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Customer Reviews for Random House, Inc If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

Random House, Inc If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

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.
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19 out of 2095%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Review 1 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Biblically sound and encouraging

Date:April 23, 2013
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pastor les
Location:Williamston,MI
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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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.
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Review 2 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:April 3, 2013
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Dr JSK
Age:45-54
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5 out of 5
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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.
Dr. Jeff Krupinski
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Review 3 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Thought provoking and encouraging!

Date:February 20, 2012
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Crustybug
Location:Arnold, Mo.
Age:45-54
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Quality: 
5 out of 5
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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.
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Review 4 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A must read

Date:March 31, 2011
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Rebecca
Location:Richmond, VA
Age:25-34
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5 out of 5
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No matter how long you've been a Christian, we all come to those moments when you question God's sovreignty. If God is inherently good in His character, how can He allow violence, tsunamis, natural disasters, and disease to fester around the world? And if He loved me enough to send His Son to die for me, why is He allowing this trial or that hardship? In a world where there seem to be few moral absolutes, how do you tell the difference between good and evil?
And these questions are just some of what Alcorn tackles in his latest book. From cover to cover, he thoroughly describes God's character in relationship to man and to the world, refusing to rest his argument on anything less than the Bible.
It would be easy for a book like this to come across as condescending, but Alcorn never gives the reader the impression that something is wrong with you if you struggle with these issues.
At the end of the day, Alcorn's book is a worthwhile addition to any library, but it seems especially valuable for those readers who are trying to better understand a dynamic, limitless Creator. I had high hopes for this book, and it did not disappoint.
+2points
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Review 5 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Heavy, Weighty and Thorough & Worth It

Date:March 31, 2011
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A Cluttered Mind
Location:Rochester, MN
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
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Randy Alcorn’s If God Is Good is like a compendium on the problem of good and evil. It weighs in at over 500 pages (and probably over three pounds, unless, of course, you buy it as an ebook). In over 40 chapters, Alcorn tackles issues like: evil’s entry into the world, natural disasters and human evil, unbelievers and atheists views on theodicy, limitations on God in order to help our thinking, “free will” and meaningful choice, divine sovereignty and evil, and more. The final three sections – “Evil and Suffering Used for God’s Glory,” “Why Does God Allow Suffering,” and “Living Meaningfully in Suffering” – are worth the cost of this book.
The author puts forth information, answers and solid biblical thinking in a very straightforward manner. You could almost approach this book like an encyclopedia, if you wished to. I can see this scenario happening: someone asks you how God could have allowed the earthquake and tsunami to devastate so much of Japan; you respond, “That’s a great question and I’d love to give you a solid answer, not just something off the cuff; it deserves more than that”; you go and grab Alcorn off your shelf, look at the table of contents for a couple of chapters, read or review them and head back to your friend with some solid, biblical counsel in thinking on these matters.
I’m not sure most people will read a book like this cover to cover. In fact, I don’t recommend that you do. Instead, read the opening chapters, to familiarize yourself with the case at hand. Skim some of the middle sections, using the table of contents to guide your interests. However, definitely land hard on the final three sections. They will make sense, even if you’ve not read all the preceding chapters.
In light of all the heavy media coverage of natural disasters around the world, the inhumanity of man to fellow man in Africa, the wars and riots and great unrest in the Middle East and more, I’d highly recommend this book.
+2points
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Review 6 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 5, 2011
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Counting the Cost
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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At first glance, a Christian might wonder why it was necessary for Randy Alcorn to write almost 500 pages to address the question “why” for God’s purpose in allowing evil and suffering. After all, if the Christian is grounded in Biblical truth, the answer should be obvious. Right?
But as I quickly discovered, even the most seasoned and mature Christian will most likely face a trial, a death, a disease, or a tragedy in his life that will bring the question to the forefront and cause him to question his faith. It will also compel him to question God’s true nature, to falter in his belief that God is sovereign over all creation, and that God has a purpose for allowing evil and suffering to come upon him.
Randy Alcorn effectively builds and supports the foundation of history’s generational struggle with this question and the depth to which it affects the entire world. Drawing on his and others’ personal experiences, he pulls his readers deeply into the book. Sparing no words, Alcorn transitions his argument into the basis of understanding the nature of God and the faith that is necessary to withstand the reality of what the world may bring.
By comparing the different worldviews with what Holy Scripture reveals, Alcorn is successful in tearing down those naïve or heretical viewpoints and doctrines that minimize God’s wisdom, holiness, and perfect form of justice, thus encouraging us to understand Who God is in order to fully understand why He permits evil and suffering. Taking us into the very core of the question, Alcorn defines the differing moral standards in regard to the question of evil and God’s goodness and the resulting consequences one brings upon the other through a fallen world’s sinfulness and disobedience.
As one reads through the book, Alcorn continually poses thought-provoking and soul-searching questions that drives his reader to become interactive and honestly answer them. To those with a sincere desire to fully understand why God has permitted such horrors and so many atrocities to continue throughout history without stopping them, he will find the answer within these pages. The reader, through the tireless efforts of Randy Alcorn, will arrive at the realization that God, through His sovereign, holy, and just nature, uses suffering and evil to refine His children, to humble them and break them of self-dependence, to deepen their faith and trust in Him, and to bring them into a deeper intimacy and understanding of His mercy, His grace, and why He allows evil and suffering to bring about His greater good.
“Death is life’s greatest certainty.” As Randy Alcorn demonstrates through 500 captivating pages of exhortation and encouragement, it is what we do with our short life here and Who we believe God to be between our first breath and our last that will determine whether or not we understand the answer to the question he poses and what our final and eternal destination will be.
I recently watched a short video produced by a young man named Zach Smith just prior to his death. As he described his fight with cancer and the heartbreaking inevitability of leaving his wife and three young children behind, he knew his suffering was limited in the here and now, that it was only temporary, and that his eternal reward for the suffering he had briefly endured here awaited him in his eternal home. His voice echoed Randy Alcorn’s conclusion in this book: “In the end, Jesus Christ is the only satisfying answer to the problem of evil and suffering.”
As Zack looks into the camera, we are able to see resolve with the reality of his disease, hope, and peace in his face because of his strong faith and understanding in a sovereign God. If he had been given the time to read “If God Is Good” and write this review, Zach would have done a much better job than I with his final penetrating words:
“This I do know. If God chooses to heal me, then God is God and God is good. If God chooses not to heal me and allows me to die, God is still God and God is still good. To God be the glory.”
I highly recommend this book to anyone, believer or unbeliever, who is seeking answers and struggling to understand their own trial, pain, tragedy, or heartbreak, or those who just want a better understanding of the goodness of a merciful and just God Who permits the worst in us to ultimately bring about His greater good. As Randy Alcorn so eloquently points out throughout this book, He will have the glory, in spite of the way we perceive Him.
+3points
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Review 7 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best I've seen on suffering

Date:February 26, 2011
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kneemail
Location:Idaho
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Randy Alcorn, best-selling author and the director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries, takes on the age-old question of suffering in this well-written book. The fly-leaf summary puts it this way: "How can we reconcile a good and all-powerful God with the terrible evil and suffering we see in this world? This is the single greatest dilemma in human existence. And it, in turn, raises other significant questions every believer must wrestle with." Many authors have attempted to answer this question, but few have managed to develop a thoroughly biblical, logically arranged, yet intensely personal story of God's plan in human suffering.
Few people consciously develop a theology of suffering, and the result is often a damaged faith when suffering comes. Without realizing it, many assume that the reason for a relationship with God is to escape the pain and suffering in this world. One of the women he writes about used to think, "I want to stay close to God so nothing bad happens." When six of her children died in a tragic accident, she discovered that she needed to be close to God in order to survive. This book uses personal stories like hers to set the stage, then takes the reader to the Word of God to help interpret those stories rightly.
The author writes, "while traveling this long road, I found something surprising: the journey was not only rewarding, but fascinating, enlightening, and at times downright enjoyable. I know it sounds counterintuitive--shouldn't it depress someone to meditate on evil and suffering? In fact, I'd already seen enough evil and suffering to feel deeply troubled. What I needed was perspective. Instead of being disheartened, I'm encouraged." He delivers exactly what we all need--a new perspective on the role of suffering in God's plans. One of the jewels of wisdom he reveals is that God's people will be better off eternally because they suffer temporarily. None of us enjoys suffering, but if we can understand that God never wastes our pain, and always has a good purpose in mind, it will help us to trust Him in the midst of our pain.
Ultimately, he acknowledges that we will not always be able to answer the question of "why," because we are finite beings, and God's purposes are infinite. Even if God explained all of His reasons, we would be incapable of understanding them, just as a child cannot understand why his parents make some decisions. Deuteronomy 29:29 says "the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." Those things we are unable to understand, God expects us to accept by faith, trusting that He knows and has everything under control. This is why we are commanded to walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). God has given us just enough explanation in His Word for us to catch glimpses of His purposes, and to be encouraged to carry on.
In many ways, this book is an entire library in one volume. It's sheer size (500+ pages) may be intimidating to some readers, but it is broken into sections, each of which could easily stand as independent books. For readers who are interested in a theological treatise, this book will not disappoint, and includes a detailed scripture index. For readers who are more interested in specific questions about suffering, a topical index is included, and the various chapter titles clearly address the most commonly asked questions. A study guide is available, as well as an introductory book that would be suitable as a gift to someone struggling with a loss.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Review 8 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Large book, but worth the read

Date:February 23, 2011
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Paul Pavlik
Location:Greeley, CO
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Let me start off by saying this. The first time I ever heard of Randy Alcorn was at a Desiring God conference a few years ago on the perseverance of the saints. My initial impression was not entirely positive (probably due to my immaturity in a lot of areas at the time), but since then both myself and my wife have read a fair amount of his books and really enjoyed them. His fiction is well written and in some cases, very inspiring and helpful. Safely Home was one of the better books I read two years ago and while I haven't read Heaven (eventhough I own a copy), I am sure I will be greatly helped by it.
Since the years since the Desiring God conference I have experienced pronounced suffering in various forms. It seemed that if it wasn't physical it was mental. If it wasn't mental it was emotional. If it wasn't emotional it was something else. The valley that God had me in (and still does to some extent) was very painful and many questions arose in my mind that if not for the grace of God, may have shipwrecked what little faith I had left. This last December I was sent a copy of If God Is Good and slowly made my way through it. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this book is a blessing to the church.
One thing I noticed instantly when receiving the book was its size. This book is large. However, the chapters are really very short and easily read in under 15-20 minutes. This makes reading a book of this size a real pleasure. While the content is heavy and thought provoking, it is given in small doses which is really quite brilliant. It gives you time to meditate on the stories shared and the arguments made.
The subject matter ranges from refuting atheist ideas to personal stories that have helped the author over the years. All in all I was very impressed with the research that went into writing this book and, even more so, the care that was taken in delivering it in a loving and sensitive way. I think that for anyone dealing with any sort of suffering (which is all of us) or the weight of evil in the world this is a great book to have in your collection.
I have heard people say recently that churches these days are not taught how to suffer well. I think reading this book is a great step towards alleviating that problem and moving us towards a more healthy view of both suffering and evil and the God who is Lord over all of it.
(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Thanks WaterBrook!)
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Review 9 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 20, 2011
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delta cotton queen
Location:Tennessee
Age:45-54
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5 out of 5
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This is an excellent book! I have recommended it to all my friends. God's sovereignty in all things even suffering should be a tremendous comfort to us.
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Review 10 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Excellent for reference, but not casual reading

Date:February 15, 2011
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Cindy Navarro
Location:Cullman, AL
Age:55-65
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4 out of 5
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In Randy Alcorn's book, "If God Is Good", he deals with the subject of why God allows suffering and evil to exist. Is He unwilling to prevent it? Is He unable to prevent it? These are just 2 of the questions that many people ask today, and Mr. Alcorn writes extensively on the subject. In my opinion, a bit too extensively. I admit the subject was covered well, but I found it to be a bit repetitive at times, and my mind would begin to wander.
The subtitle of the book is Faith In The Midst Of Suffering And Evil, and there is ample use of Scripture used. There are also examples of how what can appear to be bad is for the good of the person enduring it. Perhaps it is just my personal perspective, but I have never had an issue over the matter of why suffering exists. I may not always understand, and I may hate the circumstances, but I have no doubt that God will see me through anything. (I may have a temper tantrum, but I try to accept that my ways are not God's.) However, the examples given of those who have faced tremendous hardships with an unwavering faith are very encouraging.
I had hoped to use the book when counseling with others who do get angry with God, but I believe I will need a more condensed version. This hardcover book is slightly over 500 pages and was just too detailed to keep my interest. I would recommend it as a very helpful reference resource for those who are professional Christian counselors. Without a doubt, Mr. Alcorn puts much research into his books, and is very passionate about Biblical accuracy.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 11 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Blessing to me and will be to others.

Date:February 11, 2011
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Daniel
Location:Spkane Valley, WA
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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I am currently reading the book and I am very blessed by it. Page after page of encouragement/understanding of evil and suffering it answers alot of questions about this major issue.
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Review 12 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

God IS good in the midst of evil and suffering!

Date:February 9, 2011
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Seize the Book Blog
Location:East Tennessee
Age:45-54
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5 out of 5
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Every so often a book comes along that I believe will become a classic because of the infinite wisdom and value contained inside. If God is Good is such a book. Written primarily for Christians, it is a book that I think anyone may benefit from reading.
The subtitle of this book is Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. In the first chapter, Mr Alcorn states, "Our failure to teach a biblical theology of suffering leaves Christians unprepared for harsh realities. It also leaves our children vulnerable to history, philosophy, and global studies classes that raise the problems of evil and suffering while denying the Christian worldview. Since the question will be raised, shouldn't Christian parents and churches raise it first and take people to Scripture to see what God says about it?" He then proceeds in the rest of the book (a whopping 500+ pages!) to answer, biblically, many (if not all) of the questions about suffering and evil in our world. Even though its size may intimidate some readers, I feel that the time spent reading If God is Good is well worth it.
One idea that Mr. Alcorn teaches is that the Christian worldview is fundamentally different than a man-centered worldview. He explains the reason for which God created the world: "If we come to see the purpose of the universe as God's long-term glory rather than our short-term happiness, then we will undergo a critical paradigm shift in tackling the problem of evil and suffering. The world has gone terribly wrong. God is going to fix it. First, for his eternal glory. Second, for our eternal good." We must realize that all that happens in our lives are happening (ultimately) for the glory of God and for our good. And we must trust Him in that.
The author also makes it clear that "God isn't the author of evil, but he is the author of a story that includes evil. He intended from the beginning to permit evil, then to turn evil on its head, to take what evil angels and evil people intended for evil and use it for good. God intended to show his highest good."
Some readers may ask, "But wouldn't it be better if God, being good and all-powerful, miraculously intervened every time someone intended to do harm, thus doing away with evil, or, at least the consequences of evil?" Mr. Alcorn answers: "If God disarmed every shooter and prevented every drunk driver from crashing, this would not be a real world in which people make consequential choices. It would not be a world of character development and faith building. It would not be a world where families put their arms around one another to face life's difficulties. It would be a world where people went blithely along with their lives, content to do evil and put up with it, feeling no need to turn to God, no incentive to consider the gospel and prepare for eternity. In such a world, people would die without a sense of need, only to find themselves in Hell." Who are we to question God about what He is doing in this world and why? Job learned the answer to that one, didn't he?
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'"
I don't know about you, but I find that extremely comforting.
I give If God is Good 5 out of 5 stars.
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Review 13 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 21, 2011
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Chris Land
Location:Wichita Falls, Tx
Age:25-34
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Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Suffering is one issue most modern day Christians tend to ignore. When suffering comes, we think it is unfair or we start asking, "Where is God?" Randy Alcorn deals with the subject of suffering in his book, <em>"If God is Good."</em>
Randy deals with issues that most pastors will not preach on because it is uncomfortable (of course, all suffering is uncomfortable). Randy deals with one of the biggest questions of all, with scripture to support, why is there evil and suffering. He uses stories from normal everyday people to talk about how they are suffering and how it has made them closer to God.
Randy Alcorn even talks about suffering as it relates to the Redemptive History. How God took his only Son, Jesus, and made Him suffer so that we can be made right with God, have access to God in prayer, gain eternal life, and enter Heaven when we depart from this world. Alcorn even discusses the sovereignty of God in our suffering and the choices we make as we suffer.
One key chapter is how the prosperity gospel has affected our understanding of suffering. Men and women who have preached the prosperity Gospel have given us a false hope because they think by their "good" faith, they can get God's favor. Prosperity Gospel preachers will tell you to talk to the problem and not the One who can solve the problem. Alcorn shares a story of how one woman lost her faith because she was going through some suffering and relied on God (The Prosperity Gospel god) but he did not show up. Alcorn asked, "Did God let her down?" The answer would be no. Her church and false doctrine let her down.
I highly recommend this book. It is very lengthy, but easy to read and well worth the time. This book is great for Pastors to help prepare his people and himself for suffering.
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Review 14 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 7, 2011
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jlpministries
Location:Dothan, Al
Age:18-24
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Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Everyone faces suffering at some point in life. Everyone faces pain and hurt. If that is the case then what does that say about God. Why would an all-good and all-powerful God, create a world full of evil and suffering? How can there even be a God if suffering and evil exist? These are just a few of the many questions that are found in the hearts of many who face pain and heartache everyday. In If God is Good, Randy Alcorn sets out to answer these and many other questions about the goodness of God.
In the first sentence of the first chapter of this book Randy Alcorn writes, “The problem of evil and suffering moves from the philosophical to the personal in a moment of time.” No other philosophical question is more personal than that of the question of evil, because it is the one philosophical question that is experienced by every single human on earth. Though this is a very large and extensive book, it can be summed up fairly easily in two simple statements and thoughts.
One, “Evil came into the world not through God’s choosing but through man’s choosing.” God did not create evil, He created goodness and perfection. Man chose to bring evil into the world through their search for power. This choice was allowed by God in order that a true loving relationship could take place between God and humanity. If no choice was allowed then it would be forced slavery and not loving relationship.
Second, “God has brought the ultimate good and the ultimate healing from pain and evil into the world through the death of His son, Jesus, on the cross.” Because God is a God of love and justice at the same time there was a price that had to be paid for sin entering the world. The reason that price had to be paid was because sin had caused so much suffering for His beloved Creation. However, instead of pouring out that punishment on us, who deserved it, God loved us so much that He poured out this punishment on Himself, in the form of the Son, Jesus so that we would be brought back into His love. The question of evil in the world is actually a sign that ultimately points back to a loving God, and not the other way around. This was a wonderful book and I would recommend it to all who face this question in there own life.
I received this book for free through Multnomah publishing group for review.
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Review 15 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Whole Enchilada--and More

Date:January 5, 2011
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M. Pieper
Location:Mount Dora, FL
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
In search of a little light reading? Then stay away from this book. Like his exhaustive treatment of a timeless topic in HEAVEN¸ Randy Alcorn’s IF GOD IS GOOD: FAITH IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING AND EVIL (Multnomah Books, 2009) presents a comprehensive, thought-provoking read. Here, he addresses almost any question you can think of about this ancient argument—and many you’ve never considered.
During my seminary days, my philosophy professor (as every good philosophy professor should) addressed the topic of evil and suffering. After years of study, one word captured his best conclusion: mystery. God doesn’t owe us an explanation for his actions. And we will never fully understand why he allows such painful additions as cancer, disabilities, and death to penetrate his creation. But my professor’s summary left me with too many questions. At times, Alcorn offers a similar element of mystery. Still, IF GOD IS GOOD provides numerous principles, illustrations, and (most important) biblical references that shed light on an often-dark area.
Yes, the book is thick. Yes, the word count is huge. But Alcorn wastes neither paper nor the reader’s time as he presents a practical, personal, pass-on-able presentation of clear biblical truth. He both asks and answers the hard questions–of himself, of Scripture, and of those who have suffered. This rubber-meets-the-road element goes a long way toward keeping the teaching from becoming either pedantic or ethereal.
Years ago, I read Rabbi Harold Kushner’s popular book on this same topic (WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE). I still remember the disappointment I felt because, in my view, the author failed to answer his own question in a way that reflected a genuine relationship with a Creator God. I came away from IF GOD IS GOOD with an opposite reaction. Alcorn’s writing pushed against the edges of my faith in a way that taught me more—not only about his chosen topic, but about God himself.
Numerous personal stories, a carefully planned chapter outline, and bolded sentences that highlight each chapter’s most salient points add to this book’s appeal. Alcorn’s honest discussions of life’s deepest issues may not answer all your questions, but they will give you some points to ponder. As he says, “Suffering will come; we owe it to God, ourselves, and those around us to prepare for it.”
Come hungry, but don’t expect a snack. IF GOD IS GOOD goes beyond the whole enchilada. This one's a full-blown, seven-course feast.
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Review 16 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Well-written, informed, and researched

Date:January 3, 2011
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Phronsie Howell
Age:25-34
Gender:female
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Mr. Alcorn writes clearly and with purpose. Using not only Biblical accounts but also real-life stories, he paints the picture of why God allows for suffering (and evil) in this life, and why it exists in the first place. As I have realized, both before and even more so after reading this book, a big part of understanding comes from perspective.
If you want to gain a better understanding of why there is suffering on earth, I highly recommend Randy Alcorn's book, "If God is Good". As supplemental reading, to further enhance what is presented in the book, I recommend reading Habakkuk (because he too asked the question of God "Why do you let this happen?"). All in all, though the book is long, it is a wonderful read. There are many places in the book that I underlined or highlighted in some way so that I'd have a reference point for answering questions posed to me from others. Also worth mentioning, there is not only a topical index but a scripture index with not only the pages in the book where the references can be found, but the book, chapter, and verse so you can look them up in your Bible. I have since passed the book on to my husband to read and from what I can tell, he too has found it to be informative and worth a read.
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Review 17 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

If God is Good - Book Review

Date:December 17, 2010
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Doorkeeper
Location:Altus, OK
Age:35-44
Gender:male
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My latest book to review is If God is Good by Randy Alcorn. I was intrigued by the subject matter, which is one of the most asked questions...if there is a God, why does bad happen???
During my lifetime, I have probably heard a version of that question asked of me a million times. Through the duration of this book, Mr Alcorn delves deep into theological observation and Scripture references.
Over the years, unbelievers have said that if pain, suffering, evil and war are allowed to be, then there can't be a God. From the differing perspective of Christians, we tend to think more along the lines that suffering and evil can cause believers to trust more deeply and rely more on God. He is our Strength in troubled times. The outlook of Christians is also that going through sufferings allows the possibility to reach unbelievers with the Hope that carries them through the tough times.
This is a brilliant work, touching on the most sensitive of subjects. It isn't a quick, one-night read...but the time invested on the subject will leave you inspired and hopeful, even in your lowest days. It also includes a topical and scriptural index at the back to help with certain issues. This is a must-read for Christians, especially those who are trying to reach to others with their faith.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review
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Review 18 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent!

Date:December 6, 2010
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Reid
Location:California
Age:35-44
Gender:male
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f God is Good by Randy Alcorn is an amazing resource! Like his book Heaven, this is a pretty thick book, with a total of 494 pages. It attempts to tackle the question of suffering and evil and how God can be good in the midst of pain. There are many books about this subject, from C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain, to other more light hearted attempts at dealing with this question.
I felt that Randy Alcorn did an excellent job in being thorough yet easy to understand and read, while still backing everything up with Scripture. Unfortunately, not sure the average reader would pick up a book of this size unless they seriously had a lot of questions on this subject, and even then I wonder if they'd pick and choose certain chapters. This really is quite in depth! In the ending chapter (the conclusion) Randy Alcorn writes this,
"Those without a biblically grounded theology of suffering are always just one accident, disease, disability, natural disaster, or combat fatality away from losing their faith."
Even if you aren't in the midst of questions or suffering, this is an invaluable book to read to fully realize and wrestle with matters of faith in the midst of suffering, yet at the same time, a bit easier for the average person to read than CS Lewis' classic.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Multnomah/Waterbrook's Blogging for Books program. This is my own opinion and I did not need to write a favorable review.
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Review 19 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

GOD is GOOD

Date:November 27, 2010
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If God Is Good is the latest book from Randy Alcorn's who is probably best-
known for his last major release, Heaven, which has sold well over a half million
copies in hardcover. This is not a small book for light reading . . . If God Is Good,
like Heaven before it is a grand book. Weighing in at 512 pages, this is large hardcover
that offers a thorough examination and defense of faith in the midst of suffering and
evil. With SO much suffering and evil in the world this seems to be a fair question,
"If God is good , why?" This is not an easy topic to write about but definitely a
topic that many people seem to need in this day and age.
The topic Alcorn deals with in this book is a particularly difficult one.
Humility and practicality, trademarks of his ministry, are evident in the
books earliest pages. "If I thought I had no helpful perspectives on
the problem, it would be pointless for me to write this book. If I imagined I
had all the answers neatly lined up, it would be pointless for you to read it."
He gets to the root of the question in the earliest pages of this read. The question
of suffering? He covers this subject well with interjections from the Greatest
Book of all! Using the Bible as a sounding board that presents yet defends a christian's
viewpoint of suffering that does make one to realize that all suffering is not the result
of God not being interested in His child's life!
If God Is Good has bold headings that are followed by the explanation of said heading.
This seems to a unique and interesting format of Alcorn's writing. The headings are
vital to the whole reading of the book and cannot/should not be skipped. Trying to
randomly open the book and then "get into the flow" of reading just.will.not.work
with this read. One must read the heading and then read the flowing expose
that follows. For example, On page 201 it reads, "One paragraph into chapter 1
on the New Earth will make up for eighty hard "chapters" on Earth; but even
if it took another eighty to compensate, the joys would have only just begun."
As you can see this makes absolutely no sense unless you have read the
entire chapter not skipping the headings and expose.
Alocrn interlaces grace with gentleness in this wonderful read! At times he presents
the facts with a hardness that grips the heart and then he presents the world of suffering
with the gentleness of a mother caring for her child's scraped knee.
This is not over.the.head.theology but this is like a pastor talking to his sheep.
A caring we-must-face-the-challenge type of voice.
I loved this quote where he says, "We shouldn't wait until suffering comes to start learning about how to face it any more than we should wait to fall into the water to start learning how to scuba dive." Are you suffering? Then Alcorn says to you, "Our present sufferings are a brief but important part of a larger plan that one day will prove them all worthwhile." So many truths and yet not a preachy read but a read that allows the "sufferee" to see that God is rooting for you. He wants you to come out as fine gold!
This is a 5 star faith-raising read whether you're suffering or whether you may be helping someone who is going through a hard time! Don't allow life's circumstances to get.you.down! Allow God to bring GOOD out of your suffering and allow Him to make all good out of the evil.
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Review 20 for If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent resource for when you're hurting

Date:October 12, 2010
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Jeanie
Location:Kansas City, MO
Age:45-54
Gender:female
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This is an excellent book. While we may never know the "why" of things until we get to Heaven, Mr. Alcorn helps provide insight into many things I never considered before. This is a very long book and in the middle, tends to go into perhaps too much detail. Keep reading, it's worth every word.
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