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

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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  313 ratings  ·  63 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...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Multnomah Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Gail
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...more
Dkovlak
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.
Pastoralmusings
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...more
Jeff Holton
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
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...more
Becca
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...more
Kate
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
Timothy Stone
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
Butch
I love Randy Alcorn and the fact that he always brings an eternal perspective to every topic he tackles (thus his ministry is Eternal Perpectives Ministry - epm.org). So now that I find myself meditating a lot on the topic of suffering, I knew that his book on the topic would be helpful. It definitely was. Randy doesn't write a tightly wound apologetic for academic discussion. He writes for everyday people who are dealing with the real issues of the Christian life. His arguments are sound and th...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.
Jessica
This book reads like a thesis. I said I would give it until the tenth chapter and I stopped at about the ninth. The reason?

He argues that "there are no good people in the world". That we are all sinners, to which I do not argue, but that we are all suffering because we are sinners and God is punishing us because of that. We cause our own suffering because of sin, and I do not agree with the way he was presenting his arguement.

I apologize. I did not get hit by someone running a red light and get...more
Nikole Hahn
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...more
Debbie
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...more
Jared Totten
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...more
Perelandra
Randy Alcorn, the author of Heaven, brings us his latest non-fiction work entitled If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil in an effort to answer the question, "What if suffering is God's invitation to trust him and hope for a better world?", and to answer those who have blamed God in the public arena of ideas for the problems of evil and suffering. This is a tall order, but Alcorn, providentially prepared by trials in his own life, seems just the person to take on this weighty...more
Tim
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...more
Jonathan
A few comments:

1. The book is too long and the author retraces his steps in confusing ways.
2. Alcorn mixes rock solid arguments with weak arguments to (I think, in some cases) arguments built on sand. This may seem to, in places, weaken the rock solid arguments.
3. The end of the book was the better part of the book.
4. The format of the book was somewhat confusing.
5. The purpose of the book was to show that God is good even in the midst of suffering and evil, but it cannot replace the need mourn...more
Heather

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...more
Kishah
“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...more
Donna
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...more
Deb Amstutz
This is the second Randy Alcorn book my bible study group read together. Though we liked it, we didn't like it as much as his Heaven book (maybe just because we LOVED his Heaven book so much?). Randy does make several GREAT points as his book tries to answer the big question: If God is good, why does he let so many bad things happen? Or to make it more personal: If God loves me, why is He allowing me to suffer? If you've ever asked that I highly recommend this book. It's a LONG read. I found I h...more
Kenneth
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,...more
Michael Boling
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
Jessica
I'm going to submit my review now, although unfinished because this book is going to take me a while to get through. It's about 500 pages of very slow reading that needs to be thought about and absorbed. Although I'm only a fifth of the way through, I will review now and update as I go along should my opinions change.

For me, this book does not flow well, it's thoughts are disjointed in the fact that there is no real storytelling to pull it all together. There are parts with real life examples o...more
J.D.
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...more
Sheila
I usually wait to write my reviews of books I have received throught FirstReads until I have finished reading them. But in this one instance I am going to write my review before I have finished. This is a book to be savored, to be read slowly, to be meditated on, to be thought about, to be digested. And with 512 pages and 45 chapters, there is alot to think about. I have been reading Randy Alcorn's book Heaven for several months now, and am doing the same thing with that book. Savoring it, readi...more
Clockstein Lockstein
If God is Good by Randy Alcorn is a stunning must read. Recent years have seen several books attacking Christianity, and much of the arguments against the existence of God are based upon the presence of evil and suffering within the world. Alcorn spent years pulling together materials to support his thesis that of course God is good, and that He has a reason for the suffering we face. Through liberal usage of Scripture as well as commentaries by lots of theologians, he offers case after case for...more
Katie
I won this book from a giveaway and was ever so happy when the big, brown package arrived on my doorstep. I anxiously tore into the package and later the book. I must say that this book had a lot of potential. The author uses the Scriptures and anecdotes to address the problem of evil and suffering in the world. I feel that the book repeated itself several different times, only changing the scenery up a bit by using people's personal stories to corroborate the author's point of view. What I'm tr...more
Molly
I didn't finish this book because it had to go back to the library, though I went quite a bit of the way through it. It gets into some heavy stuff and is basically a Biblical apologetic for suffering. Good, logical and thought out. On the other hand, I have found that people who are upset with God, especially in the area of suffering, usually have heart issues, not logic issues and need to actually feel and know that He loves them and is good. Logic will probably not reach the heart. Neverthless...more
Jonathan Markham
A careful and detailed analysis one of the most difficult questions we face as Christians. This is very readable and clear and while not solving the unsolvable it supply's much wisdom and help in an ongoing struggle
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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...more
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