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Publisher's Summary

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.

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.
©2009 Randy Alcorn (P)2009 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Perhaps The Most Important Christian Book In Print

Randy Alcorn has tackled the toughest challenge believers will ever face: How to defend the idea that a good God could and does permit evil to flourish. Believers may read this book for spiritual growth. Unbelievers may read it for intellectual stimulation. I am reading it to help make sense of the viciously painful, chronically disabling illness with which I have unexpectedly been stricken. My illness defies diagnosis and is probably incurable but it has driven me to this book and this book has been tremendously helpful in transforming my contingent faith into a transcendent faith. I am beginning to see that transformation as far more valuable than the restoration of my health. Healing won't help me deal with the next calamity which comes my way. God's Word, elucidated by this book, will and is.

31 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • lynnwood, WA, United States
  • 11-15-10

Highly Recommend for people wanting to get closer

This book has changed my life, a lot of my views were distorted and plain wrong. This book helped me figure out who god is and what he wants. If someone is looking for answers to all the hard questions whether you like them or not. This is it, I will use this book as reference for the rest of my life. Besides the Bible probably the single most interesting and thought provoking book I have ever read or listened to.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ray
  • Mt. Pleasant, SC, United States
  • 10-15-11

Deep and Wide

Would you consider the audio edition of If God Is Good to be better than the print version?

That's a toss-up. I'm an audible learner, so this fits my style of learning perfectly. However, the apologetics approach to Grace and Mercy is deep, rich, and sometimes complicated. Reading in print might have been better for some of the more demanding chapters.

What did you like best about this story?

Alcorn uses style and tone to make his theology come more alive than many. This isn't boring, but it also isn't mindless, passive storytelling either.

Have you listened to any of Randy Alcorn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to most of his work. This is in the middle. His novels are awesome. I've listened to Lord Foulgrins Letters at least four times.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I sometimes abandon my dreams, comfort, or goals, but I will never abandon my faith.

Any additional comments?

Great author.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Octavia
  • FERNANDINA BEACH, FL, United States
  • 02-12-13

God is Good!

As a follower of God, doing what is right in His eyes, we will suffer for his name sake in a dark world. But God will always make a way out for his people. And we will come out better than when we went in. God said that we would suffer; and He will never leave us. God gave us a Comforter, the Holy Spirit who will guild us throught the storms of life. I stand upon His Promises and I have found peace in the " Midst of Suffering and Evil." By faith and not by sight. God is on the Throne and He watches over us! Forgetting about yesterday and keeping our eyes on Jesus, we will have His Perfect Peace in the "Midst of suffering and evil".

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good quality thinking

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I enjoyed it and was stimulated in my thinking. It was well worth listening to.
If you want to think and are willing to examine things it is excellent.

What did you like best about this story?

Good depth of though and research has gone into this excellent work. It give good and not superficial answers and thinking.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too much depth and information for listening to in one sitting. Just the same it is not a hard listen as it involves the listener challenging and encouraging one's thinking.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Essential!

This book is really life-changing. Although the beginning half of the book may seem tedious, stick with it because it will all be tied together in the end. Such great answers to God's plan for us in our suffering, grief and sin. It is an essential book that I have recommended to so many friends already. I plan to listen to this many times in the future,especially when I need to "right" my perspective about the will of God and his eternal sovereignty.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Wretched Narration...

Having gone through my own personal experience in suffering, I saw the title of this book and was immediately interested. Unfortunately, the narration was so dismal, I couldn't even finish listening to the first chapter! It was a huge disappointment because I had really enjoyed "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn, and was hoping to gain some insight with this book. I guess I will have to read it the old fashioned way.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book on Suffering!

This book is the best I've read on the problem of evil & suffering. It gave me, as a pastor, a whole new perspective on God's work through suffering. I deal with many who suffering in various ways & am confident this book will be a continual course of help, as well as, encouragement to me in the future.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A Legalistic Book Nearly Devoid of Apologetic or Pastoral Value

Wow, this book is horrendous. If a prideful, hard-hearted, modern-day Pharisee was to write a book on suffering, this could be it. You know the Pharisees, the ones who criticized and condemned Jesus for healing the suffering on the Sabbath and in their prayers thanked God that they were not as bad as tax collectors. It grieves my heart that some dealing with heart-wrenching pain and suffering will be directed to this book. If this is you, I highly and lovingly recommend “Why Suffering? Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn’t Make Sense” by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale. That book offers an intellectually robust explanation for suffering along with a pastoral, empathetic, and loving care.

This book is nearly devoid of apologetic or pastoral value. What little apologetic or pastoral value exists is buried in multitudinous examples of suffering and the “rules” for handling it. The supreme rule: perseverance - don’t lose your faith and therefore prove yourself to have never really been a Christian. “Genuine” faith will be evidenced by good works. Evidence good works in the midst of your suffering or know that you are destined for Hell and an eternity of suffering. In summary, Jesus persevered in suffering; therefore, so should you. If you don’t, His Spirit does not live in you. If His Spirit does not live in you, you do not belong to Him. If you do not belong to Him, you are destined for an eternity of suffering in Hell. So buck up.

Below are some representative quotes from the book. As is often the case in legalistic statements, some truth is mixed with enough falsehood and hard-heartedness to nearly blind you to a loving God who cares deeply for you, so much so that He sent His Son to die for you so that you could be eternally reconciled to Him.

“A faith that leaves us unprepared for suffering is a false faith that deserves to be lost.”

“When people lose their faith because of suffering, it’s usually a weak or nominal faith that doesn’t account for or prepare them for evil and suffering. I believe that any faith not based on the truth needs to be lost, the sooner the better. Believing God exists is not the same as trusting the God who exists. A nominal Christian often discovers in suffering that his faith has been in his church denomination or family tradition, but not Christ. As he faces evil or suffering, he may lose his faith, but that’s actually a good thing. I have sympathy for people who lose their faith, but any faith lost in suffering wasn’t a faith worth keeping. Genuine faith will be tested. False faith will be lost. If you base your faith on lack of affliction, your faith lives on the brink of extinction and will fall apart because of a frightening diagnosis or a shattering phone call. Token faith will not survive suffering, nor should it.”

“Losing your faith may be God’s gift to you. Only when you jettison ungrounded and untrue faith can you replace it with valid faith in the true God - faith that can pass, and even find strength in, the most formidable of life’s tests.”

“God is not only the One who is in charge, God is also good. Everything He does is good. If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you change it, you’d make it worst. It wouldn’t be as good.”

The last thing I want to say are these passages from the Bible:

John 3:14-18 NKJV
[14] “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, [15] that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. [17] For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. [18] He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Romans 5:6-11 NKJV
[6] For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. [8] But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [9] Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. [10] For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. [11] And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.








1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it

It was a beautiful book, once I started to read it I couldn't let it down