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When Faith Is Tested -- Pastoral Responses to Suffering and Tragic Death
(Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling Series)
by Jeffrey R. Zurheide, D.Min. © 1997.
(Augsburg Fortress Press: Minneapolis, MN) All rights reserved.
[Answer 7 of 10 questions correctly to receive 4 hours of Continuing Education credit].


Chapter 1: Before You Enter (p. 3-13)
1. In the author’s view, silence during a pastoral visit is
a. highly appropriate.
b. often reflective of the presence of God, who is also silent.
c. a gift to be cherished.
d. all of the above.

Chapter 2: Assessing What Sufferers Seek (p. 14-18)
2. If a mother who has just lost her daughter cries out, “Why did God do this to us?!”, a pastoral carer should
a. give her a theological answer in great detail.
b. primarily view her question as an expression of her grief.
c. tell her, “Everything is going to be OK.”
d. suggest possible medication.

Chapter 3: Answers to the Theological “Why Me?” (p. 19-25)
3. The primary problem with the ______ answer is that it distances God from the sufferer.
a. deterministic
b. didactic
c. athletic
d. disciplinarian

Chapter 4: Theodicy: The Problem of Evil (p. 26-34)
4. The author criticizes Rabbi Harold Kushner’s elimination of
a. God’s omnipotence.
b. God’s goodness.
c. God’s wisdom.
d. evil as a reality.

Chapter 5: Karl Barth Speaks Out on Evil (p. 35-48)
5. Karl Barth proposed that because of _______, God in Christ experienced human suffering firsthand.
a. God’s omnipotence
b. God’s omnipresence
c. the incarnation
d. God’s transcendence

Chapter 6: Pastoral Care: Where Theology Touches Down (p. 49-56)
6. The secret of establishing hope lies first and foremost in the establishment of
a. rapport.
b. vision.
c. respect.
d. faith.

Chapter 7: Ministry in the Trenches (p. 57-68)
7. Pastor Steve Talbot told Mrs. Brown
a. to learn more about the power of God by studying key Bible passages.
b. to feel the presence of God with her when she felt the weakest.
c. that increasing her prayer life would also increase her faith.
d. that God was not responsible for her agony and suffering.

8. To Randy Jones, Pastor Shirley Shipley presented the image of God as
a. One who is sovereign over heaven and earth.
b. One who triumphs over evil.
c. One who is in control of all circumstances.
d. One who suffers with us when we suffer.

Chapter 8: Now That the Funeral’s Over (p. 69-72)
9. Dr. Glen Davidson, thanatologist, states that reorientation can take
a. 48 hours to 2 weeks.
b. 1 to 3 months.
c. 6 to 12 months.
d. 18 to 24 months.

Chapter 9: A Plea for Mystery (p. 73-77)
10. Which is NOT one of the author’s three fundamental conclusions?
a. We live in a broken world.
b. Christians know why people suffer.
c. Suffering is not the end of the story.
d. God is with us in the spirit of Christ.

NOTE: In order to receive C.E. credit for reading When Faith is Tested by Jeffrey R. Zurheide, you must read and sign the following statement:

I have read and understood the outline below which details the counseling skills and treatment strategies recommended in this book.

Signed: ____________________________ Date: ____________


1. Develop effective empathy toward tragic suffering
    a. Avoid having all the answers, giving medical advice, or forcing a smile (p. 6-9)
    b. Identify visible and audible clues as to the client’s present condition (p. 10-11)
    c. How and when to use silence in response to suffering (p. 12-13)

2. Assess what the suffering client wants from the counselor (p. 14-18)
    a. to be heard
    b. a comforting presence
    c. a theological perspective (p. 17-25)
      (1) Be careful of the following:
          (a) “God caused your suffering to happen for a good reason”
          (b) “God is teaching you something through your suffering”
          (c) “God is testing you”
          (d) “God is punishing you for wrongdoing”

      (2) Promote: Suffering is normal in a sick world.

3. Promote a cognitive-theological view to increase one’s endurance of suffering (p 49-56)
    a. God displays His power through a person’s weakness, infirmity and suffering.
    b. Teach clients how to grieve with hope.
       (1) Remind the client of God’s love and concern.
       (2) Describe a larger picture (context) for the client’s immediate suffering. The incarnation
             of Christ was God’s presence amidst our human suffering. The resurrection of Christ
             gives hope that all suffering will someday be over.
       (3) Accept whatever emotions are expressed (sadness, anger, etc.)

4. A case study of how to use Scripture to comfort and provide a correct
    view of God’s power in the midst of a client’s suffering. (p. 57-63)

5. A case study of encouraging grief and offering a basis for hope
   (p. 66-68)

6. Promote a three-fold cognitive-theological perspective of the mystery of suffering (p. 73-77).
    a. We live in a broken world where pain and suffering abound.
    b. Suffering is not the “end of the story.” It will someday be over.
    c. God is with us in our suffering in the spirit of Christ.