The only one who has taught me more about the sovereignty of God than John Piper is Jonathan Edwards. Dr. Piper does not disappoint in this edited work. The chapters are compiled in a series of transcripts from the 2005 Desiring God Conference, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. This review serves as a summary of some noteworthy chapters.
Piper’s opening chapter unfolds ten aspects of God’s sovereignty over suffering and Satan’s role in it. He points the reader to the eternal and infinite God; a God who stands in sharp contrast to the finite and contingent creature. The insight that Piper offers in this chapter are simply breathtaking.
Dr. Mark Talbot pens one of the most helpful and beneficial chapters on compatibalism to date. The doctrine affirms that God ordains everything that comes to pass and also affirms that agents make free, responsible choices. God never does evil, but he does in fact ordain or decree evil. Talbot’s explanations are philosophically and theologically satisfying and are expressed with warm pastoral concern. Pretty good work for a philosophy professor! Dr. Talbot’s chapter is worth the price of the book.
Steve Saint poignantly describes the murder of his father, Nate Saint and shares his personal pain as a child and the events that God used to soften his heart and make him usable vessel in God’s kingdom.
There are so many rich nuggets in this volume. Read it and be prepared for the difficult days ahead. Suffering and the Sovereignty of God is a welcome addition to students taking the Veritas course, Mending the Achilles Heel: A Biblical Response to the Problem of Evil.