IN PRISM'S BOOK BAG: Gary Harbaugh's ACT OF GOD/ACTIVE GOD (Fortress Press)

"Disasters come, sometimes with a feverish pitch that not only strip us of our internal strength and community resources, but also our ability to believe. How can there be a loving God with tornadoes, earthquakes, fires and other related disasters?  Throw in wars, violence, genocide, disease, trauma: the questions are endless and so, it seems, is the pain.

In ACT OF GOD/ACTIVE GOD, Dr. Gary Harbaugh raises the faith-related questions that the victims/survivors of natural disasters have as a result of this experience. Is the disaster an "act of God"? Did God cause the disaster? If God is all-powerful, why did God allow it to happen?

Following examples of people who have experienced a variety of disasters, Harbaugh confronts the faith issues from a profound theological perspective. Instead of seeing disasters as "acts of God," he shows that when disasters occur, God in fact is active: active in and through our questions, confusion, and doubts; active in and through our responses and actions; active in and through the community; and active in and through people of faith. He discusses the dynamics of the caregiver/care receiver relationship from the perspective of the care receiver to provide insights into how natural disaster victims can face an uncertain future with hope and faith.

He offers seven ways people of faith can transform disasters into times of blessings, and he provides helpful spiritual and biblical resources to strengthen Christians in times of disaster. A final chapter for caregivers provides help for the emotional and spiritual health of those who assist others in times of disaster. Appendices provide practical, close-to-the-ground tools.

ACT OF GOD/ACTIVE GOD can be ordered directly from Fortress Press at 800-328-4648 or



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