Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If God is Good by Randy Alcorn

The 512 page book, If God is Good by Randy Alcorn, published by Multnomah publishers, is among the most complete and exaustive Christian commentaries covering the most basic philosophical issues and questions about faith, suffering, evil and life in general.  Countless numbers of people have questioned God's motives or God's goodness in the face of pain, suffereing and injustice.  It is within our human natures to be appalled by the suffering prevelant in the world we live in.  We can not escape pain, sickness, injustice and suffering within our own lives and the world around us- it is a fact of life.   In fact, many seemingly good and otherwise reasonable people, when faced with the seemingly complex questions about the purpose and reason of suffering may often come to the conclusion that God does not exist- hence the all too common epidemic of athiesm and agnosticism.  When faced with challanges and pain in life, so many people fall away or abandon their faith.

Randy Alcorn addresses the most basic questions concerning the reasons and purpose behind pain and suffering, based on scriptural explanations.  It is somewhat analagous to a defence of the bible, and it provides indepth explanation of the reasons and purpose behind pain and suffering.  This book does not in any way minimise or dismiss pain and suffering, but it offers the comforting biblical explanations for its purpose.  This book is way too extensive to be considered a self help book.  In fact it is reminiscent of a textbook- with the extensive information provided and additional content.  There are some anecdotes and real life stories of pain and suffering, which are used as examples through out the book but the author does not rely on his own personal anectdotes, which so many lukewarm writers seem to do these days just for filler purposes.

 This compendium is divided into 11 indepth sections, each of which delve progressively deeper into the issues and theology of the purpose of evil and suffering.  The first section provides a good background into the philosophical issues of suffering and evil and each section which follows, progessively covers verious touchpoints building on the previous chapters. Sections are further divided into chapters, and each chapter is subdivided in easily digested passages. This book is very complete and does not leave out any details whatsoever.  Not only for the inquisitive and curious skeptic, philosophy student or secular reader in general, this faith building book is sure to provide comfort for anyone going through a difficult time, or anyone who has some unanswered questions about their faith and God's purpose.  Next to the bible, this book should be standard reading for anyone interested in seeking out the meaning and purpose to life. This book would be great for apologetics as well.  This is not simply a casual book to be read once, but it is also a book that can be used as a reference by which to defend one's faith and belief as well. As a blogger for Water Brook Multnomah publishers I recieved this book for the purposes of writing a review.

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