At the Heart of the Gospel

Suffering in the Earliest Christian Message

By L. Ann Jervis
(William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Paperback, 9780802839930, 149pp.)

Publication Date: July 2007

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Description
Suffering, while part of the human condition, is a state of being we would rather ignore. L. Ann Jervis here presents a convincing argument that human suffering is worth considering, and she offers the words of Paul as proof. Paul's insights into the predicament and significance of suffering provide the foundation for some of Christianity's most profound and unique contributions to understanding human life. Examination of three of his letters -- Thessalonians, Philippians, and Romans -- reveals his important reflections on accepting the suffering of believers with the conviction that, even as we suffer, God's plan for creation does not include suffering, and God will ultimately banish it. As a result, believing sufferers are not victims of suffering. Jervis hopes that hearing Paul's words on suffering in a fresh light may allow readers to be deeply marked, like the saints and shapers of Christianity, by the power of a gospel of which it is not necessary to be ashamed, precisely because it is not easy but transformative.
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