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Thread: "If God is Good" by Randy Alcorn

  1. #1
    TheWolfman99
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    Default "If God is Good" by Randy Alcorn

    Has anyone read this? I am currently reading it and am enjoying it. It discusses the problem of evil.

  2. #2
    asdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfman99 View Post
    Has anyone read this? I am currently reading it and am enjoying it. It discusses the problem of evil.
    Haven't read the book, but I'm interested in the topic. What line of reasoning does he use?

  3. #3
    TheWolfman99
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    Haven't read the book, but I'm interested in the topic. What line of reasoning does he use?
    Well, I'm only about 100 pages into it, and it's a thick book! but the main premise is to bring God all the glory and that His will is accomplished through suffering whether we realize it or not.

  4. #4
    asdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfman99 View Post
    Well, I'm only about 100 pages into it, and it's a thick book! but the main premise is to bring God all the glory and that His will is accomplished through suffering whether we realize it or not.
    I see. I have to say that that argument is pretty unconvincing to me. I'd be interested in seeing what other lines he pursues...

    I read about half of NT Wright's Evil and the Justice of God - it was fairly good, but I felt like the material had been covered better in his Simply Christian. But a couple other books about theodicy that I have greatly enjoyed have been Christ and Horrors by Marilyn McCord-Adams and (somewhat tangentially) Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf.

    --

    As to why "to bring God glory" is insufficient to me, have you read The Tale of the Twelve Officers? I think it explains pretty well a lot of the insufficiency (at best) and/or immorality (at worst) of arguments in that vein. I'd be curious to hear your take.

  5. #5
    TheWolfman99
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    I see. I have to say that that argument is pretty unconvincing to me. I'd be interested in seeing what other lines he pursues...

    I read about half of NT Wright's Evil and the Justice of God - it was fairly good, but I felt like the material had been covered better in his Simply Christian. But a couple other books about theodicy that I have greatly enjoyed have been Christ and Horrors by Marilyn McCord-Adams and (somewhat tangentially) Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf.

    --

    As to why "to bring God glory" is insufficient to me, have you read The Tale of the Twelve Officers? I think it explains pretty well a lot of the insufficiency (at best) and/or immorality (at worst) of arguments in that vein. I'd be curious to hear your take.
    Well, check this thread periodically because, like I said, I'm not too far into it. When I get to certain points I will bring them up here.

  6. #6
    TheWolfman99
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    I see. I have to say that that argument is pretty unconvincing to me. I'd be interested in seeing what other lines he pursues...

    I read about half of NT Wright's Evil and the Justice of God - it was fairly good, but I felt like the material had been covered better in his Simply Christian. But a couple other books about theodicy that I have greatly enjoyed have been Christ and Horrors by Marilyn McCord-Adams and (somewhat tangentially) Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf.

    --

    As to why "to bring God glory" is insufficient to me, have you read The Tale of the Twelve Officers? I think it explains pretty well a lot of the insufficiency (at best) and/or immorality (at worst) of arguments in that vein. I'd be curious to hear your take.
    -----nt-----

  7. #7
    asdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfman99 View Post
    Well, check this thread periodically because, like I said, I'm not too far into it. When I get to certain points I will bring them up here.
    Will do.

  8. #8
    dtorres21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfman99 View Post
    Has anyone read this? I am currently reading it and am enjoying it. It discusses the problem of evil.
    Hey bro. Haven't read it. Let me know what you think though. I always like a good response to the PoE.

    I know there's sort of two ways to go at it.

    1. Man's free will or

    2. God's sovereignty in ALL things.

    I'm sure you can guess which one I am.

    But maybe Alcorn has a different take on it? Hopefully one with a lot of biblical backing.

  9. #9
    asdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtorres21 View Post
    Hey bro. Haven't read it. Let me know what you think though. I always like a good response to the PoE.

    I know there's sort of two ways to go at it.

    1. Man's free will or
    2. God's sovereignty in ALL things.

    I'm sure you can guess which one I am.
    I can indeed.
    Would you mind giving me a brief run-through of what that looks like to you? I.e., how does God's sovereignty address the PoE to your satisfaction?

  10. #10
    Columcille
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    Default Forrunners, Lewis, Martin, Ambrose.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfman99 View Post
    Has anyone read this? I am currently reading it and am enjoying it. It discusses the problem of evil.
    What is just as important is who published it.

    I might not be interested in picking it up if the publisher's are kind of unknown or have built a certain bad reputation. I normally like Oxford UP, especially when it comes to English literature and am somewhat cautious when it comes to theology from newer authors, but always love the cl***ics.

    CS Lewis has a book on the "Problem of Pain" and I think his book rather easier to pick up and due to his temperment and his name that it will outlast most others.

    Dr. Martin has a lecture on this problem as well.

    This last Sa****ay, I was praying the liturgy of the hours and read an except from St. Ambrose in the Office of Reading. His take on death was refreshing for me. That in essense I came away thanking God for death, because it ends our sinfulness; and then thanking him more for the hope of resurrection.
    St. Ambrose wrote this: The Lord allowed death to enter this world so that sin might come to an end. But he gave us the resurrection of the dead to that our nature might not end once more in death; death was to bring guilt to an end, and the resurrection was to enable our nature to continue for ever. (The Liturgy of the Hours: v. 4. Catholic Book Publishing Co. New York. 1975. pg 498)

  11. #11
    TheWolfman99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Columcille View Post
    What is just as important is who published it.

    I might not be interested in picking it up if the publisher's are kind of unknown or have built a certain bad reputation. I normally like Oxford UP, especially when it comes to English literature and am somewhat cautious when it comes to theology from newer authors, but always love the cl***ics.

    CS Lewis has a book on the "Problem of Pain" and I think his book rather easier to pick up and due to his temperment and his name that it will outlast most others.

    Dr. Martin has a lecture on this problem as well.

    This last Sa****ay, I was praying the liturgy of the hours and read an except from St. Ambrose in the Office of Reading. His take on death was refreshing for me. That in essense I came away thanking God for death, because it ends our sinfulness; and then thanking him more for the hope of resurrection.
    St. Ambrose wrote this: The Lord allowed death to enter this world so that sin might come to an end. But he gave us the resurrection of the dead to that our nature might not end once more in death; death was to bring guilt to an end, and the resurrection was to enable our nature to continue for ever. (The Liturgy of the Hours: v. 4. Catholic Book Publishing Co. New York. 1975. pg 498)
    Multnomah Books is the publisher of the book. I don't know too much about them, other than they published "Desiring God" by Piper, which is a great book (although he's Calvy )

  12. #12
    TheWolfman99
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtorres21 View Post
    Hey bro. Haven't read it. Let me know what you think though. I always like a good response to the PoE.

    I know there's sort of two ways to go at it.

    1. Man's free will or

    2. God's sovereignty in ALL things.

    I'm sure you can guess which one I am.

    But maybe Alcorn has a different take on it? Hopefully one with a lot of biblical backing.
    Yes, I do know which one you are. This is, as you are aware, one of the key debates between Cs and As.

  13. #13
    archaeologist
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    when i saw this thread i immediately thoguht of Dr. Bart Ehrman who publicallystated that the problem of suffering contributed to his loss of faith.

    actually he had two different confessions concerning what caused him to lose his faith, the original version in his Misquoting Jesus, he claimed that it was the act that we do not have the original autographs of the biblical authors which led him to leave th efaith and then in his subsequent book, God's Problem, he states that it was the problem of suffering and that a God who is good would allow His creation to suffer.

    when people say things like, 'if God is so good why does he allow suffering' or '...why doesn't He stop suffering' they are only looking at one facet of the issue. they ignore:

    1. the fact that suffering is a result of the corruption and sin that entered into the world at Adam's sin.

    2. that people who do not follow God choose to inflict pain on others.

    3. that God may warn them NOT to do something but they do it anyways, putting themselves in a position to suffer.

    4. that God has already promised to put an end to suffering when believers reach heaven.

    5. that those who hate Jesus, realize they can't hurt God or Jesus so they attack their followers. suffering for Jesus is part of the deal one acepts when they decide to follow Christ (pick up your cross and follow me)

    6. they do not understand that God allows suffering for various reasons and want a lilly perfect life free of any trial or tribulation and that is a misconception

    7. they forget that God heals those in pain, whether it be physical, emotional, or otherwise during those people's earthly lifetime.

    8 they forget that God uses people to help aliviate suffering in others and when others refuse to obey and provide for others needs (africa, bangledesh and other nations) then those people suffer.

    9. these people expect God to magically make things appear so others do not suffer and they just get to sit back and do nothing, whereby they learn nothing and do not grow in their faith in God.

    10 some people are greedy and take what God supplies for themselves, which woul dbe related to the idea that sin hinders people from getting relief.

    11 they misunderstand the answer provided and hold that living is higher than being with God. people are forced to suffer because some people's belief in th epreservation of life is greater than letting people die naturally. they think tubes an dmachines are a better deal than p***ing away even though those people are not really living or alive. they are just tools to feed someone's perverted ideas about life.

    (i do not believe in euthenasia nor advocate it but i do not agree with the artificial maintanence of life either)

    people need to do some soul searching and find the truth about life and death and make changes in their concepts and beliefs. the secular world should not be the ones determining the beliefs and actions of the christian world nor should those of alternative beliefs influence what others do in this issue.

  14. #14
    ChrisLaRock
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    Is it possible that God is letting us 'stew in our own juices' out of anger that we rebelled in the first place?

  15. #15
    asdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisLaRock View Post
    Is it possible that God is letting us 'stew in our own juices' out of anger that we rebelled in the first place?
    In what way does that solve the theodicy issue to your satisfaction?

    Seems to me that anthropomorphizing God with such immature, childish "anger" only serves to make the issue more poignant.

  16. #16
    CleoSquare
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    Having suffered and having been very closely involved in helping a whole range of people that suffer, there is not a trite answer to the reason for suffering for me... None of the answers given satisfy if I am completely congruent. For me it is one of those issues that I do not have smart answers for, but can only try and sit alongside people with.

  17. #17
    Jean Chauvin
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    Augustine was in a cult that stated there was a dualistic type theology. Two gods existed and fought against eachother for the fate of the world.

    Instead of exegeting Scripture, Augustine emotionally reacted and said evil cannot be. He then resorted to an old Greek pagan tactic by depleting the negation.

    He thus said Evil is not, evil is the absense of the Good.

    Thus saten is good via his core. However he is evil only as much as his actions.

    Throughout Church history, nobody touched this. It festered for 1600 years.

    Most people ask this silly problem with freewill. They fail to answer the question and run into logical problems. Since people are so thick headed and cannot escape free will, the put their hands up and say it's a problem.

    Just a simple review on this.

    We do know that God creates evil (e.g Amos 3:6), however is not the agent of that evil.

    The book of *** is absolutely a book on evil.

    I will dive in more if I see that the victims of public school have been redeemed.

    Respectfully,

    Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

  18. #18
    alanmolstad
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    the book of *** was all about the problem with evil in the world, and why we suffer so.

    The person of *** rejects all the common answers that are told to him, and demands an answer from God face to face...

    Later in the story the Lord does show up....but the answer *** receives is not really the type of answer he was looking for.
    *** wanted a reason...something that added up...some answer that when he heard it he understood the point of evil and all the suffering in the world.

    *** did not get that from the lord...

    Rather the Lord just told *** that more or less, "You will never understand"

    We dont think like God thinks....our logic is not able to account for the Lord's actions.
    We dont understand much except for what god tells us, and what the Lord tells us is to "Trust Him"



    So it comes down to that....
    If you look at the suffering in the world, and that pain you will only see that and how it simply never adds up...

    But if you look at the Lord, then regardless of the evil and suffering you see, you will not need to understand the 'why?" question....you simply trust the person of the Lord.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfman99 View Post
    Has anyone read this? I am currently reading it and am enjoying it. It discusses the problem of evil.
    God is good, his ways and character do not change because his creation chooses to do sin over obedience to his ways.
    magazine is still running, location as changed. contact us for the internet address

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