Rejoicing in Lament

| March 18, 2015

J. Todd Billings. Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2015. 224 pp. $18.99.

When Christians are confronted with significant tragedy, we are often reminded of Paul’s words to the church at Philippi: “Do not be anxious about anything. . . . [There is] a peace that passes all understanding. . . . I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:6, 7, 13). While all this is wonderfully true, less often do we hear the line that immediately follows: “It was good of you to share in my troubles” (Phil. 4:14).

Dealing with our own troubles and sharing in those of others are among the most challenging aspects of the Christian life. It isn’t always easy to weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). Foolish and insensitive things get said by well-meaning folks. J. Todd Billings’s excellent new book, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ, will go a long way in equipping us to endure and to minister to one another in more theologically grounded and helpful ways.

How does Billings, professor of Reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, accomplish this task?


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