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Who is to Blame? : Disasters, Nature, and Acts of God

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9780857214737: Who is to Blame? : Disasters, Nature, and Acts of God
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How can an omnipotent God of Love allow hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and the suffering they bring? Robert S. White, a geophysicist, tackles one of the biggest conundrums in Christian thinking. He combines a profound knowledge of the science behind natural events with thorough research into their impact, and underpins it with a carefully thought through theological response.
Examining each type in turn, he illuminates the way in which human factors almost always turn natural processes, without which the earth would be sterile and uninhabitable, into disasters: population growth, widespread inequality, foolish farming and building practices and climate change all contribute, exacerbating heat waves, famines and droughts. He then outlines the insights that Jacob, Job and Jesus offer.

This is an enormously readable book permeated with engaging insights into the human condition and the biblical response.

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Review:

"I am so grateful that Bob White has taken the time to write this book. His scientific expertise as a geophysicist gives his analysis of disasters depth and reliability. But more than that, he integrates his science with sociological and political insights, and then opens them up to careful biblical and theological exploration. The result is an amazing and significant volume, beautifully crafted, easy to read, and a wonderful resource for anyone who has ever thought about these issues." -- Elaine Storkey, philosopher, sociologist and theologian

"A masterly survey of the natural phenomena that provide so generously for our well-being and development as humans on Planet Earth ... (celebrates) God's great capacity to turn the worst of seeming tragedies into the greatest of triumphs." -- Sir John Houghton, former joint chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"This is one of the most helpful books I have read on the question that troubles all sensitive Christian minds - "Why is there evil and suffering in the world and why does God allow disasters?" What will you get in this book? Good science and good theology. Robert White has a thorough understanding of both and roots all his thinking and writing in careful interpretation of key biblical teaching. What will you not get? Simplistic answers and solutions that either insult your intelligence or dismiss the pain of your suffering - or the suffering of those caught up in terrifying disasters or personal tragedy. This is not 'the answer we've all been waiting for'. But it goes a long way in helping us to respond wisely to realities we cannot ultimately explain, by giving us resources that are rich in biblical truth, scientific fact, and pastoral wisdom." -- Revd Dr Chris Wright

"Professor White produces a fresh and thought provoking slant by introducing hard science into answering the question "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Well worth reading." -- Professor Sam Berry

"Professor White offers a solidly Christian perspective on some of the most important events in our world: "natural disasters". Since nature is no more than the way God's own creation works, these disasters raise questions about God and his providence. Professor White responds to these questions in a theologically informed way and reminds Christians that we have the ability and the responsibility to mitigate the effects of such disasters." --Douglas J Moo, Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College; Chair, Committee on Bible Translation

About the Author:

Professor Robert (Bob) S. White is Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994. He is Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.

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