I just finished reading Randy Alcorn’s book If God is Good. Alcorn attempts to answer questions raised about the goodness of God (and in some cases, the very existence of God) in the midst of evil and suffering. At one point, he affirms that there isn’t an easy answer at all, yet still, he explores the subject both logically and thoroughly, offering greater insight into who God is even in this fallen world.
Alcorn places a heavy emphasis on Scripture, relating human suffering most often to the suffering of Christ on the cross and the suffering of the Father as He poured His wrath on His Son. He takes readers through several wrong conclusions we can make theologically about God in regards to the issue of evil and suffering (among them open theism and outright atheism) and does a superb job in refuting those views and building a more Biblical view of who God is. I especially appreciated his insistence that we view Scripture without our own biases — that we come to the text to read it AS IT IS, not with our presuppositions about what it should say. I felt myself challenged along the way to be honest about what I read into the text of Scripture and to break those habits and read His Word as it actually is.
Throughout the exposition of Scripture and the detailed logic Alcorn presents are stories of those who have endured suffering and evil and how they’ve been strengthened in their faith because of it. I found these testimonies to be very powerful and had a hard time finishing the book because of the high emotion in reading them. What a challenge, to read about those who endure suffering and evil, knowing that God will get glory for all eternity, despite what happens on this fallen world!
I wholly recommend this book. It is a lengthy read but worth the time and effort put into it. Many thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are mine entirely.