“How could a loving God…?” by Ken Ham is a heart wrenching account of how his brother died from ‘frontal lobe dementia” and incurable brain disease. Ken does an incredible job of journaling his brother Rob’s tremendous ministry of preaching God’s Word and then describing how everything changed when he was transformed to an empty hulk of a decaying brain and body.
In normal Ken Ham style, he establishes his bottom line of the authority of Scripture. However, that does not mean family and friends suffer loss or separation when the ravages of sin wreak havoc on the human body. No one, but the Lord, knows the day or hour of his death. No one, but the Lord, knows the manner of his death. No one, but the Lord, will understand all the reasons for the way one person is promoted to glory in his sleep, while another is taken by “frontal lobe dementia” causing both the person and his sphere of influence to suffer mental, emotional and spiritual questions and anguish.
Ham weaves the only answer to all of life’s problems – the Bible – through this message of grief. Yet Ham also weaves the message of hope for which God wants every person to seize so that through the valleys of the shadow of death, all might see Jesus. Ham is vulnerable, transparent and authentic as he writes about the progression of his brother’s death. He does not hide behind any fakery to fool the reader that he is a spiritual giant and did not struggle. He and his other brother, Steve, give those who struggle with suffering many passages of Scripture upon which to meditate and find hope. Well over one hundred passages of Scripture are interspersed and point the reader to the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.
At the end of each chapter, there are questions for group discussion and questions for personal reflection. These make the book an excellent resource for a small group to bring up the theological issues of suffering and God’s involvement. One area that Ham does not seem to address is the topic of the angelic conflict and how that plays into the question of suffering.
Everyone will go through the door of death, except the Rapture generation. And because we are no longer an agrarian culture (which sees the death of animals regularly), we see death far more infrequently and consequently, we do not work through issues of living and death as often as we should. Death is a part of life. Praise God for death, because at death there is a great promotion to glory for all who have taken Jesus Christ as their Savior! The “how” a person goes through the door of death and at what age is still what bothers many people. God is sovereign and His purposes will always be accomplished. The person who is taken is not in control of the “how” and must submit his life, family and future into the hand of a loving and sovereign God. In that love and sovereignty, every Christian can trust.