Book Review: If God is Good

I must admit, this one caught me completely off guard. Before I explain, let me say that I have not read cover-to-cover If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn, but I have had the time to get very acquainted with it. In my opinion, this book is monumental. I am aware of the many books that have been godisgood_alcornwritten on the topic of God, evil, and suffering; however, I have yet to come across one that is as broad, deep, and still conversational at the same time as this one.

As a pastor, I think this book can be (and should be) recommended for any congregational care leader and any person struggling with the questions of God and evil. I think it should also be a ready resource for the pastor-counselor. The way the book is written; topical and conversational, it would make a great small group study and it could probably serve quite well in the role of textbook for the Bible student or seminarian…it’s that good.

Did I say I love the layout and order of the book? Oh, and I said it caught me off-guard. No disrespect to Randy Alcorn, but I wasn’t expecting such an exhaustive work when I was invited to review the book. It is extremely well organized and extensively documented with scripture references, bibliographical citations, and a very thorough scriptural and topical index. I love that Alcorn gives as many sides (or the most popular arguments) to the debate as possible with each topic discussed. I think it helps to give a more unbiased presentation of the material and still allows the reader to decide.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I think it serves the budding apologist, evangelist, pastor, lay-leader, seminarian, Bible student, curious seeker, and doubter equally well. As much as it might be a reference book, it can also be read casually as one would a novel. I think it is a rare thing for a book to have both qualities, but I think Randy Alcorn has done just that with If God is Good. I don’t think this one is just a “must read;” it’s a “belongs on your shelf.” Thank you Mr. Alcorn, and thank you Multnomah.

Summary:

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 world–now 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.

Author Bio:

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries and a bestselling author. 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 and have two married daughters and four grandsons.

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