Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If God is Good . . .


I have been reading Randy Alcorn's book, If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. Randy is tackling a huge theological question basically everyone deals with at some point in their lives. I've dealt with it personally and professionally. What do we do with a good God, one who is not evil or mean, and yet, bad things happen to people.

We all ask questions about God's presence in our lives during our most difficult moments, and frankly we hope nobody asks us the same questions we are thinking about because we certainly don't have the answers. Some of the questions are - -

» Why is there evil in the world?
» Why does God allow suffering?
» What's with a good God sending people to Hell?
» What about senseless evil? If God is all powerful, why doesn't He stop it?
» How can life make sense in light of all this muck in my life?

Randy Alcorn has written If God is Good to answer all these questions, and many more, in an everyday style of language. Yes the unit sections seem pretty steep and deep, but I really believe this is an understandable book.

His approach is to share stories about grace and life, hoping to make sense of the chapters and topics he seeks to cover. He also attempts to give a biblical basis to his reasoning.

Alcorn attempts to answer this question in a long, 512 page book. He breaks the book down into 12 units, which are listed below.
  1. Understanding the Problem of Evil and Suffering
  2. Understanding Evil: It's Origin, Nature and Consequences
  3. Problems for Non-Theists: Moral Standards, Goodness and Extreme Evil
  4. Proposed Solutions to the Problem of Evil and Suffering: Limiting God's Attributes
  5. Evil and Suffering in the Great Drama of Christ's Redemptive Work
  6. Divine Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice: Accounting for Evil and Suffering
  7. The Two Eternal Solutions to the Problem of Evil: Heaven and Hell
  8. God's Allowance and Restraint of Evil and Suffering
  9. Evil and Suffering Used for God's Glory
  10. Why Does God Allow Suffering?
  11. Living Meaningfully in Suffering
This is a well written book, which helps us understand the difficulties we face and what seems unjust to the seemingly just.

You can find this book at

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781601421326

This was book was provided for review by Random House Publishers.

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