- If God loves us, how can he justify allowing (or sending) the sometimes overwhelming difficulties we face?
- Why does God permit evil? And why so much? And why in its most hideous forms?
Not only are these gigantic theological and emotional questions addressed, but Alcorn does so by addressing the main common responses to the topic at hand one at a time. Some people see the evil and suffering and claim there is no God. Some people claim God has limited power, limited knowledge or limited goodness.
With all of the above discussed within the first 50 pages of the book, I wondered, won't the rest of the book just continuously reiterate the points the author has already so clearly and powerfully made? Yes, and no. The theme of the book is consistent and readers are constantly reminded of truths in God's Word- God is good, He is all powerful, and He is all knowing. And He permits certain amounts of evil and suffering. If you have the dedication to finish this entire book, you will be grateful for it. The arguments mulled over, the testimonies shared, lessons learned and tears wept will deepen your confidence in God's sovereignty and show you the faithful mindset necessary to not only survive suffering with your faith intact, but to be able to see through circumstances and pain to seize the opportunity for God to work in and through you.
I honestly feel I would have been very tempted to make wrong assumptions that are outlined in this book if I were faced with some life-altering suffering. Who knows, if I ever endure losses or pains such as some of those outlined in this book, perhaps my theology will falter and my faith will waiver, I don't know the future. I do know that my trust in the Lord and my Biblical, eternal perspective have been strengthened greatly by this challenging read. Although it was long, it was worth every minute because hearing the truth over and over helps it to sink into our hearts and our minds as a reliable resource for future reference.
I will be making this book a must-read for our home schooled children when they hit high school. It's right up there with the works of C.S. Lewis (only very different in style).
**In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purposes of reviewing. I wasn't required to give a positive review; my opinions are my own.