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If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

One of the best books about keeping faith during life's trials

I don¿t know how many times I have heard people say, ¿If God is so good then why does he allow suffering and pain?¿ but it is a lot. I think it is a good and valid question and is not easily answered. There are a number of books out today that deal with this question an...
I don¿t know how many times I have heard people say, ¿If God is so good then why does he allow suffering and pain?¿ but it is a lot. I think it is a good and valid question and is not easily answered. There are a number of books out today that deal with this question and as far as I am concerned most of them are not very good. They spend so much time making excuses for God or use philosophical analogies that don¿t necessarily pertain to the trueness of God. However, when I picked up Randy Alcorn¿s ¿If God Is Good¿¿ I found this book to be one of the best, most comprehensive and honest books on the issue of suffering and evil. Alcorn brings a fresh and biblical perspective to these issues and does so in an easy to read format that is loaded with scripture references to back up his findings. He also uses many examples of men and women throughout history whose lives have been affected greatly by pain, suffering and evil and still have a faith (although challenged at times) that remains stronger than ever.

¿If God Is Good¿¿ is an excellent read for anyone who is struggling with the question of why God allows suffering and pain. It is also a great companion for those in the midst of suffering and trials in their own lives presently. It¿s not a light read as it is nearly 500 pages but is worth the time investment.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

posted by colossal_pop on December 5, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Comforting and challenging in places, but there are better books out there.

Note: If I sound academic in this post it is because there were too many ideas floating in my head, and I chose to go with a few quick bullet-points. Suffering and evil are hard topics especially when we're in the middle of walking through real life horrors. I beg grace...
Note: If I sound academic in this post it is because there were too many ideas floating in my head, and I chose to go with a few quick bullet-points. Suffering and evil are hard topics especially when we're in the middle of walking through real life horrors. I beg grace for the non-chalant tone of this review.

Summary: Randy Alcorn wrote If God is Good to show that suffering and evil do not prove that God is bad. Instead, Alcorn argues that suffering and evil manifest the glory of God and the goodness of God.

A few thoughts:

1. I believe the book is rather long and Alcorn could have condensed the content considerably without losing much, if any, of the material arguments or encouraging anecdotes.

2. Alcorn mixes rock solid arguments with weak arguments to (I think, in some cases) arguments built on sand. This may seem to, in places, weaken the rock solid arguments.

3. The end of the book was the better part of the book because it was filled with encouraging anecdotes and principles with which we can battle the sense of abandonment in the midst of great loss and BIG evil. The beginning was more about theodicy (the problem of evil) and I'm just worn out by theodicy, so it was not as interesting to me. I have thought a lot about theodicy and believe and know that Jesus is the answer, the cross is the answer, so now I am at the stage where I want to have greater faith in and belief in the cross of Christ. The argument is over. Let the hope-building and strength-conditioning begin.

4. The format of the book was somewhat confusing. And very confusing at times. The book is somewhat schizophrenic in this way: Alcorn will begin ideas, but then quickly leave off, as if he got a phone call from a more interesting person.

5. Alcorn shares many interesting stories of believers facing great evil and suffering with faith in God's death and resurrection. However, he uses many stories that have been told and retold in the evangelical world, so for me (and for others like me) the stories were familiar and thus lacked the power they had when I first heard them. Also, these stories are anecdotes, not full-length histories, so there's a sense of, "but how did these people struggle with the suffering and evil in the actual events of the loss, of the evil?" This is a downside to telling so many anecdotes, the author cannot share as much depth of information.

6. The judgement: In places, this book was very comforting and challenging. But I think there are better books out there.

The purpose of the book was to show that God is good even in the midst of suffering and evil, but it cannot replace the need mourners have for genuine love from people, in Christ. Please do not give this book to friends who are in the midst of great pain. Rather give them your presence, your love, and your trust in Jesus, who was and is and will forever remain the good and holy and loving God.

We see and judge our suffering in the light of our suffering God. The God who became a man and suffered for the evils of His own enemies so that His enemies might become His adopted children. In this is love.

I received this book free from the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

posted by Calvin_OConnor on April 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Please click here!!!!!!¿

    Is this book for 11 year olds?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 25, 2011

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    Posted April 8, 2011

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    Posted March 8, 2011

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