At the Ecclesia National Gathering in February, my friend Jim Pace pulled out of his bag a galley copy of his now released book, Should We Fire God?, and handed it to me. Seeing Dallas Willard across the small conference room, I wondered aloud if I could get him to sign it for me.
Thankfully, Jim has a sense of humor.
In fact, he’s one of the funnier people I know. But there’s a lot more to him than his humor. I’ve shared many a late night discussion with him, diving into some of the deeper topics of theology and life, and he (almost) always impresses me with his thoughtfulness.
It’s a curious thing to read a book by someone you know. Sometimes, you feel like you are hearing a voice from someone that doesn’t match up with the person you have talked with and spent time with. Other times, you can picture the person sitting before you, talking as you read, even hearing the words in their voice. The latter was my experience with Should We Fire God?
Jim has pastored in a campus church near Virginia Tech for over a decade. As the Virgina Tech shootings unfolded in 2007, Jim found himself in the middle of the questions and hurt that filled his own mind, the city of Blacksburg, and our nation. This book came out of the honest question about God’s seeming absence in such a tragedy. Jim tackles a difficult topic with grace as he mixes his knack for telling a humorous story with his ability to think below the surface on hard issues. Both play well with each other, allowing the reader to laugh, ache, and ponder their way through the pages.
There are many books that have been written that tackle the problem of evil from a Christian worldview. Some dive so much into theology they lack a connection with the heart, others come across as trite. But a handful are able to grapple with both the heart and the mind in this difficult topic. Jim has written a book that fits in with the last group.