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Randy Alcorn's Blog: Suffering and Evil

In the wake of the Charleston shooting: How could a good God allow suffering and evil?

In the wake of the Charleston shooting: How could a good God allow suffering and evil?

Last weekend I spoke at my home church, Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring (yes, Boring) Oregon, on the question of why a good God allows evil and suffering. We'd actually planned the discussion prior to the Charleston church murder of nine people at their Wednesday evening Bible study (we began by talking about this tragedy).

There Is No Pointless Suffering

There Is No Pointless Suffering

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). By recognizing and believing in God’s sovereignty, even over Satan’s work, our perspective is transformed.

Does Open Theism solve the problem of evil and suffering?

Open bookMost proposed solutions to the problem of evil and suffering have been around for a long time, but Open Theism is more recent. Open theists believe that God does not and cannot know in advance the future choices that His free creatures will make. 

Perspectives That Are All the More Significant When You Lose

Alcorn family“Whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20). This is why I can be happy in Jesus tonight even though my favorite team lost the Super Bowl in the final moments. :) I mean this with all my heart. He remains sovereign and loving and purposeful even when in minor things (like the Super Bowl) or in major ones, He has designs other than the ones I wished for.

Brittany Maynard, age 29, has taken her life here in Portland, Oregon

Brittany MaynardIt was announced late Sunday afternoon that on Saturday, 29-year-old terminally ill Brittany Maynard chose to end her life under Oregon’s physician assisted suicide law. It’s heavy on my heart that this happened only minutes from where Nanci and I live.

Turning Bad into Best

Wheat GrassC. S. Lewis, in The Great Divorce, wrote that “both good and evil, when they are full grown, become retrospective… Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.”

Surrendering to God’s Wisdom

Night sky / Photo credit: James WheelerWhen I need a point-of-view adjustment, I read the last five chapters of Job. That’s where the focus shifts from Job’s questions about his suffering—and his friends’ proposed answers—to God’s majesty.


His Strength and Grace in Our Weakness

Man at the Ocean / His Strength and Grace in WeaknessAs a young pastor I loved God sincerely; but like my tavern-owner father, I was independent, self-sufficient, and prone to do things on my own. Christ’s words, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), rang true—but I did a lot of things without drawing on his strength.

God Doesn’t Love Us on Our Preferred Terms, But on His Own

God's unfailing loveGod’s constant love for us will never let us down, no matter how things appear. We often define love in superficial and trivial ways, setting us up to question God’s love in hard times. 

Real Choices without Consequences?

Real Choices without Consequences? / Potter's HandsRomans 8:28 promises that God will work everything together for good for those who love Him and keep His commands. It’s not easy to understand how God can take the results of evil choices and create good. In this conversation from my novel Deception, Jake and Clarence challenge Ollie’s desire for both freedom to choose and freedom from evil’s consequences.

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