The Upside of Down by Joseph M. Stowell

Stowell’s book on handling the difficult times of life is for the most part a positive experience. The author is an entertaining and gifted communicator who is also well versed in Scripture. He writes simply. As a matter of fact my biggest concern about The Upside of Down is that in an effort to connect with his reader, whom he assumes, perhaps rightly so, is not particularly sharp, Stowell “dumbs-down” much of his message. He is therefore not able to handle in meaningful ways such tough questions as the problem of pain and suffering. Nevertheless, interwoven throughout the far too plentiful stories (he gives 11 stories in chapter three alone) you will unearth some nuggets of truth. Unfortunately, you will also find some junk, such as the oft’ repeated angel story (p. 61), and a strange statement, “God runs a phenomenal risk when He entrusts His work and reputation to us,” which is closer to Open Theism than a biblical understanding of God. Still, overall, The Upside of Down is worth reading.

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