When Leaving God is a Good Choice: Re-reading the Book of Job

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Almost everyone is familiar with the basic contours of the story of Job. Job, a good and righteous man, suffers a series of unspeakable tragedies, losing his wealth, health and ten children. Friends come from afar to comfort him, but the conversation soon takes on the tone of accusation and counter-accusation. In the end God intervenes, demonstrates the divine glory, and restores Job’s fortunes, including ten replacement children.

Traditional interpreters read the story of Job as a study in patience and humility when confronting the mystery of pain. Job, in the end, realized his smallness and God’s greatness, submitted to the wise and mysterious ways of God, and received a restored life along with a profounder understanding of God.

The purpose of this book is to take issue with that simple though comforting explanation. This book argues that Job really doesn’t submit to God at the end but, instead, decides to take his comfort on the ash heap, turning away from God. Given Job’s circumstances and the divine treatment of Job, Dr Long further argues Job’s choice to leave God is a good one.

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