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At the Scent of Water
The Ground of Hope in the Book of Job
J. Gerald Janzen
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POD; Published: 7/28/2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4829-1
Price: $ 18.50
151 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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The book of Job is often discussed as a theodicy -- an attempt to "justify the ways of God to man." In this remarkable rereading of Job, J. Gerald Janzen brings new light to this familiar account, showing instead that God invites Job to give up the traditional Deuteronomic logic of reward-punishment for a life affirming strategy of risk-reward. From this perspective, affirmation of life in the face of all its vulnerabilities is the path to true participation in the mystery of existence.

On the basis of a study of "east wind" in the Bible -- "whirlwind" in Job -- Janzen proposes that the prominence God gives to rain in Job 38, with its renewal of the parched earth and the ensuing vigor of all forms of life, signals God's response to Job's thirst, heals Job's bitterness, and restores him to a life at the end of which he dies contented. Janzen demonstrates how life-crippling bitterness is transcended and hope in life's worthwhileness is restored in the face of grievous evil. The resolution of the Joban question lies not in a vindication of divine justice but, rather, in God's renewal of Job's appetite for life.

Janzen underscores this interpretation with a candid epilogue on his own struggle with aggressive prostate cancer, which enabled him to connect personally with Job's story and to find a fresh and illuminating grace. At the Scent of Water will resonate with students, pastors, and any readers who have experienced grief or suffering.
Academy of Parish Clergy, Top 10 Books for Parish Ministry (2010)
John Goldingay
Fuller Theological Seminary
"Ideally, to write on Job, you need to be an accomplished Hebraist, an Old Testament theologian, an amateur philosopher, a person who appreciates poetry, and one who has lived with some of the issues the book wrestles with. In this book Gerald Janzen shows himself to be such a person."