Book Review: When Answers Aren’t Enough

The drumbeat of the funeral procession wakens Matt Rogers from sleep, reminding him once more of the horror that had unfolded on the Virginia Tech campus just days earlier and sending him on a journey to find answers to the age-old question, “Why?”

Thankfully, Rogers, the copastor of New Life Christian Fellowship at Virginia Tech,  has invited us along on the journey.

It’s a journey of three parts. The first is raw and emotional, highlighted by Rogers’ interviews with a Tech survivor and with a couple who had lost six children in an explosion. The first part of the journey sets the stage, showing the reader, in Rogers’ terms, “the world that is.”

The second leg of the journey takes a walk through “the world that was.” Recalling encounters with creation and with key mentors in the months that followed the tragedy, Rogers reminds us that the world in which we live is not the world God created. It is a world marked by the Fall, but it is not the end of the story nor is it the end of the journey. The final leg of Rogers’ journey gives us encouragement as we go through our own struggles and a glimpse of the world to come — a world of hope and resurrection.

Are there answers? Yes. We’ve all heard them and understand them on an intellectual level. Rogers helps us to bridge the divide between these intellectual answers and the heart-wrenching, emotional questions that we can’t still ask. His flowing, poetic style is compelling, often reminiscent of the Bible’s wisdom literature in its freedom to question, doubt and even lament. It takes us beyond the simplistic superficial phrases that often serve as answers to life’s toughest questions to a deeper understanding of a faith that sees the light emerging in the world’s darkness.