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If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

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4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  547 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
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
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Hardcover, 528 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Multnomah (first published January 1st 2009)
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Gail
Oct 25, 2009 Gail rated it really liked it
I have read all of Randy Alcorn's book and must rate this as one of his top ones. Since I received it from the publisher, I wanted to read it in a timely fashion and then review it. As I started out, I found myself taking notes - then I just decided to plunge right into it and tag or highlight sections that I wanted to go back to!
Each chapter takes you into a different question about the attributes of God and questions most people have (but might not admit to have). I found certain sections of t
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Dkovlak
Oct 11, 2013 Dkovlak rated it it was amazing
Randy does a great job of backing up most of his key points with Bible verses. He does a very thorough job of covering most issues. This book is an encouragement for anyone that is going through a major trial in their life. ( I guess that includes everyone!). I definitely recommend this book.
Faith
Jan 29, 2015 Faith rated it it was amazing
"All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well..."

This song kept coming to mind as I finished Randy Alcorn's "If God is Good."
Our world exists in a strange tension.

On one hand, there are voices clamoring all around us saying that God cannot possibly exist and that faith is for fools.
These peopl
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Becca
Jun 16, 2011 Becca rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Most people who have ever read, talked, or thought about the existence of God often wonder about the bad of the world. Why would God allow droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tornadoes… the list can go on and on.

What about the baby diagnosed with cancer or the young adult killed in a car wreck? This is a lot of suffering in the world, and this books tries to address some of the questions that have plagued people for centuries.

Randy Alcorn’s book is divided into sections, to deal
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Kenneth
Jan 02, 2012 Kenneth rated it it was amazing
Alcorn, Randy: If God is Good… Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

This is a book that should be read before you experience great suffering in your life if you have the opportunity. This is a read that will prepare you to suffer when inevitably you face some trials that all of us do. Randy Alcorn has provided a helpful book that will speak to a wide audience. In one sense it speaks to all because almost everyone will experience some leveling of suffering and this book deals with that issue,
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Pastoralmusings
Jan 28, 2011 Pastoralmusings rated it it was amazing
Of all of the books that I've read related to Christian living, If God Is Good ranks near the top of the list.
Randly Alcorn not only tells us how to live in the midst of grief, heartache, hardship, disappointment, and disillusionment, but he does so with a very Biblical approach. He also does so with amazing wisdom and compassion.
For the person who struggles with death, pain, suffering, and other forms of evil, Alcorn compassionately addresses these issues from a biblical perspective and comes u
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Jeff Holton
Feb 28, 2012 Jeff Holton rated it really liked it
don’t know how many times I have heard people say, “If God is so good then why does he allow suffering and pain?” but it is a lot. I think it is a good and valid question and is not easily answered. There are a number of books out today that deal with this question and as far as I am concerned most of them are not very good. They spend so much time making excuses for God or use philosophical analogies that don’t necessarily pertain to the trueness of God. However, when I picked up Randy Alcorn’s ...more
Laverne Ombadykow
Feb 20, 2011 Laverne Ombadykow rated it it was amazing
This book by Randy Alcorn is exactly what I needed to read at this time. It clearly addressed the questions some of us have regarding evil in this world. Much scripture was used to show what evil looks like and where it started and what caused it and how God uses pain and suffering to mold us into mature Christians.

As a resource, it is so valuable, because it went into detail regarding the various solutions men have used to resolve the question of why bad things happen to all of us and also resp
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Karen Walker
Aug 25, 2016 Karen Walker rated it it was amazing
This is the type of book that you can use as a reference. The author frequently poses questions that he then works towards an answer. For example the big question of this book is: Why talk about the problem of evil and suffering? He sites many examples of people who have defined this as a crucial question to answer because it is often a barrier to belief. The book has 11 sections that each attempt to look at a different aspect of this complex question. Section 10 was the reason I first picked up ...more
Kate Scott
Apr 14, 2011 Kate Scott rated it it was amazing
If God Is Good is the fourth of Randy Alcorn’s “big books”–500+ page tomes which discuss just about everything one would want to know about a specific subject. In this case, the subject is the age old dilemma of evil and suffering. The book is divided into eleven sections and forty-five chapters. Each chapter is subsequently divided into sub-sections which are usually headed with a statement, such as “It’s a mistake to think God’s love overshadows his holiness, or to think his holiness limits hi ...more
Kathleen Fuller
Mar 05, 2015 Kathleen Fuller rated it it was amazing
This is a challenging book and very thought provoking. I found it encouraging and I definitely recommend it, although with some caveats: I don't think it's appropriate to read if you are in the midst of great pain and grieving. There are a lot of comforting words here, but there are also some hard truths, and sometimes stark truth when we're in deep pain isn't helpful. Also, there is a lot of discussion of philosophy, atheism, and different Christian perspectives. I wasn't expecting that, and wh ...more
Melissa Mc Lees
This is a long book to read, but it shows some real concern and answers some questions, I would say that a person may need to read this book if they are going on vacation or have a fast reading ability. Some of the material in this book was some what confuseing.
Jeremy Appelt
Aug 14, 2015 Jeremy Appelt rated it it was amazing
Very good read. Packed full of well based arguments and citations. The section breaks make it much easier to read and understand topics as well. Challenging topic but discussed with a great biblical perspective.
MC
Feb 02, 2014 MC rated it really liked it
We in the affluent West seem to have a nasty habit of forgetting that we are *not* the fulfillment of history, and are not really all that unique. What we cherish as our special institutions and ideas were a long time in developing. We even think that our negative traits, such as our "logical" arguments against the existence of God Himself are unique to us. Really, the "problem of evil" is almost as old as evil itself. David Hume was nothing special, for men have desperately asked a Just and Lov ...more
Michael Boling
Mar 06, 2013 Michael Boling rated it it was amazing
Best-selling author Randy Alcorn, in his book If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil analyzes a subject that has vexed philosophers, theologians, and likely anyone who has been alive for any length of time, that of what is the purpose of suffering and who a loving and omnipotent God would allow suffering and evil to seemingly dominate life. Some philosophers and liberal theologians and certainly atheists continually point to the existence of evil and suffering as proof there is ...more
Ciera Harris
Oct 16, 2016 Ciera Harris rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, 2016
This is an absolutely wonderful treatise on the themes of suffering in a world so drenched in hardship and pain, deaths and misery.. Alcorn finds a way to shine Biblical perspective on a plethora of commonly-stressed issues revolving around suffering and also goes the extra mile to provide answers to counterarguments.
The thing that I loved most was, as I mentioned, how much BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE the book contained. Some writers simply write their own opinions and that's it, but not Alcorn! He pr
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Nikole Hahn
Jun 14, 2012 Nikole Hahn rated it it was amazing
Randy Alcorn thoroughly dissects the question of, “Why bad things happen to people?” It’s a tome of knowledge and comfort. Not all of his words are what we want to hear, but I didn’t find anything unbiblical about his explanations. It took me several months to finish this book, but it’s very eye-opening.

He asks, “What if suffering is God’s invitation to trust him? And to hope for a better world,” on the back cover copy. Suffering isn’t always fair. Sometimes, we have earned suffering as conseque
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Karen Roberts
Aug 02, 2014 Karen Roberts rated it it was amazing
If the Creator of the world is good, why is there evil? Randy Alcorn tackles an age-old question with unique insight and logic. I have asked “Why?”many times. Like Job, never an answer to the question, but a refocus on the greatness of God. Alcorn writes:

"Grace and forgiveness, both expressions of God’s eternal character, are moral goods, but without evil they wouldn’t have become clearly evident. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit don’t need compassion, mercy, grace, or forgiveness. These qualities c
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Ann Cuddy
Aug 06, 2014 Ann Cuddy rated it really liked it
“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 Hi
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J.D.
Nov 04, 2009 J.D. rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
My rating obviously reflects my opinion, however I also want to explain also that I believe that I am not specifically his target audience.
My biggest qualm with the book as a whole is that it, like many others of similar disposition, gives answers that are too easy for topics far too difficult. While he certainly does take time to acknowledge that hurt is not merely a weak reaction or an indicator of "weak" faith, he still ends up at the same place as others. While this may bring comfort and tru
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Kishah
Dec 14, 2010 Kishah rated it really liked it
“When we consider the best and the worst things that have happened to us, we often see a startling overlap” (236.)

“God gives us choices to test us. If loving God really means something, then the choice to follow him must be real and meaningful” (245.)

To be truthful, I was a little reluctant to read the book after I realized how thick it was. Always for a challenge, I decided to find out what its many pages contained. When I opened and started reading it, I could not put it down--many of its poin
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Wanda
If God is Good --- why do we have pain and suffering? If God loves us, how can he justify all the world suffering? And why do evil people sometimes thrive while the righteous suffers? Why wouldn’t a loving God rid the universe of evil?

If God Is Good contains many stories of people’s challenges and suffering and their triumphs. Some, who have suffered deeply, now have a relationship with God. God revealed treasures to them that can only be found in the darkness of suffering. When suffering comes,
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Joel Jackson
Oct 18, 2015 Joel Jackson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
In "If God is Good" Randy Alcorn weaves together rich stories from his own life and the lives of other believers in Jesus Christ with sound Biblical doctrine in order to come up with a comprehensive view regarding faith in the midst of suffering. Alcorn begins the book by looking closely at the problem of evil and suffering in light of the fact that we have a merciful and loving God. Many critics feel that a good God would not permit His creation to suffer and therefore conclude that either God ...more
Donna
Dec 08, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
To really get the most from this book, read it slowly. Each chapter is short but detailed and requires some time to think about. So I read a chapter or two per day.

The book addresses the age-old question of how a good God can allow evil in the world. Obviously there are no easy or quick answers to that question. First, you have to believe that there is a God and that He is intimately involved in the world today.

One argument that Alcorn has forwarded is why people tend to question God and His g
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Tim
Apr 14, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it
The last thing anyone needs is one more person's opinion about the thorny subject of why God, if he exists, would allow suffering. Fortunately Randy Alcorn gives us something entirely different, something that we do need. In this well considered book, Alcorn gives us a survey of prevailing, and in some cases historical views of the issue, along with carefully considered, biblical arguments either for or against each belief or system of theology represented.

Not that Alcorn doesn't share his opini
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Debbie
Sep 22, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it
If God is Good is an excellent God-focused, Scripture-based book. It gives a comprehensive and balanced look at what the entire Bible says about evil and suffering. If you have any question about why an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing God allows evil and suffering, this book thoroughly answers it. Some parts got a bit heavy and a few chapters weren't as convincing as others (like chapter 20), but most of the book was excellent and very easy to understand.

The major drawback to this book is it
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Jared Totten
Sep 06, 2011 Jared Totten rated it liked it
The problem of evil is one of the most timeless challenges surrounding the existence of God. It is also a timely problem as it lies at the heart of the currently popular debate within Christian circles regarding hell. For these reasons, books tackling the topic of hell and the broader one of evil seem to be surfacing at a rapid rate. So this week and the next I will be reviewing two books covering the same subject matter. But with that exception, these two books could hardly be less alike.

My fir
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Belindachaplin
Jun 19, 2015 Belindachaplin rated it it was amazing
"If God is good" by best-selling author, Randy Alcorn, takes a look at the age-old question of suffering. Just the other night we did an activity at our English class here in Banja Luka, where we mingle and ask each other questions on slips of paper and then switch questions and carry on. One of the questions was "If you had one question to ask God, what would it be?". I actually got that question to ask three times during the activity and twice the person's question to God was "Why is there suf ...more
Heather
Nov 12, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it

Randy Alcorn takes a different approach to suffering in his book If God Is Good Faith In The Midst of Suffering and Evil. Where many books on this topic tend to center around feeling, emotions and reaction Randy’s Book deals with logic. He provides detailed scriptural evidence and analytical thought to the problems that plague all of humanity.

Sin is a real problem and to understand it is to understand pain on a much deeper level. Randy writes about the root of sin from it’s very first occurance
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Amber
May 07, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity, 2015
When I first picked up this book in August, I honestly thought it would be the typical Christian paperback book, 150-200 pages. An easy read, despite the subtitle: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. Boy was I wrong.

First of all, the book weighs in at a hefty 500 pages and instead of being a taste test of ways of addressing suffering in our personal life, is a painstakingly detailed overview of everything from the reality of God to the reality of our own deaths complete with Scriptural bac
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Randy Alcorn is the founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them. EPM exists to meet the needs of the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled and unsupported people around the world.

"My ministry focus is communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly tim
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“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.” 2 likes
“wisdom begins with the humility to say there’s a great deal I don’t understand.” 0 likes
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