Monday, September 21, 2009
Book Review: If God Is Good
Title: If God Is Good (Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil)
Author: Randy Alcorn
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 Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God.
In this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise.
Mr. Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world–now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear.
As he did in his best-selling book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn delves deep into a profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical understanding, he brings assurance and hope to all.
Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries and a bestselling author. His novels include Deadline, Dominion, Edge of Eternity, Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, The Ishbane Conspiracy, and the Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written eighteen nonfiction books as well, including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, The Purity Principle, and The Grace and Truth Paradox. Randy and his wife, Nanci, live in Oregon and have two married daughters and four grandsons.
My Review: I have only finished 9 out of 45 chapters of this book. So far...so good! I have really enjoyed reading it and can't wait to read the rest. Mr. Alcorn offered Biblical perspectives/eternal perspectives which are very important to have when we want to understand the issue of evil and suffering. He believed our Christian worldview should be God-centered, not man-centered. I totally agree! Another point he made was that God is God; we are not, thus we don't know everything He knows. It is/should be obvious, but many people still seem to act like they know better than God. This book covers the origins, nature, & consequences of evil, problems for Non-Theists, proposed solutions to the problem of evil and suffering, evil & suffering as seen in Scripture's redemptive story, divine sovereignty & human choice, Heaven & Hell, God's allowance & restraint of evil and suffering, the reasons why God allow suffering, evil and suffering used for God's glory, and living meaningfully in suffering. If you have any questions regarding suffering and evil, you would certainly want to read this book.
My Thought: If we truly live for God and realize that "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20), then no sufferings or evil in this world can shake us. If we treat our life as a gift from the Lord and not as a right to be happy, safe, and secure...If we truly believe "Your love is better than life.." (Psalm 63:3a) and remember that nothing can separate us from His love, then by His grace, we can be strong in our faith and continue to glorify Him...come what may. We know the end of the story; the battle is already won. I choose to trust and obey Him even when I do not understand because the bottom line is this: Jesus is all we ever need. Anything else in life is extra. Any blessing we receive is a cherry on the top. Any hardship in life is an opportunity to glorify His name. "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) If you would like to know more of my thoughts along this line, please read this article, Who Owes Who?, at More Than Conquerors Magazine.
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18