This book review is a long time overdue. I chose to review If God is Good by Randy Alcorn. I have read other books by Alcorn and have appreciated both the style of his fiction and the careful research he invests in his nonfiction. In this book he tackles the immense topic of why a good God would allow suffering.
The book is quite a hefty volume, which I guess should be expected if one is going to really discuss such a topic. Alcorn chooses to take his time laying a strong foundation. He first looks at evil and suffering, explaining the importance of trying to understand them and how they are different. He discusses different world views and the logical conclusion each world view comes to regarding evil, suffering, and the existence of God. He discusses sin and suffering. He also looks at why non-theists have no basis for condemning evil. Then he moves to a Christian world view to talk about God's allowance of evil and suffering, how those are used for God's glory, and how they fit into the overall story.
This is not a light book to read over the weekend. It is not a quick perusal of thoughts about suffering. Alcorn has researched this topic and attempts to thoroughly discuss. I appreciate that Alcorn approaches the subject with concern and gentleness, not from an outside literary interest. I also think this book is not for someone in the midst of great suffering, but rather for those wanting to understand suffering, either from having gone through it or watching someone else suffer. It does not have quick answers and may be a lot to tackle for someone in intense suffering. I would recommend this book for those looking to understand and know how to carefully and thoughtfully discuss the issue of evil and suffering.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.