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Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
For Those Who Weep by Rev. Richard Ames combines autobiography and theology. The early chapters outline the author’s background and path from abuse to Christianity. In later life, the author was faced with the challenge of illness. The only way he could resolve this was to perceive the suffering as an opportunity to learn something, to develop a stronger character. Ames developed a “PLAN A” and “PLAN B” metaphor for human destiny. PLAN A led to happily ever after, while PLAN B led to sin and suffering. The tenets of PLAN B include repent, suffer, learn, and prove that you believe in God. It is a works-based theology. The later chapters elucidate the steps along with some intriguing theological diversions.
I particularly liked the fact that Rev. Richard Ames tackled the problem of pain, a topic on which many people would like more answers. The author challenged his own Christian belief system to provide answers and was honest about his soul searching. I really enjoyed the chapter on Jesus' suffering. Ames appears to have pondered almost every aspect of theology and eschatology, surveying the Bible from beginning to end, with special emphasis on the apocalyptic aspects. I appreciated all the quotes and texts he included, which would make this book a gem full of resources for researchers. The main ideas were well organized and clearly presented, using logical steps. I also really liked the fact that Ames avoided the fallacy of victim-blaming. If you are a Christian, a counselor, or any sort of philosopher, you will find For Those Who Weep absolutely fascinating.