Reviews are just starting to come in, so this section will be expanding in the coming weeks.
From Kirkus Media
A fresh commentary about Job, one of the most puzzling books of the Old Testament.
Horne (Religion/William Jewell Coll.; Proverbs-Ecclesiastes, 2003, etc.), an author of Bible commentaries, and Eades, a licensed counselor and ordained minister, combine biblical scholarship and contemporary case studies to create a “homiletic reading” of the book of Job, which tells the story of God’s perplexing interaction with Satan and a religious man.
In 30 brief chapters, each split into four sections (Connections, Homily, Case Study, Reflections), the authors wonder if “the whole test of Job is whether his or any person’s moral behavior should be offered to God with no expectation of a personal benefit” in a world where often “justice fails.” These scholarly homilies, combined with real-world cases, encourage readers to consider the question of “holding faith when nearly everything around congregants challenges it.”
Along the way, the struggle between the “Authentic self” and the “small self” affects choices between good and evil, the authors write. Eades once told a grieving father that while Jesus Christ redeemed the broken world, the Bible “never says that the brokenness isn’t going to kick the shit out of us, or the people we love, in the process”—a statement that fits with the story of Job, a man who loses everything, including his children.
Sometimes the authors agree to disagree; one of their conversations even ends with a slangy “Whatever.” Overall, however, their intent seems to be to avoid lectures and start conversations: “Speaking from a Christian viewpoint, there is something wonderfully refreshing about Job’s perspective. It means that life here and now is what humanity has been given.” There’s also something wonderfully refreshing about biblical commentary that avoids both heavy-handed didacticism and pie-in-the-sky cheerfulness, as when the authors write: “Why, do you suppose, do we persist in our belief that God
must behave in ways that make sense to us—especially when our own experience tells us that we can’t even expect the people we know best to behave in ways that make sense to us? Frank, engaging discussion of the book of Job’s poetic and theological complexities.
Greg Garrett, PhD
The Other Jesus: Rejecting a Religion of Fear for the Love of God
The Prodigal: A Ragamuffin Story (with Brennan Manning)
You will find yourself somewhere in this wise and gentle book…
Wes Eades and Milton Horne know that suffering is one of the true universals, and so a book like Whirlwind that teaches us to live into the fact of suffering is more valuable than rubies. You will find yourself somewhere in this wise and gentle book, and you will learn something about yourself, life, and God.
Mark Long, PhD
Director of Middle East Studies and Associate Professor in the Honors College
Saddam’s War of Words: Politics, Religion, and the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait
Whirlwind is an invitation to come with our deepest questions…
Whirlwind: Journeys with Job through Grief, Anxiety, and Pain is an important book to anyone who, in the midst of suffering or tragedy, has turned toward heaven and asked, “Why?” Using Job as their text, Milton Horne (a biblical theologian) and Wes Eades (a licensed professional counselor) offer parallel homilies and imagined counseling sessions that elaborate the profound themes from this classic of Hebrew literature. The book is unflinchingly honest in its approach and intelligent in its design. Here is a text for people of faith who have begun to question the central tenet of a quid pro quo sort of justice in this age: that if I always do good and live right, I will be insulated from suffering. That is not our world. Innocent children will go hungry. Virtuous people will get cancer. The rich (some of them) will live for themselves at the expense of the poor. People we have trusted will fail us. And God will seem to be remote. Whirlwind is an invitation to come with our deepest questions that we are reluctant to ask elsewhere, then to listen carefully as others ask those very questions, and two religious practitioners respond with compassion and charity.
The main questions of religion—Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?—are not questions with an answer but questions that open us to new questions which lead us deeper into the unspeakable mystery of existence. … This quest [can be] extremely painful and at times even excruciating. … The pain of the human search is a growing pain.
Those sympathetic with Nouwen’s understanding of religion will find Whirlwind: Journeys with Job through Grief, Anxiety, and Pain a rich resource. Those who, like Job’s friends, seek, on the basis of assumptions about God, a quick and slick “answer” to the questions that emerge out of life’s dark recesses will, like Job’s friends themselves, find their pat answers sorely lacking.
Milton Horne, a biblical scholar who teaches at William Jewell College, brings to the text the insights of one who has wrestled for decades with this provocative text. Wes Eades, pastoral counselor and therapist, brings to the discussion his insight, hewn from years of experience with real people living in those real shadows. Together, they bring probing questions to the problems that Job raises; this work embodies Nouwen’s insight that theological questions open us to new questions. What are we to do when God doesn’t live up to our expectations? Do we view our standing before God as a covenantal relationship or a legal contract? Where do we turn when we rue the day we were born? What roles do we play in the lives of other human beings to be the presence of God?
Whirlwind is not a quick read. It deserves one’s thoughtful, even meditative attention. It deserves the reader’s attentive awareness and mindfulness—to draw some language from Buddhism—a tradition that, we learn from this engaging read, has much to offer those who find themselves in the whirlwind.
Mike Graves, PhD
William K. McElvaney Professor of Preaching
St. Paul School of Theology
The Fully Alive Preacher: Recovering from Homiletical Burnout
Unlike Job’s friends, the counsel of Eades and Horne is actually helpful.
Søren Kierkegaard suggested that “preaching should have of all things the very closest relationship to existing.” Among other things, I take him to mean that our proclamation should be true to life. Whirlwind is just that, a book about truth-telling in religious matters. Among other things, the authors remind us that life is complicated, that bad things happen to all people, including persons of faith, that God can be questioned, and that God’s peace is available in the midst of chaos. Reading through it, I was reminded of a story my friend tells, of the time when she ran into an acquaintance in a bookstore with numerous copies of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff under her arm. The acquaintance said she gives it to people for all sorts of special occasions. My friend asked, “You mean, like when diagnosed with cancer?” Like the book of Job itself, Whirlwind does not shy away from complexity. Unlike Job’s friends, the counsel of Eades and Horne is actually helpful. This is a book worth reading. This is a book worth giving to friends.
Mark Brady, PhD
Author & Teacher
The Wisdom of Listening & Safe and Secure: A Guide to Parenting with the Brain in Mind
Addresses the real suffering of real people…
With a courage uncharacteristic of many writers, Milton and Wesley take the suffering of Job and use it as a backdrop to authentically address the real suffering of real people in 21st century America. They clearly point the way to the possibility of real peace of mind and strength of heart for every single one of us.
Insight, compassion, and frequent humor populate these pages…
Whirlwind contains all kinds of gems and you don’t have to dig through a mountain of slag to mine them. The authors use short chapters and engaging stories to bring the oldest problem humankind faces into sharp focus. At the end of it all, you’ll have a better grasp on what the book of Job really says, and on how we all are “Job” in some sense or the other. Insight, compassion, and frequent humor populate these pages infused with the spirit of two authors whose own lives know the pain – and the promise – of which they speak. Whirlwind will become a welcome companion for anyone on the path to authentic selfhood where pain is no longer so much transmitted as transformed.