Wednesday, April 6, 2011

[Book Review] "The Chasm" by Randy Alcorn

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Multnomah Waterbrook's Blogging for Books program.
Author Randy Alcorn takes us on a journey through our own lives through the eyes of Nick Seagrave in an allegorical fashion. "The Chasm" is a sequel of sorts to "Edge of Eternity" but can be read alone. In this book, we follow Seagrave as he is led by a character named "Joshua" to see all of his sin laid out before him via the gray paths, all of which seem to lead to the great chasm which keeps him from crossing over to the great city of Charis. There is one road which truly leads to Charis called the red road, but repeatedly, Seagrave is kept from it, as he observes a cosmic battle and nearly dies in the middle of it.
Seagrave finally ends up on the red road at the edge of the chasm and witnesses the death of the Savior in which he takes part. He is offered a chance at salvation, which involves the Woodsman (Christ) carrying him over the chasm on the tree bridging the gap. Seagrave is finally on the road to Charis.
If you've ever read "The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan or "The Great Divorce" by C. S. Lewis, this book might seem familiar. Alcorn's "Edge of Eternity" is an expanded version of this. While graphic at times, I think the book shows how important it is for us to see our sin and confess it to God. We all, like sheep, have gone astray. Seagrave's life had fallen apart and now he is offered a chance at eternal life. 
Alcorn does a great job at pointing out that there is nothing that one can do to be saved. One must trust in the Savior, but we cannot make that step ourselves. Christ must offer it to us and has offered it to us. It is there for us to take. The questions at the end of the book are great for personal reflection on what you have read. For the Christian who might be doubting their faith, for the mature believer to reflect back on their faith, or for the seeker, this book offers it all and will change your heart.