6 Big Questions for God: And His Surprising Answers
6 Big Questions for God: And His Surprising Answers by Lori Peckham. AdventSource. Lincoln, NE. 2020. Total pages: 113.
What questions do you have for God? Have they already been answered? Are you still in search of answers? Are they the types of questions that have no answer, or do you simply need to wait longer, maybe until you see Jesus face-to-face?
Lori Peckham, long-time author and editor, and currently English professor at Union College, took the newspaper reporter/police/researcher stance of asking the five Ws and one H questions—Who? Where? How? What? When? and Why?—as her chapter titles. The actual titles are a bit longer and give additional nuances. They are: 1. WHO are you? 2. WHERE are you? 3. HOW can you love me? 4. WHAT do you want me to do? 5. WHEN will you answer? and 6. WHY? Why? Why?
The reader can predictably be expected to engage to the same extent these questions match their own. While they certainly match questions many young people ask, they certainly aren’t limited to this age group.
Each chapter ends with Bible study material that asks questions based on various passages of Scripture. The questions are short and the passages sometimes are long. The flow of questions and jumping around in Scripture might work better with a facilitator. The book includes space for writing responses, which works for those willing or accustomed to write in books. As indicated, this book is part of the “iFollow Discipleship Series” from the North American Division of SDA—ideas for small group discipleship resources.
In addition to writing a lot, Peckham clearly reads a lot. Each chapter includes multiple side bars of related quotes from a wide range of authors, both Adventist and non-Adventist, current and from the past. The easy-to-read style belies the depth of the material. For this reason, those able to read on multiple levels will find more than those who consume on just a cursory level.
At times it seems like a chapter simply strings together a series of stories or examples from others, but Peckham’s personal stories far outshine those from others, as good as those other stories might be. Her stories seem more vivid, potent, targeted, and somehow combine the believable with the exceptional. You will likely share these stories with others.
While this material targets small groups, the reader can fine good use for it in that setting as well as personal, devotional reading and Bible study. And you’re sure to share some of these stories as you engage in “big question” discussions with others. AdventSource also carries a separate Leader’s Guide for the book.
Steve Case, PhD, has plenty of questions for God himself. Most of these have come from youth and young adults who ask him and then he’s not quite sure how to answer.