I just finished Randy Alcorn’s book The Goodness of God. It is a small but powerful book about having assurance while experiencing suffering. It is not quite same type of book as Lewis’ two books on the subject A Grief Observed& The Problem With Pain. Instead the book gives a pastoral look at suffering, evil, goodness, and purpose.
I really liked this book. Alcorn did a good job of coming at this situation from a pastoral perspective rather than an academic one. Evil and suffering are not reduced down to philosophical or theoretical ideas in this book. Rather, these subjects, and other related and important life subjects, are treated as reality that have real effects and consequences. I also appreciated the worldview discussion. The author does not expect non-believers to act or think like Christians (except for one section, see the following paragraph). Another positive aspect of this book was the treatment of evil and suffering. Alcorn does not soft-peddle the pain and suffering that go with evil. He does not attempt to sell a health, wealth, and prosperity if one only has enough faith. His biblical answers show us that we must live with the unknown reality and have faith that God is good. His message is one of hope that God’s goodness guides every situation that befalls us, good or bad.
I only gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because of Alcorn’s philosophical arguments for the existence of God because the existence of good and evil. While I personally agree with his conclusions I do so out of faith. I rarely agree with these kinds of arguments because there is always an element of faith to them. Not that faith is a bad thing, but it is a worldview. If you assume everyone, including non-Christians, have the same worldview you are wrong. The good news is that Alcorn does spend too much time trying to prove his point and the rest of the book does not rely on that section.
I strongly recommend this book as a good way to view suffering from a biblical perspective. It is short, to the point, and easy to read.
I was given this book by the publisher for my unbiased review of it.