2021 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit for the Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year
Lord, do you not care if we perish?
That’s what the frightened disciples shouted to Jesus as he slept in the stern of a storm-tossed boat. In the midst of suffering and uncertainty, we’re all prone to think that God has forgotten us, he doesn’t care, or he’s powerless to do anything.
In Christ and Calamity, Harold L. Senkbeil speaks pastorally to our suffering and uncertainty. Senkbeil shows God’s constant and faithful grace to us. Calamities come in many different sizes, and God addresses them all in his word and by his Spirit. Even when we don’t see or feel it, God is always faithful.
“If I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Ps 139:9–10).
The disciples’ faith in the midst of the storm may have been weak, but Jesus was mighty to save. And he will save you, too. No matter how small your faith, you can count on him to hear your anguished cry and to answer.
The special hardcover edition of Christ and Calamity is beautifully bound with dusted edges and a ribbon for devotional use.
Learn more about Harold Senkbeil’s award-winning book The Care of Souls.
The ‘Great Exchange’—my rags for Christ’s righteousness—is not just a doctrine. Nor is it just an experience in the past. It’s the objective truth. And Harold Senkbeil doesn’t just tell us this truth again, but applies the salve to our anxious hearts. This book is a gem!
—Michael Horton, professor at Westminster Seminary California, author of The Christian Faith
Hal Senkbeil has stared the problem of suffering in the face and hewn from the pages of the divine Scriptures, the sweetest cross-filled consolations.
—Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
This is a book to read and to read again whenever we need it, a book to give away to people who are hurting. This book will be a classic.
—Gene Edward Veith, provost emeritus of Patrick Henry College, author of The Spirituality of the Cross
As we live out our lives in this broken world, we are never far from pain, never far from calamity. Each of us passes through the dark valley not one time, but again and again. The Christian tradition has many trustworthy guides for those difficult times, and I'm glad to commend Christ and Calamity as another that will serve God's people as we endure this calamity, or that one, or the inevitable ones to come.
In this excellent little book, Harold Senkbeil reminds us that in the midst of calamity, God is where he’s always been: near to us in the Christ given to us in the gospel. … While there have been a spate of recent, ‘timely’ corona-books focused on the immediate pandemic that shut down the globe, Senkbeil has given us a timeless book, born out of years of pastoral ministry, ready to speak a word of comfort to every valley we may walk in one day. I’m happy to commend it to you.
—Derek Rishmawy, RUF Campus Minister at UC Irvine, Columnist at Christianity Today
“Faith isn’t an emotion. True, as we reflect on faith, it can often seem like a feeling. But faith is far more: Faith is the hand that grasps the promises of God. Faith is trust—faith is reliance on God and his word. It’s a two-party arrangement, a mutual bond, and while God remains steady and firm, we often falter.” (source)
“In life’s tight spots, focus not on your faith, but on God’s faithfulness. Look not at your promises to him, but his loving promises to you in his Son. Rest assured, those promises include your name.” (source)
“this is a book about God’s faithfulness in the face of uncertainty.” (source)
“Likewise, lamenting is calling God’s attention to what he already knows: you’re hurting, and it’s no fun. That miserable situation forces you to acknowledge that you aren’t a self-made person. You depend on God for your very life—but sometimes it takes a fearsome calamity to impress that dependence upon you and bring you to the point of lament. That lament is a cry of faith.” (source)
“But God’s true perspective on human suffering is revealed not in our experience but in that of Jesus on the cross” (source)
Harold L. Senkbeil is author of the award-winning book The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart (Lexham Press). He is executive director emeritus of Doxology: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care. His pastoral experience of nearly five decades includes parish ministry, the seminary classroom, and parachurch leadership.
Micah J. Wildauer