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May 16, 2011

Readers’ Responses to If God is Good Booklet

The booklet versions of Heaven and If God Is Good have become standard usage for me when engaging in grief counseling with both those who are dying and those who have lost a loved one. While I occasionally give the full versions away, the mini ones are so convenient - people who are grieving are intrigued by their titles and appreciate the shorter read during all of the business that dealing with a death can bring. Thank you so much for these books! -J.S. 

I did a 3-part series “The Problem of Evil and Suffering” after some tragedies in the church and theIGIG booklet Tucson shooting (Gabrielle Giffords). If God is Good was an indispensable aid for that series. I always recommend the condensed version (If God is Good Booklet) for people going through trials.  -S.I., Pastor

I accidentally downloaded this book instead, thinking it was Randy Alcorn's larger book If God is Good. However, I was delighted to find that this abbreviated version of Alcorn's Bible-based explanation of suffering and God's purposes in it to be immensely readable and faster paced than is the longer book mentioned above. I am currently going through a season of renewed suffering after a brief respite in the midst of many years of intractable pain...and frankly was struggling to accept God's purposes in allowing my suffering to be reintroduced in my life. I found comfort in this booklet as well as some chagrin that I had even questioned the purposes and wisdom of our amazing God. Randy is by no means pontificating or accusatory; rather, he sympathetically and gently approaches the topic with compassion, wisdom and with the evidence of much thought behind it. I could tell that this author is someone who has struggled both intellectually and experientially with the topic and problem of pain and has come up with answers grounded in Scripture that are at once satisfying, comforting and acceptable. -Q.

I just finished reading your booklet, If God Is Good, Why Do We Hurt?, and it is excellent! Thank you for writing such a clear, objective and compassionate booklet to help others understand suffering. -T.C.

In May I purchased 30 If God Is Good, Why Do We Hurt? booklets. I intended to give them to the graduating seniors at my church, but it was too late for the books to arrive in time.  I decided to give them to the other youth leaders and some of my other friends, and then put the rest on our literature table in the foyer of the church.  Last week one of the leaders told me that when on a cruise he had the booklet on the night stand by his bed in his room and the lady that took care of his room saw it and asked if she could read it.  He told her she could not only read it, but she could have it.  She was grateful and told him that she would also have her husband read it as well.  What an amazing God we serve!  I ordered and received another 40 of these booklets and will continue to pass them out, and as long as they continue to disappear from the table I will replace them.  Thanks for a great tool for the kingdom. -W.F.

Review of If God Is Good Booklet

Randy Alcorn, founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and bestselling author of more than 30 books, covers 14 common questions about suffering, and why God allows it, in If God Is Good, Why Do We Hurt?
     With portions of this 64-page softcover booklet adapted from his previous 2009 bestseller, If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil, Alcorn provides comfort and encouragement to readers, pointing them ultimately to Jesus as “the only answer bigger than the questions.”
     Available in a 10-pack and just the right size for fitting in a purse or messenger bag, this new release is perfect for church giveaways, grief support group members, or individual gift-giving to a hurting or questioning friend or loved one. It would make a great outreach tool, as well.
     Pastors could easily provide this small volume as a resource to church members, or use it for their own study as they prepare for counseling sessions or their own sermon series on the subject of why God allows suffering. The questions Alcorn thoughtfully answers are commonly addressed to pastors on a regular basis, making it a must-have reference to have on hand.
     Some of the questions include: Where do evil and suffering come from? What causes natural disasters? Why doesn’t God immediately bring evil and suffering to an end? Why hasn’t God made the reasons for our suffering more clear? And what’s the right way to respond to our suffering?
     The author—who pastored for 14 years before Eternal Perspective Ministries and his speaking and writing career became full-time endeavors—deals with thorny doctrinal issues regarding suffering and practical scriptural application in a balanced, easy-to-understand style, and with good use of anecdotes.
     Alcorn is straightforward, honest, does not shy away from difficult questions, and does not give pat answers. And though there are no complete answers to some of these questions, and while not all readers may agree with him on all points, he does help readers think through the issues in the context of their own suffering, and there is great benefit to this.
     His style is warm and ultimately points readers to Christ, helping them realize that, at times, the best thing we can do is let go and trust God’s sovereignty.

-Bill Shepson, posted on www.foursquare.org/tools


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