After Shock: Searching for Honest Faith When Your World Is Shaken, By Kent Annan

After Shock

Searching for Honest Faith When Your World Is Shaken

by Kent Annan

After Shock
  • Length: 137 pages
  • Published: January 03, 2011
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3617
  • ISBN: 9780830836178

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In the wake of a historic earthquake in the fragile country of Haiti, Kent Annan considers suffering--from the epic to the everyday--as a problem for faith.

Less than two weeks after the release of Kent's book about his work with Haiti Partners, he heard the news.

Friends trapped under the rubble of buildings. Friends sprinting across the city looking for family. Churches--including one Kent often attended--turned to rubble. Suddenly Kent and his friends were part of an uncomfortable fellowship: people whose faith is shaken by crisis.

Taking courage from the psalmists of old and the company of his grieving neighbors, Kent has found that there is solidarity in suffering. Others have followed life to the edge of meaning and have heard God even there, calling for honest faith.

Are there questions or realities your faith can't handle?

Kent wrote After Shock to help you find out.

"Kent Annan walks his readers through the rubble of the January 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti unforgettably. I have known Kent for eight years since he and his wife first moved here to Haiti and lived with a family in the countryside to learn and experience Haitian life. After Shock tells the story of all of us who have lived through this terrible event."

Jean Claude Cerin, Haiti country representative for Tearfund

"Kent Annan's writing is both reflective and purposeful. Searching for faith among the rubble of shattered homes and lives in Haiti, he lifts up lamentations of sorrow and stories of joy. This is a credible book for anyone who has ever wondered where God is in a world full of suffering."

Jim Wallis, president, Sojourners, and author of The Great Awakening

"This is no ivory-tower exploration of faith and doubt. In After Shock, Kent Annan offers a muscular, gritty and devastatingly hopeful model of a faith lived between the questions. Like Haiti after the earthquake, it recoils from quick-fix inspiration or a sappy resolution. Instead it offers something much more powerful: truth."

Jason Boyett, author of O Me of Little Faith and Pocket Guide to the Afterlife

"Page after page in After Shock, I've been blown away by Kent Annan's raw honesty, risky vulnerability and human sensitivity. On top of that there's his robust and clear writing style. And there's the simple fact of where he's been, what he's seen and felt, what he's asked and refused to accept, and how he's struggled to make sense of it all. It yields a rich book that has the chance, with your cooperation, to make you a better Christian and a better human being."

Brian McLaren, author/activist

"Kent Annan asks the hard questions in After Shock. Where was God during and after the Haiti disaster? How could a loving God allow his children to suffer? The questions as well as the answers might surprise you. This is a deeply personal account of a man's walk of faith--a man heavily invested in this island nation and its people."

Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Like Kent Annan, I've walked through the devastation of Port-au-Prince and its surrounding mountains in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake. Like Kent I've seen and smelled the tragedy, and shaking questions have met my soul. In After Shock he describes palpably how Christ?s broken, resurrected body meets our brokenness in a tangible, fragile, personal way--a way so essential to a lasting faith. After Shock will summon you to a journey of real, vibrant, honest faith in the Holy God who promises to be with us always, even in the bruised and broken circumstances of life."

Benjamin Homan, president of John Stott Ministries and former president of Food for the Hungry

"Annan has put into words the questions many of us wrestle with in silence, and done so with such humanity and humility, it's impossible to walk away unchanged. This is a raw, beautiful and courageous book, brimming with truth on every page."

Rachel Held Evans, author of Evolving in Monkey Town

"It is hard to explain how I can say that this is a truly beautiful book, when it comes out of a background of such horror. But that was my dominant emotion as I finished it. Beautiful, perhaps, because up-close honesty is beautiful where the clich├ęs of certainty-at-a-distance are repellant. Beautiful because it touches depths of reality where the beauty of God glimmers through the inexplicable darkness of suffering and the desperation of faith, love and hope. Of course, it is also a deeply disturbing book. But if its brutal honesty upsets you, or if the questions it throws before God with baffled anger and gritty trust seem too irreverent, perhaps you have not really spent enough time in the company of Jeremiah, Job, the psalmists--and Jesus. This is a book to read alongside the author at the foot of the cross, and at the empty tomb, where knowing, loving and trusting God make sense, even when understanding his world does not."

Christopher J. H. Wright, international director of The Langham Partnership International, and author of The God I Don't Understand

"After Shock is one man's scrupulously honest search for God. Although Kent Annan hopes for unshakable faith, he celebrates doubt as part of the process, a necessary part of being alive. There are no easy answers. There may be no answers at all. After Shock is the perfect example of what Rainer Maria Rilke called 'living the questions.' This is a book I will read over and over, for inspiration and for comfort. I loved it."

Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life

"Kent Annan struggles with his faith existentially. This is no simple attempt to excuse God for non-interference in the suffering that pervades Port-au-Prince following a devastating earthquake. Instead, it is the poetic confession of a Christian who faces his doubts and questions about God, and yet goes beyond them to find a newer, stronger faith."

Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus, Eastern University

"I admired Annan for his honesty in his first book; my respect for his work and his faith is only deepened by this moving, searching book."

Kurt Armstrong, Christian Week, March 15, 2011


Tectonic Plates

Life Gets Shaken

I Confronting the Crisis of Faith
1 The World Crashes All the Time
2 Spiritual Aftershocks
3 Accept Uncertainty
4 Don?t Turn Away
5 Feel

II Searching for Honest Faith
6 Keep Moving
7 God Is Distant and Near
8 Jesus (Crucifix versus Cross)
9 The Response Is Us
10 Honest Faith

Reading Group Guide
About the Author


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Kent Annan

Kent Annan (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary) is codirector of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, where he leads an MA in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership program. He is the author of You Welcomed MeSlow Kingdom ComingAfter Shock, and Following Jesus through the Eye of the Needle and is cofounder of Spiritual First Aid and cohost The Better Samaritan blog and podcastKent writes for many national publications and speaks regularly around the country. He lives near Chicago with his wife and two children.