How “Raging with Compassion” Engages the Central Questions of JOb
Swinton, John. Raging with Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006. A pastoral theologian who criticizes efforts at explaining evil (theodicy) and commends instead specific “theodic practices.”
What should I include in the review?
The author, title, publication data, pages read.
Summary (approx. 6-7 pp.):
What does the book contain, and how is it organized?
What do you consider to be the thesis or leading ideas of the book?
What does the author hope to teach you or convince you?
Analysis (approx. 2-3 pp.):
What does the book do well?
Are there limitations or problems with the book?
Implications (approx. 2-3 pp.):
Has this book changed or informed your thinking on any major issues?
What application(s) might there be for you, personally and/or professionally?
Be sure to be specific about how this book can be related to Job.
You probably should not use extensive quotes from Job, but you will want to give brief quotes or references (that is, relevant chapter and verse citations) from the book itself. Don’t be content to allude to Job as a general example of innocent suffering, but use it as a work whose particulars you
have studied and analyzed.
Should I use any references beyond the book itself?
You will want to compare your reading of the book with one or two published reviews; generally these can be found in the ATLAS database on the seminary library website, in full text for download. Feel free to cite and interact with the reviewer(s), but do not rely upon them to summarize the book for you or to supply the analysis that you should give it.
If your author gives an interpretation to a particular passage in Job or another Biblical book that surprises or disturbs or intrigues you, you may be interested to check a commentary or two to see how conventional the suggestion is. In any case, be very careful to give explicit bibliographical citations for any material that you use.
Both direct and indirect quotations from the book that you are reviewing should be cited by page number only. If you use other publications, you should give complete publication data and page number(s) in a footnote and a bibliographical entry.