Saturday, October 25, 2014

Christian Nonfiction Review: Randy Alcorn's "hand in Hand"

“Hand in Hand” by Randy Alcorn is basically a shorter version of his book “If God is Good,” but with stronger emphasis on explaining the various Calvinist and Arminian positions regarding human free will and God’s sovereignty. The two books share a lot of the same content. Alcorn’s conclusion in “Hand in Hand” even focuses on explaining how a good God allows evil to happen, the idea emphasized in “If God is Good.” 

There’s unique content, though, albeit sometimes repetitious. Alcorn makes his own Calvinist leanings evident, but goes back and forth between the various positions, providing a good overview that is fairly non-partial. Several illustrated charts and headlines make the book easy to read, and Alcorn uses a lot of Scripture, in addition to some quotes from other authors. I do wish his chapter on “voices of the past” had included more historical voices on more topics than finding neutral ground. 

At the end of the book, I still hadn’t quite wrapped my head around the book’s topic. I had plenty of unanswered questions and thoughts. Alcorn’s purpose seems more focused on bringing his readers to a position of Compatibalism that can lean toward either side of the debate, so he spends a great deal of space making it clear that the paradox of Sovereignty and Choice can work, even if we cannot understand it.

At any rate, Alcorn provides a good book for beginners, but perhaps he could write another book more the length of his previous books that goes into more detail.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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