If the Creator of the world is good, why is there evil? Randy Alcorn tackles an age-old question with unique insight and logic. I have asked "Why?" many times. Like Job, never an answer to the question, but a refocus on the greatness of God. Alcorn writes:
"Grace and forgiveness, both expressions of God's eternal character, are moral goods, but without evil they wouldn't have become clearly evident. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit don't need compassion, mercy, grace, or forgiveness. These qualities could only be fully expressed to finite and fallen creatures."
Perhaps that is why the angels desire to look into the Gospel, 1 Peter 1:12,; the angels in Heaven have not sinned. They see God's compassion, mercy, grace and forgiveness, and that prompts them to desire to look into the Gospel.Alcorn also reminds readers that we cannot understand God's ways or thoughts. He suggests that maybe an explanation from God for the reason of evil and suffering might lead to greater misunderstanding.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9
I appreciated the pithy subtitles. I frequently reread them, highlighted them and tweeted them.True-to-Scripture, If God is Good was filled with stories of people who suffered greatly and, yet, said that their faith in God was strengthened in their time of testing. For some of the people Alcorn wrote about, their great trial was over and they understood why they had gone through the trial. For others, there was no answer, but there will be an answer in heaven.
Alcorn claims that the "Health and Wealth Gospel" perverts our understanding of evil and suffering. He acknowledges that God still miraculously heals people from sickness and that God uses doctors and medicineto heal people. Sometimes, God does not heal miraculously or through medicine. Sometimes, God has a better plan.
"When you pray only for healing, what are you praying to miss out on? Christlikeness? Shouldn't we learn to pray that our suffering causes growth, that God will give us little glimpses of Heaven as we seek to endure, and that He would use us?"
When I had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I thought that I was to shine for God through my pain, and I believe that was my purpose in that season. Two years before God miraculously healed me, God impressed upon my husband and me that He would heal me. Two years of praying for the promised healing. Two years of consuming the Scriptures and Christian books on healing, all the while, asking what God had for us to learn.
My fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue were a gift from God. God's healing was also a gift. God has given me little glimpses of Heaven through each of these gifts, directing this life's path on an unexpected adventure that unfolds the great goodness of God.
Footnoted and hefty, If God is Good, is a resource for those who have endured suffering or evil and for those who are in the midst of suffering or evil ... in other words, this is a resource for everyone who asks "Why?"
This book has been a great blessing to me ... a gift from God.Thank you, Randy Alcorn, for your diligence and commitment to this subject.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
This is an awesome book, Randy does it again. This is a great book loaded with scripture, real stories, real experiences, real people asking real questions.... this is real! Why does GOD allow suffering to his people? This is what Randy talks about, each chapter is the subject of a topic in which we have all heard or wondered about in life situations. Randy covers all these questions, as example: Understanding the problem of Evil and Suffering (or) Why does GOD allow suffering? and there are many more questions in this book. It is a very large book and can be over loading at first, just take it one chapter at a time and allow yourself to take time to read and think about it. You can easily just open to any chapter and take it slow and read for your quiet time.
I recommend this to everyone, this is an awesome book, either for reference, daily reading, subject reading, book study and so much more. Read this book, it has all the back up and is the truth of GOD's word and so much more.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for books. 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
This is undoubtly one of the best books dealing with Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. It is 100% biblical in its approach.
Randy is transparent with his own struggles and aptly illustrates the principless that he shares.This is thought provoking and causes one to examine their own life and attitude in the midst of doubt and struggle. This is a book that all pastors should devour. Seldom do I recommend a book without reservation,however I can do so with this one.
I have gleaned a lot of sermon material and illustrations that I can share with my people. Thank you Randy for the many hours spent in research,prayer and writing.May the Lord bless you richly.
If God is Good: Faith In The Midst Of Suffering, written by Randy Alcorn, is an excellent God-focused, Scripture-based book that strives to give a comprehensive look at what the Bible has to say about evil and suffering.
From reading this book, it is obvious that Randy finds his hope within the scripture. He shares that believers can deal openly and honestly with the problem of pain and suffering, because it is dealt with in the same manner in God's Word. Alcorn takes on those entities that seek to destroy or in the least confuse our faith. He strongly engages the false arguments, the false gospels, and the false expectations that damage our Christian walk.
Some might pass this book simply because of the size. They might walk past it because of the commitment it will take to read a book of this length, but in doing so, they are passing up a blessing. If you have any question about why an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, compassionate God would allow evil and suffering within this world, then this book is one you need to purchase.
Because of its powerful message and concise message, this book is a recommended read.
I recently had some friends ask about the goodness of God. I suggested we all do a study on it together, so there are three of us reading this book and studying the Scripture that goes with it. We are only on chapter three, as we are doing 1 chapter per week, but I have already been blessed to receive exciting revelation on the subject! We have been sharing what God is laying on our hearts and I am excited about the joy that is coming from it. I am also thrilled to think that I now have the words to use on a topic that comes up frequently regarding how sin and evil came about. I have suggested and will continue to suggest the purchase of this book to my friends and family.