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From the Hardcover edition.
Posted March 30, 2011
The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering was my first book I've read written by Randy Alcorn. It will not be my last.
Although this is definitely an overview concerning a very in depth subject (Why is there evil & suffering in the world?), I found it to be a great starting place to launch a more thorough study of the topic. If there ever was a topic on the minds of people today it's the subject of God's goodness, evil & suffering. It is especially a relevant topic in light of the current earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Some questions Alcorn addresses in the book. Does God cause suffering? Does He use suffering? If he knows about natural disasters before they come, why doesn't He stop them? Can God get glory from someone's suffering?
I wasn't completely satisfied with all the answers to the questions, but as I mentioned above this book is meant to get you thinking. As I have in my own journey, I'll let you ponder Alcorn's answers to these questions and encourage you as the author does to go beyond the pages of this book and examine scripture for yourself.
I received The Goodness of God for free and reviewed this book as part of the Blogging for Books Program. I would highly recommend pastors and churches to make this book a part of a message series.
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Posted January 13, 2011
In his book, "The Goodness of God", Randy Alcorn tackles the subject of suffering, and God's presence during. The discussion over suffering is not a popular one, nor an easy one to bring an answer to. Suffering puts on many faces in our lives today; emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical are a few. Each one uniquely different. Regardless of the form of suffering, every believer has to come to terms with the purpose for suffering, first answering "Is there a purpose for suffering and can any good come from it?" "The Goodness of God" is a condensed version of Alcorn's earlier, and more exhaustive work "If God is Good". Alcorn approaches the subject of suffering from the biblical perspective and handles a difficult subject thoroughly and honestly. He deals with the origin of suffering (which he concludes is that of evil), various viewpoints surrounding suffering, Christ's redemptive work through suffering, and God's sovereignty over suffering. Although this book is short in length it is by no means a light read. He deals with doctrinal topics without becoming academic. I enjoyed this book. I appreciate how the author did not try to minimize suffering or lead one to believe that some are exempt from it. Great book and well worth the read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my honest review.
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Posted May 16, 2011
"Why do 'bad' things happen to 'good' people?" "If God is so loving, why is there so much evil in the world?" Humanity has wrestled with questions like these for centuries. In his book, The Goodness of God, Randy Alcorn seeks to engage the reader in a discovery of who God is and how to experience His presence in the midst of suffering.
Although not an exhaustive apologetic, Alcorn identifies the common misunderstandings of God and suffering and then seeks to address the deepest doubts many people have in this regard. In the end, Alcorn reveals that it is through our experience of suffering that we are able to experience truest joy.
I give this a five out of five. This is a must read for anyone seeking to reconcile the presence of evil in the world and the existence of God and faith in Him. "Believing God exists isn't the same thing as trusting the God who exists."
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers book review bloggers program.
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Posted May 8, 2011
Have you ever struggled with the issue of why there is evil and suffering in this world? I believe we all have!
Randy Alcorn's little book The Goodness of God tackles this tough subject. I love this book almost as much as I love its big sister, If God is Good. I am one who like to answer the tough questions of life with God's Word and very quickly in this book you will know Alcorn is going to take you directly to God's Word.
As Randy Alcorn is faithful to God's Word, he helps us develop a strong picture of the God of the Bible. He had my fully attention on the second page, when he wrote:
At times, each of us must struggle into our Father's arms, like children, and there receive the comfort we need. God doesn't just offer us advice, he offers us companionship. He doesn't promise we won't face hardship, but he does promise he'll walk with us through the hardship.
Life promises us one thing about hardship, we are either in the middle of a hardship or we are just coming out of one, or there is one on the horizon.
Making it through the hardships of life is easier if we have the proper perspective on evil and suffering. I strongly recommend this book to you!
Posted February 17, 2011
In this book best-selling author Randy Alcorn takes a close look at suffering and evil in light of God's Word. Pain and suffering will strike us all, and the issues are complex, but by examining the nature of God and His Word we can prepare ourselves to face these difficulties knowing that God is in control and His purposes our higher than ours.
I found this book to be incredibly comforting to read. This is not a book filled with trite sayings and feel-good sentiments, but rather is filled with biblical truths the reader can use to prepare himself for tribulation. There are many powerful stories of how God has used difficult circumstances for good, and how those who lived through them grew in grace and their knowledge of God. These stories are real, and they don't all have what this world would call a happy ending - and I like that. Real life is hard, and this book is a valuable resource for understanding suffering. I also appreciate that it is full of Scripture to encourage and exhort the reader.
This is a book I will keep in my library. I'm sure there will be dark days in my life when I will need to cling to the truths presented in it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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 February 11, 2011
The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn is a great read especially if you are wondering why we suffer, why we go through pain, why things happen. He explains why God "allows" these things to happen.
When I first started reading the book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but as I read further and further in to it, it actually answered some questions I had and gave me some information to thing about as to why we do suffer and go through the things we do. God has a purpose for everything we do, for everything we go through....it is all for a reason and a purpose and we just have to trust in God that everything is for a reason. We may not know what that reason is and may not know until we meet him in Heaven, but it is all for the Goodness of God!
This is also a great book for anyone who is questioning "Why?" and/or for someone who has experienced a loss and just quite can't come to grips with it. This is a great book. It is very interesting and intriguing. I would highly recommend everyone reading this book!!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group!!
Posted January 31, 2011
Just finished Randy Alcorn's "The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering." This book reinforced what I believe to be true about suffering, from sin being the root cause to God's eternal nature being good despite the pain and suffering we see and experience.
Randy hits the gate running from chapter one with a great description on natural disasters. I remember when the tsunami hit Indonesia and other "non-Christian" nations, there were Christian leaders saying it was God's judgment on these nations. I couldn't believe my ears as I felt this was not an act of God, but an act of nature in a broken world. Randy Alcorn confirms my belief that sin has upset the balance of what nature was supposed to be and now we have inherited a broken world and broken humanity.
I also appreciated the author's perspective or morality and ethical principles. These ideas only fit into a Christian perspective as we know that there is a holiness standard and without this than there is anarchy. Moral relativism fails to recognize that there are absolute rights. but they would see an absolute wrong if it were taking place to them personally.
This book is a good read for anyone who doubts the goodness of God in the midst of their current situation. As a pastor of students, this book will serve me in teaching my students that God's character doesn't change even when our lives constantly do. God is not thrown back on his heels in the face of a chaotic life. in fact, God anticipated, even knew, what would happen and has given you and I the tools we need to overcome.
Sin may separate humanity from God, but grace has provided enough to bridge the gap. there is no suffering that we cannot overcome through Christ.
This book was provided by Multnomah for free for review purposes.
Posted January 25, 2011
I actually ended up enjoying this book. It is certainly not my style or something I would typically choose to read. I am, however, working to have a closer walk with my Heavenly Father and this book helped to open my eyes to see how good and merciful our God truly is. Even in times of pain and suffering He is there to carry us through. God never promised that our walk with Him would be easy, just that He would be there with us every step of the way. Often when we are struggling we try every way we know to make things right, when what we should do is turn everything over to God.
I'm a pretty fast reader, so I was finished with this book in just a couple of days. It's only 11 chapters, and even though there were a few times when I disagreed with the author's theology, I understood the points that he was trying to make. This would be a wonderful read for someone who is suffering through loss, whether it be loss of a job, health, a beloved family member or finances
Posted January 24, 2011
Randy Alcorn's The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering is a classic look at living Christ like through pain and suffering. He has joined the spiritual context with a modern dictum and personal experiences on walking out kingdom purpose in the presence of pain. I doubt that anyone who has suffered anything can come away from this reading without having left some heaviness behind, and gained a sense of renewed purpose. Alcorn does not wax poetic about the real pain those who suffer endure, but thoroughly provides scripture reference that allows every believer, as well as non believers, to find that God will use even our most painful moments to create an avenue of salvation for somebody, somewhere. He provides for us the basis of God's purpose in us: to draw all men unto Him to receive salvation. To create an eternity opportunity for a lost soul. To save us. Conveying this ultimate truth, Alcorn gingerly expounds on the way God uses our suffering and how suffering doesn't permit us a break from being ambassadors of Christ. In our suffering, we are even more drawn to Christ, and He is visible in us more than at any other time. In our suffering (weakness), Christ is made strong, and more transparent to us than ever. Assuring the reader that suffering is not without spiritual results and purpose, Alcorn does not deviate from the Word of God. He so expertly provides scriptural evidence that God is good, even when we feel at our worst, that the reader cannot help but come to the conclusion: these things will work out for my good. God has given up way more than I have lost just to save my soul. This book gives the reader a deep sense of purpose, a renewed joy in God's words and ways, and a chance to reason through a difficult time and conclude that God is indeed good. There is a comfort here, that can only be found in God. Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2011
I liked this book very much until the 5th chapter. At that point, I disagreed with much of the author's theology. I disagree, for example, that without suffering, the cross would not be important or as powerful...
The author writes, "Erasing the struggle and suffering from this story would mean less appreciation for peace because war had never broken out; less appreciation for food because famine had never occurred; less appreciation for righteousness because sin never appeared; less love for life because death never happened; and less glory to God and heartfelt worship because we'd never have seen his attributes of grace and mercy and patience."
I do not agree. I believe to think that God cannot be glorified except through suffering is to lack imagination. God doesn't need suffering to make himself better. He's GOD. He all-knowing. He is all-powerful. God is good outside of suffering, not *because* of it. To believe this would be like saying to a child who has been abused, "well, your abuse showed you how great it feels not to be abused." That's a ridiculous statement as is the above quote.
Nonetheless, from chapter 5 on, I found pieces here and there of differences in the author's theology and my own. In fact, eventually, I began to feel more and more like the author was trying to convince me, through anecdotes and trite stories, that suffering was merely part of a greater good and that if we believed that, the suffering wouldn't be so bad.
I believe God will bring good from suffering. And I do believe the author's statement that suffering is within God's control. However, I most appreciated the beginning of the book when the author did not try to solve all of life's mysteries but instead validated that God does not like suffering and will complete his work and overcome pain and suffering one day.
I would not recommend this book to a friend because I believe it could be very painful for those who suffer to hear some of the things the author states about suffering. I also firmly disagree about some of the author's theology. However, it's a well-written book that easy to read and, ultimately, does offer some truth about God's role in our pain and suffering.
**I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. However, my opinions are my own.**
Posted January 18, 2011
What a thought provoking and mind altering work! Alcorn puts into words some of the biggest questions we as hums ask about why things like evil, natural disasters, and other bad things happen to us. "Why did God let this happen" is a question most every person has asked at one time or another. In his book, Randy Alcorn addresses these questions and many more as they relate to God's goodness in a world full of sin, pain and evil. Through biblical reference as well as cultural events and personal stories, he author addresses a multitude of topics within the realm of God's goodness and it's existence though our human comprehension of events might cause us to believe otherwise.
An appropriate book for someone facing a life struggle or difficulty, this book offers sound explanations and reasons that are biblically based and comfort. A great gift for a friend or loved one (or self) facing troubled times and looking for some peace and understanding.
Well written, easy to read with shorter chapters, one can invest a short time to complete a chapter. Yet, each chapter contains so much information and depth that the individual headings and resulting sections could constitute a reading session themselves. Plenty of room for possibility of a book study, small group or personal growth study. A solid book full of ideas, thoughts and stories that will cause the reader to pause, consider their own lives and their world and begin to see things in a new light. To realize that God is good and ever present in the bad.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review and received no compensation for doing so. All opinions contained in this review are my own.
Posted January 29, 2011
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