My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Review: Consider the Ostrich: Unlocking the Book of Job and the Blessing of Suffering

Consider the Ostrich: Unlocking the Book of Job and the Blessing of Suffering Consider the Ostrich: Unlocking the Book of Job and the Blessing of Suffering by Scott Douglas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a study of the Book of Job, considered by the author and many scholars to be the oldest [intact] book of the Tanakh/OT (the debate on this doesn’t appear to be nearly as settled as stated by the author, with most scholars place it in the 7th century with the final version circa 4th century BCE). The timing really doesn’t have much impact on the author’s exegesis; however, it does provide an interesting take on the creation story that seems less formed that what we have in the final redacted version in Genesis.

The Book of Job is primarily interested in answering the question of "why God allows believers to suffer.” Before diving into the book, the author provides a brief introduction to Job and his friends who drive much of the Socratic dialog that explores this theme. Then we get to the prologue of the book that setups a celestial courtroom drama by which the story of Job’s suffering unfolds … and to be honest, I have never found Job to be an easy read with the continual repetition and verbosity making it difficult to pay attention and focus on the details. This is where the humor and organization of the author saves the day to break up what to me is a monotonous and overly formal dialog … and provides an interesting interoperation that I had not considered before (and rather like). Ultimately there is no real answer to the question of suffering, only an example of how we should respond to it … with an overlooked perspective on how the friends of Job treated him in his suffering … highlighting a way of interpreting Job as a modern critique for how we respond to the suffer of others around us (something that seems to be lacking in today’s world).

I. Introduction
Chapter 1 - Job: A Biography
Chapter 2 - Why Did God Allow for Job to be Tested
Chapter 3 - The “Friends” of Job
Chapter 4 - The Literary Structure of Job

II. Job, the Prologue
Chapter 5 - Job, the Prologue (Job 1-2)

III. The Sparing of Words Between Friends
Chapter 6 - Job Laments (Job 3)
Chapter 7 - Do We Deserve Bad Things (Job 4-5)
Chapter 8 - The Heavy Load of Job (Job 6-7)
Chapter 9 - The Reason For Pain (Job 8)
Chapter 10 - Don’t Ask Why, Ask Why (Job 9-10)
Chapter 11 - Discomfort The Broken (Job 11)
Chapter 12 - Supported By Wisdom (Job 12-14)
Chapter 13 - Does Wisdom Have to Come With Grey Hair? (Job 15)
Chapter 14 - Life, Unexpected (Job 16-17)
Chapter 15 - Accept the New Normal (Job 18)
Chapter 16 - The Dark Path of Job (Job 19)
Chapter 17 - The Gluttony of Zophar (Job 20)
Chapter 18 - Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People (Job 21)
Chapter 19 - Eliphaz 2.0 (Job 22)
Chapter 20 - Fear God (Job 23-24)
Chapter 21 - Bildad’s Last Stand (Job 25)
Chapter 22 - Misunderstood (Job 26-27)
Chapter 23 - Job Comes to Terms With Grief (Job 28)
Chapter 24 - Here is My Cross (Job 29-31)

IV. Eli-Who?
Chapter 25 - Eli-Who? (Job 32-37)

V. God Speaks
Chapter 26 - Consider the Ostrich (Job 38-41)

VI. The End?
Chapter 27 - And They All Lived Happily Ever After (Job 42)

Discussion Questions

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#ConsiderTheOstrich #BookSirens

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.