“Every one of us will experience suffering. You may be in such a time now. We see the presence of evil in the headlines every day. It all raises questions about God- Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? How can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?” I personally believe in a God who would not allow evil to take place if there would not be good to come from that evil. We may not fully know the mysteries surrounding this topic while here on earth, but we can have faith in the goodness of God and of everything being made right in the end.
At 528 pages, Randy Alcorn has tackled a subject matter that is not for the faint of heart: suffering, evil, pain, Hell. If you are looking for a quick and easy read, If God Is Good is not for you. If you are wanting to study this topic from a Biblical viewpoint and you want to cover as much ground as possible, this is the book for you. Broken into 11 Main Sections, I appreciated the paragraph topic sentences that were highlighted in bold type so that I knew what the theme of each paragraph was going to be about.
Some points made that helped me to think of things in a different light:
1) ‘While people living in relative comfort reject faith in God due to the problem of evil, those subjected to the worst evil and suffering often turn to God… Many Christians who have faced evil and suffering embrace their faith with greater conviction’.
2) On the subject of Hell: ‘If there is no Hell, there is no justice. Hell exists precisely because God has committed himself to solving the problem of evil. Hell is not evil; it’s a place where evil gets punished. Hell is not pleasant, appealing, or encouraging. But Hell is morally good, because a good God must punish evil.’ Christians have tended to shy away from the topic of hell in this age of universalism, but the truth is that the Bible has much to say about the reality of Hell, Jesus touching on the subject frequently.
3) ‘Blaming God and others keeps us from suffering’s redemptive aspects. We should view our God-permitted suffering as his specific calling to us, and not resent it if he calls others to suffer less. God knows how much we can bear; he knows how to relieve suffering and how to strengthen us to endure it.’ We can view the suffering as part of God’s plan to train us into all godliness. Suffering can make or break a person; how we respond to the Lord is up to us.
With an exhaustive Scripture Index and Topical Index (16 pages), browsing for Bible verses or topics can be done with ease. Although it was not a simple, ‘fun’ read, I highly recommend If God Is Good to those Christians who are serious about studying the topic of pain and suffering through the lens of Biblical accuracy.
“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”For more information, please visit these links: Read Chapter 1 of If God Is Good for free Eternal Perspective Ministries Randy Alcorn’s Facebook page More Books By Randy Alcorn