Randy Alcorn delivers a brilliant exegis on sufferring and God's purpose in it. Comparing the world views of atheist, deists, theists, agnostics and more, he shows us that the only basis for morality comes from a Christian world view. If there is good and morality, there must be an origin. The reader is led to think about the big question: If God is good, why is there evil in the world?
Most people ask why God would allow suffering if He was genuinely good and powerful. Many atheists claim that the existence of suffering is due to the fact that God does not exist. Using many powerful examples and scripture, Randy shows us how temporary pain can lead us to a better end. If your child were given a choice between a parent that disciplines and one that does not, the child will choose the lenient parent. We all know this is not for a child's greater good and maturity (even thought the child rebels against it).
I was genuinely impressed with the author's remarkable ability to wield scripture, intellect, and the lives of sufferers to show how and why God may be allowing it. There were no pages lacking in brilliance and usefulness.
One thing I appreciated was being challenged to be thankful in hard situations like cancer, miscarriage, and death. Randy stated that he never thought about thanking God for a functioning pancreas until it no longer functioned. His insulin dependent diabetes has made him rely on God in a way he could never have fathomed. When we thank God for trials and suffering when we feel we don't want to, we will often realize that we are angry with God. That opens up dialogue and leads to healing.
I believe that God does work miracles. He does heal. Often though, I think that God is trying to grab ahold of our hearts and pull us close to Himself during trial and pain. My brain is still reeling form all that I took in during the 500 pages. Grab hold of this theology. If we can grasp that the Christian life is not sunshine and roses, we stop whining and become warriors.
"Many have become immune to Christianity by contracting a mild and unbiblical form of it."
This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review.