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If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Random House, Inc / 2009 / Hardcover
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Difficult times beg questions about God's goodness and power. Offering compelling true stories, fresh answers, and biblical insights, Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief and reveals the big picture of who God is and what he's doing in the world---equipping you to share your faith clearly with those experiencing pain and fear. 432 pages, hardcover from Multnomah.
Every one of us will experience suffering. Many of us are experiencing it now. As we have seen in recent years, evil is real in our world, present and close to each one of us.
In such difficult times, suffering and evil beg questions about God--Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? And then, how can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?
These are ancient questions, but also modern ones as well. 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.
In this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight 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 worldnow and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear.
"As he did in his best-selling book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn delves deep into a profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical understanding, he brings assurance and hope to all."
Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries and a bestselling author. His novels include Deadline, Dominion, Edge of Eternity, Lord Foulgrins Letters, The Ishbane Conspiracy, and the Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written eighteen nonfiction books as well, including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, The Purity Principle, and The Grace and Truth Paradox. Randy and his wife, Nanci, live in Oregon and have two married daughters and four grandsons.
Best-selling author Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. His novels include Deadline, Dominion, Edge of Eternity, Lord Foulgrin's Letters, The Ishbane Conspiracy, and the Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written eighteen nonfiction books as well, including Heaven; The Treasure Principle; The Purity Principle; and The Grace and Truth Paradox. Randy and his wife, Nanci, live in Oregon. They have two married daughters, Karina and Angela, and several grandsons.
The crossover fiction and nonfiction author of the half-millionselling Heaven throws down a heavy response to a spate of recent bestselling atheism books. Because the main argument of atheists against the existence of God is suffering in the world, Alcorn lays out a weighty and classically reasoned argument to the problem of suffering in this thoroughly modern book. His biggest trump card is that atheists were hardly the first to ask about suffering and evil. Ancient writers did, and the fact that the Bible raises the problem of evil gives us full permission to do so. Evil and suffering are addressed in tandem but approached differently. Evil comes from human rebellion or sin, and suffering is a secondary evil brought on by that primary evil. By granting free will to humanity, God allows for an eternal good that humans don't always see now but will experience in the life to come if faithful. Not academic but well-reasoned, Alcorn may not convince atheists, but apart from them readership is wide open. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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Author: Randy Alcorn
Located in: Gresham, Oregon
Submitted: May 28, 2011
Tell us a little about yourself. Im the founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries and the author of over forty books, including my fiction books Deception and Safely Home and my nonfiction works The Treasure Principle and Heaven. My wife Nanci and I are the parents of two married daughters and we have four wonderful grandsons. I enjoy hanging out with my family, biking, tennis, research and reading.
What was your motivation behind this project? I wrote If God is Good partly because I am deeply concerned by the radically unbiblical viewpoints being assimilated into the thinking of evangelical Christians. Another reason is that countless people have already read, and will be reading for years, the New York Times bestselling books by atheists Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. I want to reach people who dont know how to respond to their arguments, as well as those whose nonchristian friends have been influenced by this reasoning. My prayer is that they will see the spiritual power and reason of Scripture, learn sound theology, and develop a truly Christian worldview to replace their superficial one that will never survive either the arguments or the tests that await them. Ultimately what drew me to this issue is that the Bible itself (e.g., in Job and Psalms and the prophets) repeatedly raises the problem of evil. It does so with a full range of insight and mystery. It doesnt offer easy or simplistic bullet-point answers but offers more satisfying answers than any other worldview. Those answers are centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ. In eternity, I could see Him looking at his children, stretching out His nail-scarred hands, and asking us, in light of the questions we struggled with, Do these look like the hands of a God who did not care?
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I pray and expect that some will come to a genuine faith in Christ through reading the book and the Scriptures it cites, and perhaps discussing it with a Christian friend. The book may serve to help some readers jettison a false faith. If we have a faith that isnt grounded in reality, we must, by the empowerment of Gods Spirit, lose our false faith in order to find the true one, in Christ.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? In looking for answers to the problem of evil and suffering, Ive beheld a God who says, I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering (Exodus 3:7). Ive found great comfort in hearing God speak of a time when he could bear his peoples misery no longer (see Judges 10:16). I revel in Gods emphatic promise that he will make a New Earth where he will come down to live with us, and on which he will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). Above all, in this process, Ive seen Jesus.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? When you read as many books as I do, youre bound to come across some great stories, and I told a number of them in If God Is Good. These include great missionary stories. I also spent considerable time interviewing people. I share two stories told me by my friend Steve Saint that are very powerful and stories from others who have endured personal tragedies, and lifelong suffering, including my friend David OBrien. Born with extensive cerebral palsy, unable to walk until age seven, and only haltingly then, often falling throughout his life, David is now confined to a wheelchair. He talks in grunts and he droolsa brilliant man trapped for a lifetime in a body that doesnt work rightyet hes full of praise for God as we talked about suffering. He said God made me this way to keep me close to Him.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: This book wont work magic or make your problems disappear. But I hope God will use it to help you, regardless of the difficulties you face. He offers us profound, moving, and surprising insights that can feed our minds, warm our hearts, and give us the strength to face a world that is not what it once was, or what it one day will be. I pray that readers of If God Is Good will not only find help for themselves, but life-changing insights to share with othersbelievers and unbelievers, family and friends and neighbors and co-workersin their time of greatest need. Readers might also like to know that 100% of the royalties from my books go to support worthy Christian organizations around the world.
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