NONFICTION
More Than You Can Handle: When Life's Overwhelming Pain Meets God's Overcoming Grace
Zondervan. Mar. 2019. 208p. notes. ISBN 9780310343400. pap. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9780310343424. REL
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Reformed pastor and blogger Pyle (Man Enough: How Jesus Redefines Manhood) is intent upon challenging sanctimonious Christian canards, such as "God won't give you more than you can handle" or "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted." To Pyle's way of thinking, suffering is not a sport with a winner and loser but a universal human experience that requires strength as well as humility. For the author, the lonely path of suffering is ultimately where one experiences divine grace. Placing wide-ranging theological ruminations against the backdrop of his family's struggles with infertility, Pyle—by his own admission—provides no explanations or assurances about suffering beyond his conviction of God's presence amid the sorrow: "God meets us in suffering." The book's intentions are thoughtful, though some of the reflections can get repetitive and meander.
VERDICT At times folksy, at others sincere in its poignancy, this work's allure is Pyle's everyman approach, which is like a gentle friend for spiritual seekers to walk with.

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