Let me tell you about a great little book to read this summer. It’s called Scarred Faith, written by Josh Ross and published by Howard Books. The book is available in both paperback and kindle formats and a really cool bonus is that a portion of the royalties from every book sold will go to support Agape Child and Family Services in Memphis, Tennessee.
The author, Josh Ross, lives in the city of Memphis where he serves as the lead minister for the Sycamore View Church of Christ. I tell you that because this book is an intersection between gospel and culture. That is also to say that the author is not writing from the academy halls of a seminary. He’s writing about where Christian faith is plunged into the realities of the world—both the good and bad—where faith becomes a scarred faith but also a deep faith.
As the author wrestles with faith, he interweaves the stories of grief and suffering as well the ministry he has been called into as a life vocation. The dominant story is the tragic death of his sister, Jenny Bazillion. As one who has suffered the losses of my father, a son, and then one of my brothers, I’m partial to books that deal with stories of faith and suffering like this. I believe you will benefit from the way Josh speaks out of his own faith. For example, he writes about the day of his sister’s memorial service saying:
…two words wouldn’t let me go—”Jesus wins.” Even when it seems like death has won, the story of Easter echoes from the empty tomb that couldn’t hold Jesus, and death still can’t hold us. Death doesn’t get the last word. Jesus wins! (p. 36-37).
What I also appreciate is that as Josh wrestles with faith and suffering, he neither side-steps the difficult issues that come with grief nor does he try to explain why suffering happens.
Throughout the book the author shows his awareness of scripture and Christian doctrine without getting bogged down exegetical and theological issues. That is why not only a wide variety of people will enjoy easily reading through this book but it also will be a good resource to integrate into a church Bible class or small group gathering. In fact, the book has questions at the end to help facilitate group discussions.
So go out and buy this book. It won’t take long to read and you will be blessed from having done so.