Monday, September 21, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: IF GOD IS GOOD--Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn

Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering?
That is the question I was asked more than any other during my forty-seven years as a senior minister for four different churches. That question hounded me not only at my home church but everywhere I went. Not satisfied with the answer given by their own minister, members from other churches would ask me, "How can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?"

So I have read and studied for many years looking for an answer. First and foremost I spend time in the Bible. But I have also bought and read many books by respected theologians and scholars who have spent years studying this difficult subject. In If God Is Good, Randy Alcorn delves deep into this profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical undertanding, he brings assurance and hope to all.

"Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God. But in this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical perspective to the issues these important questions raise."

"Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world--now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear."

This is a big book--five hundred and twelve pages. Even though it is about a difficult subject--one of the most difficult of all, it is easy to read. I recommend it in the first place for the Christian who wants a better understanding for him or herself. And then I recommend it be passed on to someone who is struggling with this problem and even questioning the existence of a good God. However, it is a big book and there are some questioners who do not want to be given anything to read. At this point I want to recommend another book which is much smaller but is extremely well written and powerful. I found it to be one of the best books I have read on suffering. It is Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow by Nancy Guthrie.

Now back to Alcorn's book. One hundred percent of the royalties from this book will be given to promote good, oppose evil, and relieve suffering around the world. That's worth investing in. Let me commend all of those who seek answers to the questions surrounding human suffering. Seeking answers to these questions can turn you toward Jesus in a fresh way--and that is good.

The Random House website offers all the different options where you can purchase the book online


Loren said...

What a great review and I agree completely with the Nancy Guthrie comment! That book is awesome to say the least!

Thanks Clif!

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

There is another small book that gives some cogent explanations: 21 Reasons Why Bad Things Happen to Good People by David Early. Are you familiar with it? Do you have an opinion on its contents?

Heart2Heart said...


Another must have for me as a Christian who is faced with this constant question so many times during my walk of faith. I will be ordering this one as well.

Thank you for sharing it.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Mevely317 said...

Thanks for providing this link to Random House, Clif; I've been looking forward to this review. I'll be wandering over there to learn more in a little while.


SmilingSally said...

Our pastor just spoke on this subject this past weekend.