Welcome to Reviews of Dr. Tonstad's book
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"God of Sense answers the question that has been asked for centuries and continues to be echoed by many who wonder about the condition of the world. If God is good, how can these conditions be present? Through diligent scholarship and delightful prose Dr. Tonstad alerts the reader to the Great Controversy, or the idea that there is an alternative active agent coordinating world events. Dr. Tonstad presents God in such a manner that the reader cannot but help re-evaluate their perception of the Creator and how He might bring about the end of suffering."
Bill Tammeus • Author of "Faith Matters" blog
"In God of Sense and Traditions of Non-Sense, one of the best books on theology I've read in years, Sigve K. Tonstad argues that if we read the Bible carefully, thoughtfully and with discernment we will reject the widespread idea that God is utterly inscrutable and that humanity is incapable of grasping any essential truth about the divine." Read more
Bruce W. Longenecker • Melton Chair of Religion, Baylor University
"In God of Sense and Traditions of Non-Sense, Sigve Tonstad displays a masterful and nuanced command of theological complexities with regard to the thorny matrix of evil, suffering, and God. Probing key resources of the Judeo-Christian tradition for their import in a post-Holocaust situation, Tonstad articulates fresh perspectives deriving from his unique expertise in the medical, theological, and biblical disciplines. This beautifully-written book is a welcome contribution to Christian theological discourse on a burning issue."
Lawrence T. Geraty • President Emeritus, La Sierra University
"Tonstad writes with passion, eloquence, and fresh insight, including the notion that dissent is a prerequisite for an open society and the precondition for better theology. This is a book for our time — a time of doubt and unbelief; it shows how the Bible has resources with which to capture the experience of suffering from within, how the New Testament makes sense in a time of non-sense, and how story after biblical story offers glimpses of 'sense.'"
Greg Boyd • Pastor, theologian, and author
"As the title suggests, in his book, God’s Problem: How The Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question – Why We Suffer, Bart Ehrman argues that the Bible has nothing compelling to say about the problem of evil. Well, I just put down a beautifully written four-hundred and fifty page book that compellingly argues the exact opposite. In God of Sense and Traditions of Non-Sense, Sigve Tonstad argues that the Bible is from beginning to end oriented around the question of why God does not intervene to prevent suffering. And the answer the Bible provides, he argues, is as beautiful as it is compelling. Unfortunately, this answer has been largely buried under theological 'traditions of non-sense'." Read more
Richard Rice, Professor of Religion, Loma Linda University
"Not many books are philosophically profound, thoroughly researched, rigorously argued, elegantly written, and personally moving. God of Sense and Traditions of Non-Sense is all of these. It presents a thought-provoking perspective on the problem of evil that draws on careful biblical interpretation and illuminating appeals to a wide range of literature. Sigve Tonstad's discussion places it among the most admirable treatments of the topic in recent years."
Alden Thompson, Professor of Biblical Studies, Walla Walla University
"In many ways, God of Sense and Traditions of Non-Sense reads like a modern novel, with chapters on biblical narratives interleaved with segments on ancient and modern literature; the narratives are often left open, then picked up again later in the book as the 'plot' thickens. The book is a tour de force, all the more so because Tonstad's beautiful prose is unmatched. And he isn't even writing in his native tongue."
Laurence Turner, Principal Lecturer emeritus of Old Testament, Newbold College (UK)
"The final justification of God's character occurs at the eschatological climax of earth's history. Rather than simply describing this, Tonstad reacts to ethical objections to eschatology as an adequate solution to suffering in the present. As everywhere throughout this book, his comments here are thoughtful and thought-provoking."
Steven Thompson, Senior Lecturer (retired) in Biblical Studies, Avondale College (Australia)
"What is most uplifting to readers of Tonstad's book, and the true test of his mission to engage with a God who invites us to make sense of suffering rather than dismiss or avoid it, is his redemptive reading of the story of the rape of the concubine in Judges 19. In a volume dominated by stories of and by men, this chapter alone is worth the price of the book. Truly a story that has suffered from being avoided, its inclusion in the biblical canon, and Tonstad's careful exegesis of it, makes more sense and speaks more profoundly of post-holocaust theology than any other chapter."