Playing with Dragons: Living with Suffering and God

Book, 2014, 120 pp
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There be dragons all over the Bible. From the great sea monsters of Genesis to the great dragon of Revelation, dragons appear as the Bible opens and closes, and they pop their grisly heads up at various junctures in between. How did they get there and what on earth (or indeed in heaven) are they doing there?

This is a book for those who find standard discussions of faith and suffering frustrating. Andy Angel opens up the rich biblical tradition of living with God in the midst of suffering. He takes the reader on a journey of exploration through biblical texts that are often overlooked on account of their strangeness--texts about dragons. He shows how these peculiar passages open up a language of prayer through suffering in which people share their anger, weariness, disillusionment, and even joy in suffering with God. Angel explores how such "weird" Scriptures open up a whole new way of praying and reveal a God who approves of honest spirituality, a spirituality that the Bible holds open but too many of its interpreters do not.

"Angel has that rare gift of writing with great scholarship about the texts, but in a compelling way, and so that we meet him as a fellow pilgrim. Biblical texts we often gloss over spring to life as we see how 'monster stories' are used to face the age-long question about appalling suffering, 'Is God really in control?' The texts call us to complete honesty in prayerful lament, to trust, and not to give evil the last word." --Bishop Graham Dow, Assistant Bishop in the dioceses of Chester and Manchester, former Bishop of Carlisle

"A book about dragons--surely a waste of time? On the contrary, this is a fascinating engagement with a neglected seam of biblical material that not only helps us to understand its context but also points the way for a more creative contemporary response to God in times of struggle or suffering. A good read that will nourish spirituality as well as inform scholarship." --Canon Christina Baxter CBE, former Principal, St. John's College, Nottingham

"Andy Angel has written an honest, perceptive probe of the way in which faith wrestles with the deep reality of evil and death. His textual interpretation is spot on. I especially appreciate his quite fresh read of the book of Job. Real-life people will find this a valuable guide for real-life issues of faith." --Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA

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