Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Review: God's Promise of Happiness

God's Promise of Happiness. Randy Alcorn. 2015. Tyndale. 112 pages. [Source: Borrowed]

Are you a Christian? Do you subtly or perhaps not-so-subtly make distinctions between the words joy and happiness? Do you perhaps see the two as being contrasting qualities? Alcorn hopes to persuade you to see the word happiness differently.

Randy Alcorn asks in his introduction, "Do we seek happiness because we're sinners or because we're human?" It's a good, solid question for sure. Alcorn would argue that we were created--designed--for happiness, to be happy. The fall perhaps corrupted our natural desires for happiness, but, we were always meant to be happy.

Alcorn then argues that Christians often feel guilty and ashamed of being happy, of seeking happiness. Instead of embracing happiness as a gift of God, as part of God's natural-and-good design for us, he says that Christians often feel obligated to feel solemn, sad, contemplative, and "holy." Somehow Christians associate happiness too closely with sin. Alcorn insists that this shouldn't be so!

This little book, to me, felt like a question-and-answer book. Each chapter of the book is PACKED with questions…and answers. Alcorn doesn't leave you in doubt as to what the answers should be. And he typically backs up his answers with at least one or two scripture quotations.

Here are some of the questions the book asks:

  • Do we have a choice whether or not to desire happiness?
  • Do we have to choose between God and happiness?
  • Does the Bible have much to say about happiness?
  • Doesn't the Bible talk about joy rather than happiness?
  • Are there big differences between joy and happiness?
  • Is there any difference between a believer's and an unbeliever's happiness?
  • Can lasting happiness be found apart from God?
  • Does the Bible say God is happy?
  • Is God by nature happy or unhappy?
  • Was Jesus happy?
  • How does sin affect our happiness?
  • What does holiness have to do with happiness?
  • How can reading the bible increase our happiness?
  • How central to our happiness is our closeness to Jesus?

Alcorn does ask good questions. And he does provide good, clear answers. I like his use of scripture. I like his use of quotes.

Overall, this is a nice, concise "little" book perfect for reading and sharing with others.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: