Answering the Toughest Questions About Suffering and Evil #SoulBookSunday


Suffering and evil
Answering the Toughest Questions by Bickle and Jantz

Book Details:

Answering the Toughest Questions About Suffering and Evil by Bruce Bickle and Stan Jantz

Published by Bethany House(2018)

ISBN: 978-0-7642-1872-9

I read a very important book last month and now I’d like to share what I learned from it. I think it is so appropriate for what we all have gone through or will go through in this life. Without further ado, here is a snippet of my review from Amazon:

I am no stranger to evil and suffering and I appreciate the Christian authors for at least being honest in the book, admitting that they too, have no concrete answers. They trust that God is good and things work out together for the good.

One part of the book that kind had me feeling some type of way was the story of Kate Bowler. A thrity-five year old woman who finds out she has cancer and will be leaving her husband and new baby behind on this world. She keeps it real saying, this “prosperity gospel” teaching we have leaked out into churches is wrong. We are told it we think positive, pray loud enough and believe long enough, we shall not die. This thinking is tied into the American spirit.

And she is right.

I reflect back on losing my father and then on losing my mother-in-law two years later. We prayed for them earnestly. Begged God, made promises. I even think back to when my husband and I lost our place several years ago and family would not help out even though we’ve helped several people financially. I asked myself: Where was God then? It’s events like this that makes me believe God is around but left us alone. This is deism. I ain’t mad at anyone who believes in deism either because with that belief, God is still our Intelligent Creator, but where are the active miracles? The instant karma for the evil doers? Where is it?

Back to Kate Bowler. She understands God now and she is not mad at Him. She is not mad because death is actually a part of life and if He wanted her healed, he would have done so. We are frail, weak, yet special creatures whose lives are short.

Here’s another truth: the bible never promised forever on earth for us. In fact in John 16 in the bible, it plainly states, “We will have trouble” so even if you do not believe in God or the bible, at least Scripture keeps it real: We will have trouble. So, no surprise there.

I will leave you with this piece of advice that the book left me: When trouble does come, yes, prayer is good and welcome and when someone else is grieving, do not give them platitudes and Scriptures. Please don’t. Just be an ear, just be there. Just listen.

*This book was given to me free for my unbiased opinion from Bethany House

I hope you enjoyed this review and if you’d like more Soul Book Sunday Reviews please consider subscribing or share the post with your followers. Also, I am on Twitter often- stop by and say hi!

~The Write Web



You Can’t Read This Book Like Any Other Book

Photo Credit: Pixabay



**This is not meant to be a “preachy” post. Sorry. It is a post for those who love to read, but who discern the contents of any collected writings. Enjoy!

The bible is one of the most popular, bestselling, beloved and hated book of all time.

Even so, people still worry over whether the book containing “Dead Sea Scrolls” is really the voice of God, or stories penned from wildly imaginative people trying to give others hope.

I remember one discussion with someone years ago who stated, “It is not right to read the bible from Genesis to Revelation because then you are treating it as you would any other book.”

I did not have a comeback for that because I questioned myself: “Lord, am I disrespecting you for reading the bible front to back?”

Silly me.


I love reading all kinds of books and the preferable start is at the beginning of a story. You get maximum entertainment that way(unless you are reading choose your own ending books). However, the bible is different.

Since that discussion, I have “bible dipped”, choosing to read chapters and verses I felt I needed to read or that God whispered to me to read.

Then one day, I felt an urge to begin at the…


From the garden of Eden to the lake of fire.

I had to do this because when a person just dips into the center of the bible often, there is a whole journey that could be missing. There are still books of the bible I am unfamiliar with!

One day, I may feel the need to read from Revelation to Genesis. That would be cool.

The point I am trying to make here is that it is impossible to read the bible as a fairy tale whether you begin at Genesis or elsewhere. Impossible. It is a collection of prophecy, history, and divine letters.

This is not a post to preach, but hopefully an encouraging word for those bookworms who are Believers and who may have had this discussion before. I have read maybe hundreds of books in my lifetime so far, and let me tell you, when you are about to begin a book with collected writings of over a thousand years, you can never just read it as you would any other book.

Because it is not any other book. Even those who are not Believers can attest to this.

Anyway, these are just my morning thoughts. I love being random like this.

Don’t be afraid to subscribe and share, and I welcome comments!


Tap into ‘The Wisdom of God'(a review)

the wisdom of god
Image courtesy of Bethany House Publishers

Tapping into the wisdom of God is a pretty big feat to accomplish. God is an unseen being, an intelligent Creator. One who sent his son Jesus to die for us all so how can we tap into His wisdom and allow it to order our steps? A.W. Tozer’s writings on this subject is quite simple but is easily recognizable and in some cases come off as extremely biased.


Tozer starts off describing what Wisdom is. Wisdom is an “afflatus”, a breath created by God and appears in the form of a woman in the biblical writings. Wisdom, also called Sophia, cries out to us. This divine breath. A.W. Tozer references throughout the work, is given freely. He cites  the Wisdom of Solomon. A.W. Tozer repeatedly reminds us that the Wisdom of Solomon is not divinely inspired of God like the other 66 books of the bible, yet gives us a picture of what wisdom truly is.

That was a slight problem with this work. This could be because of my own personal stance on Christianity now as to why I am cautious of what I read and believe. Why isn’t the Wisdom of Solomon included in the 66 books of the bible and who deemed it so?

After learning about wisdom being a “divine lady breath”,  Tozer begins to help us understand the activity of wisdom. Chapter by chapter he teaches us: “The Root of Divine Wisdom”, “The Benefits of Eternal Wisdom”, “The Practicality of God’s Wisdom”, and so on. Each chapter brings you closer to understanding the beauty of wisdom.

There is one teaching that really stuck to me though. In the section on pursuing wisdom, Tozer breaks down Proverbs 1:20-23’s meaning of the scorners, the fools, and simple ones. These are the ones Wisdom will “pour her spirit onto”.

“The point is, though he believes those things, he lives as if they were not so. The man who lives as if the truth were not true is as bad as the man who denies the truth.”(The Wisdom of God, Tozer, pg.108, 2017)

Some troubling areas which came off as biased(again, this could be because of my own feelings as of late about Christianity) stems from over-radical beliefs that is unproven.

For instance, Tozer says: “Millions are in hell because they simply could not resist imitating others”(pg.57) and who are these people in hell Tozer mentions? Smokers and drinkers are one of them. This part is very complex and odd because how do he know who is in hell and how does drinking and smoking land someone in hell? It is bad for health- but hell?

Also, when describing the “strange, evil woman” he calls her sophisticated and smart and “can’t remember when she last attended Sunday school”…? That was pretty low and what does being strange and evil have to do with sophistication unless she is using people and is conceited, I don’t see anything wrong with anyone being sophisticated and intelligent. Perhaps a better example could have been used.

Perhaps I can chalk it up to Tozer’s time period. He lived around 1897-1963 so his views on some things may seem myopic and biased but he is still one excellent theologian and writer.

Overall, the book had great insight and I advise readers to take note on some pages because understanding the wisdom of God is important for the Christian walk. That much I do agree with.

4heart1This book earns four hearts from me and was received for free from Bethany House.

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell

Answering tough questions about heaven and hell
Image courtesy of Bethany House

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz

Published by Bethany House(2017)


Grab your copy on Amazon!

*Book received for free from Bethany House Publishers*

Here’s a sobering fact: “More than 7,000 people die each day in the U.S. Nearly 11,000 are born each day.”(Answering the Toughest Questions, pg.28, 2017).

Bickel and Jantz began this book in the most logical way by asking: Is there an afterlife in general? The tone of the book is conversational, intellectual and made for very easy reading.

However, where the book excels in being  highly organized, the answers given may satisfy those who are deep in the religion and who never waver from the Word of God whilst “new school” believers like myself, believe in Christ but are not quite sure if everything the bible paints is 100% accurate or made clear.

The good part is that the authors actually save the biblical teachings for later. They offer information on the afterlife based off of sound research and used ingenious quotes from Peter Kreeft, Freeman Dyson, Alan Segal, and more.

The real question remains though: Were they able to give us what we want?

Well, the authors were humble enough throughout the book to mention that they do not have clear answers on everything. In fact, going with God, reading the bible and combing through research dealing with the afterlife is anyone’s best bet.

Another cool feature of this book are the reflection questions at the end of each chapter. The questions are tough too! Not something to take lightly. This is your afterlife we’re talking about here.

Below are a few teaser bits of what I learned from this book:

  • Before followers of Jesus were called Christians, they were called people of the way because Jesus said it first that he was/is the way to heaven.
  • C.S. Lewis said “we have an innate desire for immortality so immortality(in some form) must exist.
  • Death may not sting, but it still hurts(I love how they put that!)
  • Life after death can be explained through biology, consciousness, teleology, and physics- to some degree.
  • Our brains and minds are separate. Therefore, when the body dies our minds or spirits will live on.

I enjoyed this book completely. It sort of rekindled my faith. I love reading theology and Christian living books for this reason.

Do you have any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share here? If you have reviewed the book also, let me know!

-The Write Web 🙂

Bandersnatch by Erika Morrison (a review)

Image courtesy of W Publishing Group

*Uncorrected advanced copy received for free from Netgalley

Bandersnatch is really for those  Christians who have had it with dry traditions and desire a real relationship with their Creator.

Bandersnatch  does not follow a linear pattern like a “normal” Christian self help book.

Erika Morrison’s book is more than that.

It is abstract.

For example, she provides a working theme and definition for Bandernsnatch(she makes it a verb):

“I’m inviting you to Bandersnbatch- that is, to acknowledge and embrace the unconventional habits and attitudes that are your birthright…”(xii)

And throughout the book, Erika shares a part of herself with us. She lets us in on that moment when she was a part of the charismatic church and could not speak in tongues but the Holy Spirit gave her another, important creative gift.

Or her thoughts about God that causes you to rethink how and why we worship because “all life is precious- God spoke it into existence.”(155).

Erika does not offer ten steps to worshiping God in some supreme way or even offer up a ten point guide as to why we should all Bandersnatch. The book is not written in “order” and so you can literally pick a chapter and start reading.

She  asks short questions so you can gauge your understanding of the text and your relationship to God.

4/5 Stars

Book Details:

Bandersnatch, Erika Morrison

W Publishing Group-Imprint of Thomas Nelson(October 6,2015)

ISBN: 978-0-7180-3622-5

Review: ‘The Shadowed Mind'(A Dinah Harris Mystery, #2) is a Chiller

the shadowed mind, suspense booksIf you are a Christian and looking for a good mystery that seems to be ripped from today’s headlines and features a strong, flawed heroine. Then I strongly suggest Julie Cave’s Dinah Harris Mystery trilogy. And in The Shadowed Mind, the second book in this trilogy things get even deadlier.

Former FBI Agent Dinah Harris is now a consultant on the latest case: a cunning, terrifying killer emerges and decides who gets to live or die. Along with this event, Dinah learns about eugenics and euthanasia.

Briefly, eugenics is the science of improving the population by “breeding” those with good genes. Euthanasia is assisted suicide or “mercy killing”. And so in this mystery, there are people groups who publicly denounce these ideas but secretly they hold fast to them and what will raise goose bumps on your skin is the Julie Cave’s research that illustrates in real life people once held/hold on to these ideas, beginning with the history of The racial Integrity Act of 1924 or Sterilization Act which affected blacks of course and Indians and other non-white people groups. But it extends also to sterilizing those with histories of addictions, disabilities, and mental illness.

My Reaction:

Dinah Harris is touted as being the most talented FBI on the force and I guess this is before her depression and drinking took over because right now I see bits and pieces of how good she is as far as asking right questions and digging for clues but nothing really spectacular. But I do have a feeling this will pick up in the conclusion to this wonderful trilogy. Honestly, the books are just that good.

Also, I am a romantic at heart so I am wondering…when the heck will Dinah at least have some sort of gushy feelings for a dude?

Okay, maybe I’m picking, but seriously, this is a great series.

*Book received for unbiased review from author Julie Cave

4/5 Stars

Book Details:

The Shadowed Mind: A Dinah Harris Mystery, #2 by Julie Cave

Master Books(2010)


Deadly Consequences and Theological Thoughts in ‘Deadly Disclosures’

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris MysteryDeadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery by Julie Cave

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A prominent Secretary of the Smithsonian vanishes and is found dead.

FBI agent Dinah Harris is summoned to the case, but she has a problem. A drinking problem and it will take an act of God for her to get through this case which will shake the foundation of the Smithsonian and America as she knows it.

The case goes deeper as Dinah realizes there is more at stake here than just a missing Secretary. More dead bodies pile up as she and her partner Ferguson discovers that this case is one of faith versus science:

“…you really don’t want anyone to practice any religion except atheism, right?” Dinah said mildly. That doesn’t sound like freedom of religion to me; that sounds like religious persecution.”(pg.257)

Deadly Disclosures is an exciting mystery portraying the views of the humanists/evolutionists and the Creationists/Christians and those who will literally kill for their beliefs. The book has intelligent dialogue, believable crime scenes, and you can tell the book has been thoroughly researched.

Although the book has five star status, some people may find Dinah too dry and cold. Her personality was really stale and her drinking booze every day and night is seen as a hindrance to her relationship with others. However, she does have a devastating story as to why she drinks and wishes to die.

Another potential pitfall for readers could be how atheists and Christians are portrayed. You’ve seen this in faith films: Atheists are the bad guys and Christians are the nice, sweet people.

A very entertaining book that begs you to keep turning the pages.

*Book received for free from Julie Cave for an unbiased review.

View all my reviews

Book Details:

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery, #1

Julie Cave

Master Books(2010)

ISBN: 978-0-89051-584-6