Another Great Alcorn Book

If God is Good

In If God Is Good, Randy Alcorn sensitively explores the problem of evil and suffering in the world. Relying heavily on the Bible and the insights of prominent Christians throughout the centuries, he seeks to paint a more holistic–though not complete–picture of the role that evil plays within God’s plan.

As a reader, I appreciated how each chapter is organized into tid-bits of information. The bolded headers provide clear information about the subject of each section. With the help of these headers, Alcorn answers common questions in a logical sequence, leading from one discussion to the next, and, at times, explores questions many would not even think to wonder.

Alcorn’s honesty and humility is refreshing. He does not claim to be an expert, and he does not claim to know all the answers, but he does remain faithful to the Truth of Scripture while dealing gently with tough issues.

This book will prove helpful to any Christian wanting to know more about the issue, hurting within a world riddled with suffering, or desiring to comfort a grieved loved one. It is definitely philosophical in its scope, yet it is written in such a way that any lay person can understand it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in return for my honest review.

The Great Paradox: God’s Sovereignty and Human Choice

Hand in Hand by Rancy Alcorn

If you want a blast for your brain, look no further than Randy Alcorn’s Hand in Hand: The Beauty of God’s Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice. Wrestling with the doctrines of predestination and free-will is mind-blowing to say the least, yet Alcorn handles the topic diplomatically and biblically.
Why study the issue of predestination and free-will? Alcorn answers this question right off the bat. He begins his book with a list of six significant reasons why believers should study the issue of God’s Sovereignty and human choice: 1) appreciation for God’s Word; 2) development of humility; 3) embracing all of God’s Word; 4) unity in the Church; 5) avoidance of fatalism and guilt; and 6) prevention of the formation of trivial believers (2-6).
Raised as an Arminian but now learning more towards Calvinism, Alcorn presents both sides of the issue with a great deal of understanding and diplomacy. In addition to bringing Scripture to light on the issue, he quotes frequently from famous Christian authors on both sides of the debate.
If you are looking for a summary of topics related to this issue, look no further than Alcorn. Visual learners will find the charts and diagrams of the concepts he presents helpful in scaffolding their understanding. (I, for one, did!) Alcorn presents the basic doctrines of Calvinism and Arminiasm in a chart (18-20) and lists the implications of these doctrines in another chart (23-25). In the same chapter, he creates a “Determinism Continuum” showing how believers within both camps (Arminian and Calvinist) vary in their emphasis on God’s Sovereignty. In addition, charts, illustrations, and diagrams throughout the book make an otherwise hard-to-grasp concept a little easier to picture.
Through his visuals, quotes, discussion questions, and Scripture references, Alcorn creates a true masterpiece. The effect is a cross between a reference work and a group-study devotional. I would recommend this book to any new believer wondering about the issue, any believer in need of a dose of perspective or understanding, or any unbeliever wondering what Christians believe about God’s sovereignty and human choice.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.