Review of Layton Talbert’s “Beyond Suffering: Discovering the Message of Job”

Andy Naselli —  December 15, 2007 — 5 Comments

Layton Talbert. Beyond Suffering: Discovering the Message of Job. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 2007. 378 pp.


Last summer I reviewed the above book, and the review is now available here:

Review of Layton Talbert, Beyond Suffering: Discovering the Message of Job. Trinity Journal 28 (2007): 298–300.

After summarizing the book, the review highlights six strengths:

  1. “Its method is robustly expositional and contextual.”
  2. “Its theology is integrated with the big picture of the book and canon.”
  3. “Its organization is easy to follow.”
  4. “Its illustrations and applications are appropriate and practical.”
  5. “Its writing style is colorfully expressive and engaging.”
  6. “Its tone is warm and passionate, not cold or sterile.”


“I would be remiss not to mention my relationship to Talbert. He was my professor for six undergraduate courses and four seminary courses, one of my oral examiners for my doctoral comprehensive exams in 2005, a final reader for my dissertation, and a groomsman in my wedding. He dedicates Beyond Suffering to two couples and in memory of two children. One of those couples is my parents, and one of those children is my youngest brother Michael, who was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma cancer in 1998 at age three and died in 2002 at age six. God used Talbert to minister the message of Job to my family when we needed it most. With the publication of Beyond Suffering, Talbert can now minister the message of Job to a much wider audience.”


Related MP3s: Dr. Talbert recently preached a couple short series on Job that summarize his book (but are not a substitute for it!).

  1. “Job: Learning to Trust a Sovereign God” (May 21-24, 2006; Morning Star Baptist Church)
  2. “Beyond Suffering” (Nov. 16-18, 2007; West Ashley Independent Baptist Church)

5 responses to Review of Layton Talbert’s “Beyond Suffering: Discovering the Message of Job”

  1. Hello Andy,

    I’ve been a regular reader of your blog for quite some time now. Many thanks for it, and not least for the links to Don Carson. Both my wife and I have been so greatly blessed through his ministry.

    After reading your review I decided to purchase “Beyond Suffering” by Layton Talbert. It just arrived from Amazon in USA yesterday – I live here in N Ireland and I’ve found it impossible to buy the book over here in the UK – and I’ve started reading it. It looks a great book and am so grateful to have been pointed to it through your blog.

    In your post of 15 Dec.,2007 you link to two series of sermons by Layton Talbert on Job. The second series from West Ashley Baptist Church does not seem to be accessible now and I’m wondering if you would know of anywhere else where I could link to it?

    Hope you don’t mind my asking,

    Brian Ferguson (N Ireland)

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Brian.

    Re your question, I wouldn’t know where to look for those MP3s beyond that church’s website. Sorry!

  3. Andy,

    I really enjoy your work and especially Let Go and Let God? Coming out of a Pentecostal background, where I spent the first 20 years of my Christian walk, I am very aware of the concept of “Let go and let God.”

    There is an old joke that has much truth to it: On one side someone is praying, “Brother, hang on!” And on the other side someone else is shaking you, praying, “Brother, let go!” I was introduced to many books and authors who were immersed into the Keswick movement, and it was only after I read your book that I understood the great dangers of this bad theology. I praise God that he led me to Reformed Theology and a greater understanding of what true sanctification looks like.

    I am currently studying Job, and I just purchased Talbert’s book based on your recommendation above. Thank you! This is an excellent book, and Talbert is not afraid to boldly proclaim that God is the one who takes complete and full responsibility for Job’s suffering. Again, coming out of the theology that I was once under, this would be blasphemous to attribute any of Job’s suffering to the will of God.

    What blew my mind was the idea that one of the underlying themes is that Job is not so much about suffering than it is about God’s vindicating himself before Satan a celestial audience. This is based on Satan’s accusation that the relationship between God and man is a sham! Basically God is paying Job off in order to get Job to worship God. Satan is unable to conceive the idea that man can serve God based on the simple fact that God is worthy to be served and praised. Talbert uses Ephesians 3:10 to show the point that God is vindicating himself not so much before a worldly audience, though that is true, but before an unseen audience in the heavenly places:

    “In order that now may be known to the principalities and to the powers in the heavenlies, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God.” God’s intent in creating the world (v.9) and the church (v.10) is to display more facets of His wisdom to all the angels (cf. Eph. 1:21). (p. 43)

    AMAZING! It really is humbling to realize that it really is not all about us! God is doing all this for HIS GLORY!

    I look forward to finishing the book but was halted at this point, which caused me to stop and meditate and study this awesome truth to get a better understanding of the sovereignty and glory of God.

    Thanks for recommending this great book. It is also available on Logos!


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Andy Naselli » Blog Archive » Further Up and Further In - November 23, 2009

    [...] A few years ago I reviewed Talbert’s book and linked to MP3s of his sermons on [...]

  2. Andy Naselli » Blog Archive » Recommended Reading on Job - December 9, 2009

    [...] See my review. [...]

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