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Customer Reviews for Zondervan When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't

Zondervan When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't

On April 16, 2007, 33 Virginia Tech students were killed in the worst massacre in modern U.S. history. As campus pastor, Rogers found himself asking and being asked, "Where is God?" Going beyond pat answers and intellectual responses, he explores the depths of our longing for a Savior we can trust when nothing else is certain. 224 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
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Customer Reviews for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Review 1 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

More than I ever expected

Date:May 20, 2011
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Betty Whelham
Location:Elk, WA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I enjoyed this book so much that I ordered 4 more to give to friends. When I first started reading this book it seemed a bit morbid and I wondered if I should put it down but, as I got into it, it far exceeded my expectations. I have a daughter who was shot in the head about 25 years ago. She has been very bitter toward God and often declared that she does not believe in God. Through some unexpected circumstances she is now in our home and I have been reading the book to her. She now says she believes in God and that, inspite of her situation, she believes God is truly good. The book made me more aware of God's presence and the beauty He has created all around us.
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Review 2 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 15, 2008
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Creative Madness Mama
When Answers Aren't Enough is a work of deep expression and emotions put onto paper for all to see straight from the heart of Matt Rogers. Through this book, Matt was able to retell what it was like to be part of the Virgina Tech family during their extreme loss, but it goes well beyond that as well. He delves into many different examples of tragedy where people have screamed, "There is no God! He would not let this happen, if there was", and takes the reader past dwelling on the questions.Truly answers are not enough for comprehending heart break, but usually it is not unless we are past the questions that we can truly see that fact in front of us. This book is a painful and pleasant journey through pain and the after thought. It is a well written conversation between Matt and the reader, and it is one that I suggest everyone should take part in experiencing.God is good, and is always good, while life wavers on what it seems to want to be. But through the bad in life we can then see the good in God. I'd suggest this book as a read for anyone and everyone. This is a dictation of what really matters, and that's Christ, our Lord God and his will and design.
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Review 3 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 9, 2008
Mark Rogers When Answers Arent Enough is a heartbreaking and hopeful read, not offering answers for how to handle tragedy, but rather pointing the reader to the ultimate source of comfort, God. The novel is broken into three parts. Part One introduces the grim reality that is life. Part Two takes you back to the perfect beginning of life as God intended it to be. Part Three offers hope for the future as Gods will is accomplished.The stories within these pages of this emotional novel are told by the author with raw frankness and great courage. The end notes are a helpful source of additional information.
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Review 4 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:June 22, 2008
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maureen
Matt Rogers tries to unlock that nagging question that haunts those who have experienced tragedy in their lives--"Why would God allow this?" However, this well written narrative feels more like one man's struggle to try to come to terms with a good God in a bad situation and finding Him (which is encouraging) but doesn't necessarily meet his intended goal of being an example to help others come to the same conclusion. I often felt more depressed and empathetic for him, rather than translating it to helping others or myself feel better. (Kind of like having to read Lamentations in the Bible only on good days so I don't have a black cloud over my head.) It is possible, however, that this book will mean more to those that also went through a horrendous experience like the VT killings and may have similar unanswered questions. Still worth a read.
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Review 5 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 27, 2008
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Amy
I found this book honest and at times, heart-wrenching. But in the end, it is also eminently hopeful. It didn't offer up canned responses, it did exactly as I hoped it would. It pointed to the Creator. I would highly recommend this book to anyone grieving.
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Review 6 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 26, 2008
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Dennis Rodgers
Searching for answers to the question of the goodness of God after the Virginia Tech tragedy,Pastor Rogers not only is able to face his own questions, but helps us face ours. His view of the tragedy of death was the most Biblical I have read in a long time. A must read "spiritual life" book for thinking Christians and Christians who want to think.
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Review 7 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:May 24, 2008
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Heather Novak
Matt Rogers shares his honest stream of consciousness, even the parts that most people would hide. Doubt, anger, shame...he covers everything surrounding the tragedy at Virginia Tech and this is what I enjoyed most about the book. Some chapters felt disjointed and I found that distracting.Roger's transparency allows the reader to love God and be angry too, to grieve and live and hope all at the same time.All in all it was an interesting and very personal account of the variety of emotions surrounding grief and our view of God as good.
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Review 8 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 22, 2008
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Karen McGee
In his book, "When Answers Aren't Enough," Matt Rogers addresses the question, "If God is good, why is there so much suffering in this world?" Working as a pastor in a church in Blacksburg, Virginia, at the time of the massacre of 33 people at Virginia Tech, he works through this central question not only in light of that event, but also through his personal experiences and the experiences of others.Matt Rogers does not try to force any specific theology on the reader in this book; he does not write densely or in a way that makes his point difficult to understand. He is honest. His language is raw. His questions are real and difficult and uncomfortable, but by asking these questions, he's able to take the reader on a journey through his experiences and offer some insight as his thoughts are challenged and changed throughout the book. The reader goes on a journey with Rogers, from utter doubt and anger at how far away a "good God" seems in the midst of suffering to solidifying his experiences of God's goodness in suffering.As a young adult who recently experienced the death of someone very near to me, I was enthralled by Rogers' book. It was a quick read and understandable. Rogers honest questions and thoughts on the topic of suffering prompted me to ask more questions about my experiences with tragedy. His book did not really change or deeply challenge my thoughts on God's goodness in tragedy, but it did put into words the emotions I have felt and the thoughts I've had and solidified my life experiences, as well as helped me to reflect on how I can keep my faith strong when it is challenged by such earthly challenges as death. I would recommend this book to anyone who has experienced tragedy either in their own lives or is supporting someone who has had their faith challenged by suffering, or just to anyone looking for a good read about someone's journey from demanding answers to overarching questions to simply having faith in a good God.
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Review 9 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:May 20, 2008
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Steve North
Reading When Answers Arent Enough is like looking over the shoulder of Matt Rogers as he writes in his spiritual journal every day after a life-altering event. This effect is both insightful and depressing.Only those who have been through the kind of trauma he describes, the mass killing of students and faculty at Virginia Tech, can fully appreciate the depth of pain and dis-ease that enter daily life. It seems as if every part of every day for months afterward was a reminder of something or someone from that moment of his life frozen in time.I would recommend this book for someone going through a significant sudden loss. The why questions and the search for solutions are a part of many peoples lives. Matt may help others cover some familiar ground and help those in pain realize, Im not alone. Someone else has struggled with these same issues and questions.I tried to read it as a minister who sometimes comes alongside those in pain and attempts to help them sense Gods nearness even in the midst of this kind of devastating loss. From that perspective I found it less satisfying. It seems that the people most affected by the attack, a student who was wounded and a family who lost a child, were more helpful to Matt than Matt was to others. They seemed to have a season of grief, but then be able to move on to another chapter that included some celebration. A part of me wanted to urge Matt to stop obsessing on himself and his loss of innocence and get back on the field where people are wounded every day in far less dramatic, yet just as significant, ways.A friend of mine used to be a Campus Minister at Kent State. He said that even though the shootings during the Viet Nam War had happened decades before, there was still a sense of darkness around campus and especially as the yearly anniversary came up. Matt may have to be prepared to write a sequel to this book in a few years to explain how life does or does not move on for him.
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Review 10 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 6, 2008
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margaret l
WOW!! A must read for the Christian and non-Christian! It is time for Christians to put the thoughts on our Eternal Future and off of this dirty earth.
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Review 11 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 5, 2008
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Vickie Rohleder
We remember the past, enjoy the present and prepare for the future. These words reflect the insight campus minister Matt Rogers received as he grieved the massacre at Virginia Tech and other personal tragedies he had experienced. The writing is honest and helps the reader admit we dont always have pat answers to everything that happens in our world. He very eloquently shows we can ask questions of God and those around us. He also shows we can have joy in the midst of unanswerable situations. Its a good read for everyone who has or will experience hurts in this life.
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Review 12 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 5, 2008
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Maria Marino
Its hard to believe a book that revolves around death could be described as uplifting and joyful. Triggered by the premature death of his brother and close friend, the brush with death of his father, and the massacre at Virginia Tech where he pastors, Matt Rogers sets out to take the sting out death. When Answers Arent Enough relates his journey en route to experiencing God as good when life isnt. The two words that surface repeatedly as he zooms in on life from deaths vantage point are taste and experience. He admits to knowing the right answers by heart. But they dont quite reach the depth of an aching heart or fill the void that grief relentlessly punches out.With raw honesty and tender compassion we are swept away in the tide of compelling evidence that God is good. His benevolence bursts in delicious splendor as we sit at the feet of Mother Nature. His love takes on flesh in the hearts that rally to comfort and nourish when hardship strikes. His uncanny providence in the midst of grief and tragedy stands as proof that we serve a good God who cares. In When Answers Arent Enough, we are encouraged not to run away but reverently remember yesterday, embrace today, and prepare for the glorious day when Christ sets things right. There lies our joy and our peace, secure in a lifetime of resting in the presence of God and tasting His goodness one day at a time. Matt Rogers reminds us that darkness and evil have limits. And they dont stand a chance against hearts cradled in the assurance that one day good will triumph completely. In the meantime, we are urged to feed each other spoonfuls of the world that is to come with arms extended in indiscriminate acts of love. He invites us to laugh and play and celebrate our days on earth because death doesnt have the last say. It is silenced in the life eternal.Read and see. Taste and see. God is good even when life is not.
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Review 13 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 2, 2008
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Tammie Gitt
The drumbeat of the funeral procession wakens Matt Rogers from sleep, reminding him once more of the horror that had unfolded on the Virginia Tech campus just days earlier and sending him on a journey to find answers to the age-old question, "Why?" Thankfully, Rogers, the copastor of New Life Christian Fellowship at Virginia Tech, has invited us along on the journey.It's a journey of three parts. The first is raw and emotional, highlighted by Rogers' interviews with a Tech survivor and with a couple who had lost six children in an explosion. The first part of the journey sets the stage, showing the reader, in Rogers' terms, "the world that is."The second leg of the journey takes a walk through "the world that was." Recalling encounters with creation and with key mentors in the months that followed the tragedy, Rogers reminds us that the world in which we live is not the world God created. It is a world marked by the Fall, but it is not the end of the story nor is it the end of the journey. The final leg of Rogers' journey gives us encouragement as we go through our own struggles and a glimpse of the world to come a world of hope and resurrection.Are there answers? Yes. We've all heard them and understand them on an intellectual level. Rogers helps us to bridge the divide between these intellectual answers and the heart-wrenching, emotional questions that we can't still ask. His flowing, poetic style is compelling, often reminiscent of the Bible's wisdom literature in its freedom to question, doubt and even lament. It takes us beyond the simplistic superficial phrases that often serve as answers to life's toughest questions to a deeper understanding of a faith that sees the light emerging in the world's darkness.
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Review 14 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 27, 2008
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R. Pipkin
Matt Rogers, copastor of New Life Christian Fellowship at Virginia Tech, takes us through his own personal reflections and experiences that started the day of April 16th, 2007. The Virgina Tech tragedy IS still remembered and WILL never be forgotten. Thirty-two innocent people lost their lives that day before the shooter turned the gun on himself and took his own life. When mass losses of life like this happen, as with Sept 11th, 2001 and in other tragic events throughout the world, we all begin to ask the same questions. Where was God when this happened? How could a God that is Good let these things happen? Why didn't He prevent it? Can there be a God that is Good when there is so much evil in our world? The answers to these questions seldom satisfy. Take the journey with Matt Rogers in search of a God that is Good, regardless of when life isn't. This is a must read book for every Christian.
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Review 15 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:April 22, 2008
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Rocky Milana
Matt Rogers is a sensitive and gifted writer who is seemingly mature well beyond his (30) years. Perhaps experiences like this - as co-pastor of his church at Virginia Tech - are the cause for his advanced maturity as an author. The book is a pleasant read, flows well, and is scripturally well balanced upon central and accepted Christian Orthodoxy. The relevant anecdotal stories and nimble jumps in time to and fro, make the book more exciting to go through. The book is able to let the reader focus, if not meditate, on some of the key issues that believers face today: how to deal with tragedy and turn evil into good. How to answer some tough questions when we are going through the tragedies of life, and how precious is our time here on Earth. I enjoyed Matts verse references - since Matt does such a good job integrating them into the text and would like to see more of the same.
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Review 16 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 16, 2008
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Debra Davis
I went into this reading with an incredible desire to have an explanation to the hurt we all experience. I found comfort and sound Biblical advice. Matt Rogers is a real person, with his genuine love for a hurting world oozing out of the pages. This book is peppered with sources to reach for when facing grief. I appreciated his look at the survivors of tragedy and their families and showing how they dealt with their circumstances. I felt his own personal hurt from the Virginia Tech horror. I identified with his concern when his Dad fell off the roof. I was deeply moved by his explanation of the finality of death and our need to look beyond to the promise. He is right in saying that tragedy goes from intellectual to emotional, and from theoretical to personal. Would I recommend this book? With a huge Amen. I am going to have several copies on hand. I think this is one of the most sensitive and helpful books I have come across in dealing with grief and tragedy.
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Review 17 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 16, 2008
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Christy Lockstein
When Answers Aren't Enough by Matt Rogers is the author's response to the pain and loss after the Virginia Tech shootings of one year ago today. Rogers is a pastor at a church near the campus, and one of the students killed wash is parishioner. The book starts with Rogers' anger and frustration at the senseless killings and God's apparent neglect in the face of this tragedy. He asks a common question: where is God in suffering? To find the answer he interviews a Hokie survivor, as well as a family who lost six of their children in a tragic accident. He addresses death in a way I've never seen before. When attending the funeral of a friend as well as the VT victim, he can't find the joy within him that Christians are supposed to feel when a believer goes home to Heaven. Instead, he's angry, and with good reason. Death is not natural to this life. When God created the world, death was not a part of it; it was introduced with sin. So it is natural that we feel sad, angry, and hurt when death affects us. We should feel that way, because it means that we aren't meant for this world and are looking forward to the next one. Rogers' insights on this and other issues make the book a must read. It reads almost like a longform Psalm, starting with a crying out to God in pain, seeking answers, and then praising God for His holiness and trusting in his plan. It not only offers wisdom about death and suffering, but a view on how to keep going as well.
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Review 18 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 11, 2008
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HEdwards
I thought this was a great book. The author handled a very sensitive subject matter with wisdom and sensitivity. I think this would be an excellent book for anyone coping with a loss, especially an unexpected one.
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Review 19 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 10, 2008
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Susan Anderson
One of the best reads I've had. It is full of inspirational accounts of major tragedy in normal peoples lives and how when I myself would question what well is God when this is happening? Gave unbelievable faith testimonies of how God is good when bad is there. I would highly recommend this to anyone that needs to rediscover how to have faith when difficult times come.
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Review 20 for When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God As Good When Life Isn't
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 7, 2008
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Jon Bluey
A Disturbing ComfortMatt, pastor, of local church during the Virginia Tech April 16th shootings shares his own personal sojourn through the nights of what seemed like Gods absence, or maybe Gods smite? He finds answers are not going to heal, it is a living God who is the answer. Matts compassionate manner with words follows Soreen Kierkegaard's recipe: "A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret suffering, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music" Matt plays the part: poet/pilgrim/storyteller and maybe, hopefully saint.In this book it seems that 2007 was a fertile year of growth for Matt's pilgrimage towards faith in a good God. His graceful attempt to portray the ultimate reality that the planet we live on is both a paradoxical place of beauty and terror. I got the feeling that Matt is beginning to believe that sometimes the Kingdom of God grows best in fertilized, horse manure! like-soil. Matt describes examples of the people he meets along the Way. Retold they contain honesty, tragedy, and a peace filled rawness. Matt questions reasons for his very existence, Gods, and others like I have always done. And throughout his journey he wonders WHY GOD?!? with out attempting to give all the answers. He tries to find echoes of Eden in this cruel world. In the end he obviously finds comfort in a good God, not good answers. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. said Jesus, and Matt stumbled upon many scarred folks who found a wildly good God amongst unsafe times.Before forewarned this is not just a list of (pick a number, any number of) steps towards the good life. It attempts to follow Jesus, the Suffering Servant, towards some kind of Paradise. This book is a rumor of another world that looms very, very near. It is one tale told, a mere foretaste of heavenly measures. Read at your own risk.Did not Jesus say, The Kingdom of God is near?
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