn’t line up with what you’ve been taught in church, then what? While many abandon their faith or embrace hopelessness, it is possible to discover the God who heals your heart in the midst of the pain.
Matt Bays has been where you are. His unforgettable stories of loss and healing will usher you into a life where gratitude overpowers anger, hope overcomes despair, and hunger for God replaces indifference to God. With a fresh and original writing style, Bays demonstrates that true redemption is far more powerful than the temporary fixes of sanitized Christianity.
- Not worth it!!!!
Not worth it! Doesnt go off scriptures and blames God for all the problems he and everyone faces. What about Lucifer and this world belonging to him never once blames the devil, demons, or other people's choices for the problems of this world. At one point even said it's okay to flick God off disgusting in my opinion. Had maybe 3 or 4 good points in total not a helpful book.
- Doesn't get much rawer than this
Many people have wondered, “Where is God?” in the midst of their suffering. If answers are ever given by others in those moments, they are usually unsatisfactory. Worship leader Matt Bays offers a different perspective in his book, Finding God in the Ruins.
It doesn’t get much rawer than this. The book cuts between Bays’ dysfunctional childhood (which includes heartbreaking sexual abuse), his brother’s death at a young age, his sister’s battle with cancer as an adult, his struggles in counseling and ministry, and other stories of suffering. Bays spends time ruminating on some of the darker questions most of us are afraid to ask, like “Where is God when a trafficked child is being raped? Isn’t he complicit in this atrocity if he doesn’t stop it?”
What Bays never offers is pat answers. In fact, answers are few and far between in this book, because that is not the picture of God that Bays is trying to paint. He doesn’t believe the God of the Bible lives in the answers, but rather in the questions and the suffering of people. That is where real, deep faith is born and where trust is learned. Can we really believe God when he tells us he will redeem our pain? Does redemption look the way we expect after all?
Bays manages to give us A Grief Observed for the 21st century, showing God to be sovereign, but not complicit in our suffering. He avoids theological pitfalls—open theism is just another disturbing pat answer offering no comfort—and he avoids them through his sheer, brutal honesty. It’s hard reading sometimes, messier than we Christians like things to get.
For all his writing prowess and admirable honesty, Bays is a difficult narrator to listen to. He speaks softly and very slowly. I listened to the audiobook version at 1.5x speed and that was comfortable. That said, I’m glad Bays narrated his own book. It just wouldn’t have seemed right for someone else to read a story this raw.
Anyone who works with those who are suffering and downtrodden should read this book. Any who are suffering and downtrodden themselves should read this book. Bays offers real peace and real hope, or more accurately, God offers those things through Bays’ story.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- Moving, Inspiring, Meaningful, Touching
Such a strong book. The writer and his wife I went to school at Anderson University. This book speaks directly to me and this audio book is the best audio book I have listened to. When Matt reads his book it isn't like he is just reading it, it feels as though he is talking directly to you! I had no clue on any of Matt's difficulties but it is great to hear his story but also to know that I am not the only person that has gone through some of the same curcumstances. Loosing my brother to ALS, my sister with Huntington's, my struggles from being molested by a next door neighbor and being mistreated by classmates due to a learning disability. Moving, Inspiring and meaningful is thistestiment!
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