If God is Good Faith and Suffering in the Midst of Evil

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781601421326?width=500&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif

If there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world?

Wouldn’t a good, supreme being do something about the evil and pain in the world?

This question, or variations of it, is one of the oldest that humans have struggled with. It’s a tall order for anyone to sufficiently answer. However, Christian author Randy Alcorn has taken on the challenge in what is a lengthy, yet meaningful, contribution to apologetics in his new book If God is Good Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil.

In what is about 500 pages, Alcorn makes his case. His theology includes ideas on how a loving God can exist and not stop heinous crimes. Alcorn also theorizes why God doesn’t stop diseases, disabilities, car accidents, and other tragedies from inflicting pain on humanity.

I read Christian books often but I have never been so thoroughly challenged by a book since I was a college student. The material is dense and I did not understand – or agree with – all that Alcorn was saying. But, he frequently cites Scripture to back up his ideas and there were a few times that I had to check his claims against the Bible to see if he was correct. I was shocked to learn in a few instances that Alcorn was correct, and I learned some things about the Bible that I had never heard before.

If God is Good will not give an easy, comforting answer for suffering, nor will it calm the objections of atheists. However, for Christians seeking a thought-provoking book to shape their theology on suffering and evil, it is a well-structured, Scripturally sound reference book.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of If God is Good from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Where Do I Go From Here? Bold Living After Unwanted Change: Book Review

Where Do I Go From Here? Bold Living After Unwanted Change by Miriam Neff, Moody Publishers

When a marriage ends, a spouse dies, a job is taken, or another life-altering event occurs, a plethora of emotions are to be expected. Grief, confusion, fear and anger are just some of the emotions.

What can you do to move on? Why is suffering necessary in the first place?

Miriam Neff doesn’t pretend to have the answers as to why these things happen, but she’s written an excellent manual on the next steps for survivors in Where Do I Go From Here? Bold Living After Unwanted Change. After her husband died unexpectedly, Neff found herself a widow. Forced into this sisterhood that no woman wants to be part of, she eventually launched a ministry for others who had lost their spouses and Where Do I Go From Here is designed for both women and men to deal with many types of losses, not just bereavement.

Neff’s voice is refreshing. Instead of giving trite advice or pat answers, she balances Scriptural promises with practical advice. Standing in the place of those who have lost a loved one, she gives warnings for pitfalls of what hurting people may find themselves doing after a loss. Her words are sound and prompted me to make some changes.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.