To Speak Well of God: an Exposition of the Book of Job

This is a review of To Speak Well of God: an Exposition of the Book of Job by John Pople. I know John personally, though not well. My personal impressions are of a man who is quite forceful and direct. Nevertheless, I also find him thoughtful and considered and a well read bible scholar.

To Speak Well of God: an Exposition of the Book of Job

Author: John Pople

Genre: Religious

First Take: An important read when trying to understand trial and suffering

When did I read it? 2019 (I think)


John tackles a very tough subject well. He frames the underlying themes of the book in clear terms that make sense and dispenses with some poor scholarship from other writers with a degree of ease.

Fundamentally, this is a contest between human pride and the sovereignty of God. The pride of the three friends (and later of Job himself), personified as “the Satan” and how God uses Job’s suffering to, in essence, bring about the redemption of the three friends (and indeed Job himself) from the clutches of pride. Job emerges as a type of some aspects of the Messiah. John demonstrates however that Job was not immune to pride and ultimately fell into prideful statements.

The book sometimes reads like a textbook, (no doubt, reflecting John’s scientific credentials) but is made probably easier to read as a result. He uses an academic approach to build and layer an argument that is ultimately very difficult to dispute.

Obviously, John does not accept that “The Satan” is a supernatural devil and therefore, some might struggle to accept his conclusions. I think that they are very compelling.

Highly readable, intellectually engaging and without doubt a compelling exposition of the book of Job that I believe really answers many of the common questions that people have about this (for some) troublesome book.

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