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Customer Reviews for Multnomah Books The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook

Multnomah Books The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook

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Customer Reviews for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Review 1 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good Abridged Version of His Previous Work

Date:January 27, 2013
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mattparks35
Location:Carthage, MO
Age:25-34
Gender:male
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4 out of 5
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This work is an abridged version of Randy Alcorn’s If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. For those who just want the answers, this is your book. For those who want a more detailed look at suffering and God’s goodness, then read his expanded version. Both serve a purpose and reach a specific group of readers.
Alcorn sums his book up in this, “Anytime we limit [God’s] character to one, two, or three of our favorite attributes, we will not see the full picture of who he is, and we will therefore not be thinking of the true God, only a god of our imagination.” (pg. 33) People who ask the question, “How can a good God exist when there is suffering?” are really trying to dodge the greater issue: If God is truly good and I am not, then suffering comes from us, not God. It is much easier to blame God for suffering than actually get up and do something about it. One illustration from the book is particularly convicting: “A reporter asked Mother Teresa, ‘When a baby dies alone in a Calcutta alley, where is God?’ Her response? ‘God is there, suffering with that baby. The question really is where are you?’” The problem with suffering starts with us. Read this book and try to grasp the bigger picture that God is good and wishes no one to suffer. Hopefully, you will understand that God is on our side and that Satan is the author of evil. So blame him for suffering and then do something about it.
I received this book from the publisher as part of a blogger program. I am not obligation to write a positive review.
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Review 2 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

God has good purpose in difficult times

Date:January 16, 2013
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Jenni
Location:San Diego, California
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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One of the biggest questions asked by Christians and non-Christians alike is "Why does God allow suffering?". Non-Christians often point to the problem of evil and suffering as conclusive proof that a loving God cannot exist. Many Christians struggle with God's goodness even though they know that the Bible contains many verses about the inevitability of difficult times such as "we must suffer many hardships to enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). It seems all of us need to know the truth about this subject so universal to everyone who has ever lived.
Randy Alcorn, who has written more than 40 books including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and Safely Home, takes on this issue in a clear, concise fashion in his new book, The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering. His simple, easy to read style makes a complex issue understandable by any reader; one does not have to know "Christianese" to be able to grasp his points. He looks at the origins of evil and suffering and then takes us through the problem of sin, alternative explanations for evil/suffering, alternative worldviews on the subject, and the overarching resolution of those through Jesus' atoning death and resurrection. He tackles tough questions such as why there is so much evil in the world post-resurrection, why God allows it, and what the Bible has to say about promised prosperity for His people. He discusses what purposes God has in allowing suffering, and how we can handle tough times. A book by such a renowned Christian would not be complete without a clear explanation of the gospel and an invitation to salvation.
What I will carry away from the book more than anything, and I think Randy would feel his purposes in writing it successful to know it, are two things: that we can be enveloped in the comfort of God's presence even in the midst of terrible suffering, and that God's Word provides a sure, secure place of stability when our worlds rock and reel.
I encourage you to take a sneak peek at Chapter One and then dare you not to want to read the rest!
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/pdf/Goodness_Of_God_chapter1.pdf
Randy can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/randyalcorn
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 3 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Alcorn delivers

Date:January 7, 2013
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AlandWynda
Location:Minot, ND
Age:35-44
Gender:male
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5 out of 5
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Much like how his smaller book The Treasure Principle was derived from his larger book Money, Possessions, and Eternity Randy Alcorn’s book The Goodness of God – Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering is shaped by his larger work If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. I for one am very thankful that Randy Alcorn has developed these smaller works. At only 117 pages, The Goodness of God manages to cover a tremendous amount of information and does so wonderfully.
Alcorn uses Scripture to illuminate readers about God’s attributes and to answer questions many have about suffering. The author also uses his own experiences and the stories of others to illustrate key points. This is done in a humble and straightforward manner. This book is a good read and is worth the time you will put into it. Note, I did not say it would always be an easy read, because it will make you think and may challenge some perceptions that you have or that you see reinforced in our culture and society on a daily basis.
I highly recommend this book.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing as part of their Blogging for Books Program.
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Review 4 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Provides good answers to a difficult question.

Date:June 8, 2011
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seabe
Location:Fallon, NV
Age:35-44
Gender:female
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Where is God when bad things happen? If He is a good God, why does He allow bad things to happen to good people? If you’ve asked these questions or similar ones, this will be a good book for you to read. The answers to these questions are not easy to understand, but I feel this book does a good job explaining them. I especially like the last couple chapters that bring it all together and helps you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for writing a review. 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
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Review 5 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A great book for those with Why questions for God

Date:May 15, 2011
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realivepastor
Location:South Carolina
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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When I agreed to review the book, The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn I found that it was not at all what I expected. Not knowing much about Alcorn other than he writes fiction, I expected a feel good book based on antidotal stories of Christians who had seen angels and been given winning lotto numbers or some such thing. Boy was I surprised.
Instead what I found was a book that explains what theologians call "The Problem With Evil." Basically, the problem of evil is defines in this manner: "If God is all knowing and all powerful, AND He is a God of love, then there would be no evil in the world. So either God is not all powerful or He is not loving. You can't have it both ways." This is a major topic in apologetics, and let's face it, a major issue with both Believers and non-Believers today.
I was in seminary in 2001 and let me tell you, many people were asking those type of questions on 9/12 of that year. As they still do today. Tornadoes rip through town and the towns are just gone. The Mississippi River floods it bank for three miles, and towns are just gone. Swept away. And people ask, "Why God? Why would you let this happen?"
In this book Alcorn gives some very straight and easy to digest answers. While he does not sugar coat it, he gives answers that are simple enough for most people to grasp. I started to write that I wish I had this book back when I took Apologetics in seminary. But really I am glad that I didn't. Because then I wouldn't be able to realize just how complex and issue Alcorn has tackles, and just how down to earth he has made it sound.
A great book for those with the Why question for God. You can find it here.
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Review 6 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Resource for help to those suffering

Date:April 24, 2011
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Dr Rick Clark
Location:Ebensburg, PA
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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The Goodness of God is a small book with big potential for ministry. Randy Alcorn does a great job answering some of the obvious as well as unspoken questions about evil and suffering. It is more than the standard "all things will work out for good" approach. After a discussion of the origin of evil and suffering, he delves into the one of the main problems which is why this life is not perfect. Just because there is suffering does not mean that God is not good and powerful and sovereign. Randy does a great job reminding us that we need to see this life from the long perspective of eternity. You will be encouraged as you endure through the pain in this life learning to trust God for what you are not able to see or understand. We may suffer but Jesus has endured most of our pain and suffering. There is a final judgment where God rights the wrongs and has a final solution for evil and suffering. This would be a tremendous resource to answer questions that people have about the suffering that they may be experiencing. The Scriptures were encouraging and the quotes were uplifting. This is an excellent short read for those who may not enjoy reading but need the wisdom and insight. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 7 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A really good book for being only 117 pages

Date:March 26, 2011
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Ben Umnus
Location:Wisconsin
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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A friend of mine, who I learned is an Atheist, once argued with me about suffering; more specifically viruses. I didn’t have the best explanation on everything he desired to talk to me about at the time, but then again only God will know the answer to every question out there. Thinking about that complicated conversation and being a bit depressed recently, I felt the whole idea of Good VS Evil and the concept of suffering itself were things I ought to brush up better apologetically. Because of my desire to learn more about those common occurrences, I picked up a copy of The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn. Although this book is only 117 pages, I feel it was a very good read and inspires me to read even more books concerning the common complaint “Why does God allow suffering?”
The Goodness of God, is quite philosophical and thought-provoking. Randy Alcorn examines various topics like Sin, alternative world views, free will, justice, global depravity, love, natural disasters, natural selection, death, etc through logical argumentation. While discussing the big picture which is morality (you know the idea of Good and Evil), he also plentifully provides many passages of scripture in support of a Good and loving God despite all of the suffering within our world. Obviously, this book won’t answer every thought or question a person may conceive, although even if this book were over 1000 pages it still wouldn’t… This is a great book nevertheless, because it will slice into a person’s mindset and will also inspire additional research/Biblical discussion. Surprisingly, I feel this book would be good for both Christians and Agnostics/Atheists alike.
Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah Press, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Waterbrook Multinomah Press to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus. This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 8 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Goodness of God – a book review

Date:February 23, 2011
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Theorybell
Location:WI
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
How many times have you heard the question, “if God is a good God, why is there evil and suffering in the world?” I always have had a simple answer for this, and that was “sin.” While sin is part of the reason for evil and suffering, I have learned there is so much more to this answer than just sin. How do we explain goodness? Randy Alcorn states, “The very act of calling evil a problem presupposes a standard of goodness” (p.39). God did not create evil, He allowed it. God created a perfect world, but He knew Adam and Eve would fall. We are born into sin, therefore, evil and suffering will take place in our lives. Along our journey we become more like Christ through our suffering. Alcorn goes as far as to say, “the best answer to the problem of evil is a person—Jesus Christ” (p.48). Jesus suffered the most humiliating death and took on Himself ALL the sins of the world, not just some, but all. He can empathize for anything we have or are going through. Because of Jesus, our suffering can one day end. We can live with Him forever, pain free. He will establish His kingdom again on the new Earth, where there will be no more suffering or evil. What a great end to the story! God is put in His rightful place in this book, as well as Satan and humans. God reigns over all and is in control.
The Goodness of God is a great book for understanding more about the problem of evil. Alcorn attempts to explain the problem from current worldviews, such as open theism, or atheism. He explains that these other views do not really have an answer but rather question the characteristics of who God is. This problem cannot have an answer without a Christian biblical worldview. I appreciate the interaction with some of the current theologies in today's world.
Having had some seminary training, I was a little concerned before reading the book as to how Alcorn would use Scripture throughout this book. However, I think his use of Scripture is dilligent, without proof-texting. Often when we hear a sermon regarding the problem of evil, the text always seems to land somewhere in Job. While the book of Job and his suffering is used in this book, it was not the main focus, which was a nice relief. The redemption of Christ from our suffering was a highlight as well as verses that stated as Christians, we will experience suffering in our lives. It's inevitable.
This book is a great read for understanding more about why there is evil and suffering in the world. It is simple, yet profound. I cannot even begin to summarize it as well as Alcorn. I highly recommend this book as there is most likely something new anyone can pull from it. For example, one of the comments that struck me most in the book is this: “Might God be limiting sin all around us all the time? If God permitted people to follow their every evil inclination all the time, life on this planet would screech to a halt...I believe God is in fact restraining a great deal of evil in this world, and for this we should thank Him daily” (p.59). This is one of those topics I hadn't though about before. Do we realize how much evil there could be? God is sovereign over all and is in control of this world.
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Review 9 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Life-Impacting Book

Date:February 9, 2011
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Athena
Location:West Jordan, UT
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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I've just finished reading 'The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn'. This book was life-impacting for me. It is a condensed version of his book 'If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil', which I plan to read next. 'The Goodness of God' is not long-118 pages, but there is a lot packed in those pages. It is a book I will definitely come back to reference in the future. I think most everyone, at one time or another in their life, questions why there is so much suffering and evil if God loves us so much. Randy Alcorn answers that question with many different scripture references and examples throughout the book.
Here is an excerpt from the back cover: " For those times when we're wounded by broken trust, assaulted by disease, or victimized by evil-or when we're crushed to see such things happen to people we love-Randy Alcorn offers something solid to hold on to." I have a chronic illness, and this book has helped me to now have solid scripture references and understanding for why God chose me to live this life. I would definitely recommend this book to hand out to anyone who is dealing with grief, suffering,or illness. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 10 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Scripture focused help when facing suffering

Date:January 29, 2011
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Excerpt: “Suffering — whether from persecution, accidents, or illnesses — shouldn’t surprise us. God has promised it. And when it comes, people should lose their faith in false doctrine, not in God.”
We will all face suffering and evil…the loss of a child, disease, hurt at the hand of other. We see if everyday. It assaults us everywhere we go and we are devastated when it happens to someone we know as well as ourselves. In The Goodness of God, Randy Alcorn offers insight on how to handle the evil and suffering.
From the beginning of this book, Mr. Alcorn is clear that he will be using Scripture upon Scripture as he shares about God’s goodness in relation to evil and suffering. Mr. Alcorn did exactly that. God’s Word should be where we seek answers to the question of evil and suffering. However, when we are in the midst of a difficult time or overwhelmed with the pain we are facing, we need help in finding the Truth.
The Goodness of God is a condensed version of Alcorn’s If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. The Goodness of God is a book that is great to have on hand when you want to comfort someone who is question God in the midst of suffering. To hand them this book and know that as they read it, they will be pointed to the Truth, to Scripture and that they will learn about God’s goodness.
I love that Mr. Alcorn drove home the point of God’s sovereignty. Resting in the knowledge of the sovereignty gives one an amazing peace and comfort in the midst of difficult times.
“We may sometimes be disturbed by this truth that God sometimes allows or permits bad things to happen, but properly understood it should be comforting. What should be disturbing is the popular, but false, notion that God stands passively by while Satan, evildoers, diseases, and random accidents ruin the lives of his beloved children.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be reading it again. To be reminded of certain scriptures has really been the focus I needed this week.
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Review 11 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Helpful Book on Suffering

Date:January 11, 2011
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Liam Moran
Location:Kenosha, WI
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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This book from Alcorn centers around trusting God during the midst of suffering. Alcorn attempts to provide biblical answers for the tough questions of life. For example, why is there evil in the world? Why is there so much suffering? Is God still good even though there is so much evil and suffering in the world? Can I really trust God? Is there hope? Is God really sovereign?
The author gives compelling and biblical answers to “the tough questions of life.” He points out how rebellion and evil came into the world and explains its biblical purpose in God’s plan. He further points out how our free will is a factor in this subject. Alcorn does a tremendous job of pointing out how God uses pain and suffering for His good and glory. There is a purpose in pain. He further does a great job of pointing people to God who is still trustworthy despite how much pain we might have in our lives.
I thought this little book was an excellent and helpful book discussing critical questions that at some point in our lives, we all ask and ponder. I think those who are going through tremendous pain and trials will especially find it helpful.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 12 for The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

More Than a Typical Theodicy

Date:January 3, 2011
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Borrowed Light
Location:Huntingburg, IN
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering is a shorter version of Randy Alcorn’s work If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. I typically am turned off by theodicy's (defenses of God) as they often attempt to answer questions that Scripture never attempts to answer. If God does not feel the need to offer much of a theodicy I wonder why we do?
However, Alcorn’s book on The Goodness of God is much more than just an answer to the problem of evil. It’s gritty and honest, which is often missing in many such books. Yes, there are some times when I think he may be a little overly simplistic. I also do not think that this book is the absolute best to give to someone in the midst of intense suffering. This is a book to strengthen your faith in the midst of dark trials and in this regard it is very helpful.
There are two things that really struck me in this book. The first section that really hit me is one entitled “When Losing Faith is Good”. Here Alcorn says that there are times when “losing faith” can actually be a good thing. It’s a good thing to lose a weak faith. As our states, “any faith that leaves us unprepared for suffering is a false faith that deserves to be abandoned.” Great words. God is okay with us abandoning a weak or false faith so that he can replace it with one that is stronger.
The second thing that really impacted me was this statement, “Knowing that I’ll sit before God’s judgment seat—not he before mine—I choose to trust him. And the more I do, the more sense the story makes to me” (48). Yes, many will call this just blind faith. But it’s really not. It’s not blind because it’s informed by a tested guide (Scripture). Scripture proclaims this truth. And I need to believe that. To really grasp that I’ll stand before God and not vice versa makes me more like Job and less like his unhelpful counselors.
If only for these two things I would highly recommend this book. But there are numerous other stories and helpful anecdotes to help in our battle with suffering and evil. It is not as exhaustive as some books on suffering. Nor is it as personal as others. But it is a helpful little book that you can quickly read that will strengthen your faith in the living God.
I do wish that there would have been a little more interaction with the attributes of God and actually the book would have been well served to have spent another 10 pages or so on really fleshing out the title, “The Goodness of God”. That is the reason why it gets 4 stars instead of 5.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Multnomah in exchange for a review. But it’d be worth your 10 bucks.
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