Friday, December 31, 2010

Book Review: If God is Good...

Randy Alcorn's "If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil" is a thorough, helpful, and inspiring treatise on the problem of evil and suffering in light of the belief in a benevolent and all-powerful God. The book is exceptionally written with both supporting information and enlightening illustrations. Throughout the book, Alcorn makes the case for a belief in the all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good God of the Bible, in-spite of, or perhaps even because of, suffering and evil in the world.

Alcorn acknowledges that evil and suffering are real and are real problems when it comes to believing in the God of the Bible. He presents the arguments offered by atheists and agnostics, that the existence of evil and suffering in our world is evidence against the reality of the God of the Bible. If God is all-good and all-powerful, he certainly would not allow such evil and suffering to exist as rape, child-abuse, cancer and natural disasters. Alcorn then masterfully responds to those arguments from Scripture, philosophy and human experiences and insights. He provides substantial support for his position that God not only exists, but he is actively at work in and through the lives of those who suffer.

This book is a remarkable work. Though Alcorn deals with the very difficult subject of pain and suffering, he does so with a unique compassion in his writing. While offering opposing view points from his own, he does not come across as being arrogant or of being condemning of those who hold different opinions. He also deals with some very technical issues, such as predestination verses freewill, but does so in a very understandable way.

"If God is Good" is an exceptional work that will help provide encouragement, comfort and understanding to those going through times of suffering. It will also be a helpful resource for those who are looking for a better understanding of how and why God allows suffering and evil to exist. I personally have a better understanding of how God has been working in my own life through personal suffering and difficulties. I highly recommend this book.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review.