“Out of the Whirlwind” Book Launch at Holy Trinity Church, Ripon

A Kirkby Malzeard man has written a book exploring the theological question - “Why does God allow suffering? “

Friday, 6th December 2019, 3:20 pm
Adrian with Hal

When Adrian Roberts’ son Hal was born, there was little sign of the condition which was to alter the course of his life.

In the months following his birth, Hal developed epilepsy, and subsequently cerebral palsy was diagnosed.

26 years later, Adrian has written a book about his experiences and the philosophical challenges they presented.

Adrian with son Hal in the summer

The idea for the book first came in 2011, when Hal was admitted to hospital suffering from epileptic fits so severe that they left him in a coma.

Over the following week Hal’s condition improved, and it is this dramatic setting which provides the background for the book, Out of the Whirlwind.

It is clear that Hal has enjoyed a good quality of life growing up, attending school in York before progressing to Beaumont College in Lancaster to complete his education.

Adrian says that services have been excellent and is mindful that should Hal have been born in a different time period or country, the story could be very different.

Hal has recently moved into purpose built housing in York, ensuring he is able to receive the round the clock care he will need for the rest of his life.

When asked why he had written the book, Adrian, a lay reader, said: “ I suppose for many years I was a teacher and for the last 20 years I was a preacher as well.

“I’ve always wanted to leave a record of ideas. Something that was as profound as it could be, but also incredibly clear.”

The Rt-Revd Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon, said: “ This is a story set in the midst of extraordinary lives, facing extraordinary challenges. Who hasn’t asked searching questions of God and sought meaning in the apparent silences and glimpses of insight?”

Adrian, 58, said: “Another thing which emerged as I was writing Out of the Whirlwind was that although the pain and anger I threw at God did genuinely reflect what I have felt from time to time, I found myself more frequently reflecting on the surprising joy that my relationship with Hal has involved over the years.”

Out of the Whirlwind: Innocent Pain as a Challenge to God is launched this Saturday, December 7 at 14:30 at Holy Trinity Church, Ripon in The Arches coffee area.