The Chasm By Randy Alcorn (a Review)

I really enjoyed reading The Chasm: A Journey to the Edge of Lifeby Randy Alcorn!  The book is a short allegory somewhat reminiscent of C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce and John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress .

The story has all the markings of a great book.  Alcorn takes the reader through a plane where the invisible becomes visible and emptiness of vain pursuits are seen before the journey’s end.  The main character Nick Seagrave  wanders a barren world between two greater worlds.  Below lies the a sea of wicked creatures bent on destruction and feasting on the flesh and misery of all those who reject the overtures of kindness from the king of a place called Charis.  Above there are mighty warriors of light thirsty only for the honor of their great and mighty king. Between these two worlds men travel many paths that all eventually lead to a great chasm, but only one road leads to the chasm in a way that provides hope.

I was greatly fascinated and encouraged by the Chasm.  I really like allegory for all that can be said in the matter of a few paragraphs.  Alcorn’s commentary on life, creation, fall, redemption and heaven are amazing.  His commentary on the allure and repulsion of sin is spot on.

The Chasm is a very powerful and engaging allegory.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in allegory.  It also makes a great gift book.  The retail price of The Chasm is $14.99 (Hardcover), and is available around the web in places like for $10.11. I gave it five stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

John Bunyan (Christian Encounter Series) – Book Review

John Bunyan (Christian Encounters Series) is a great introduction to the life and times of John Bunyan the famous author of Pilgrims Progress.  The book is quite brief, but serves as a great background study on a man who lived through an incredible time in history.  As an avid Bunyan fan I am always looking for more material to put into the hands of others to help them understand the literary genius of this ‘simple’ man who wrote one of the most widely read classics in English literature.

The book is not heavy with details, but rather takes a simple, yet scholarly approach to the life of Bunyan.  It would be a great biography for energetic middle school students to read.  I can see it as a handy companion to read along side of Pilgrim’s Progress which is Bunyan’s most famous work.

If you are looking for a complete biography of John Bunyan, this isn’t it.  But if you are looking for an introduction to the life of Bunyan, that isn’t daunting or too challenging, this is it.  I see this as being a handy reference book on the life of Bunyan.  Speaking as one who has read a few Bunyan biographies and host to a Christian Heritage Conference that centered on the life of Bunyan I wasn’t disappointed to read this book, I was excited that a biography was written on this level to introduce more young minds to the life of a great man.

John Bunyan (Christian Encounters Series) is a great introduction to the life and times of John Bunyan, I highly recommend it.  The retail price is $12.00 (paperback), and is available at places like for $8.65.  I gave it four stars.

Disclaimer: As a blogger I received a complimentary review copy from the Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program  ( ).  There was no requirement to give it a positive review, just for the reviewer to call it like they see it.

Name Your Link

3 books that have profoundly influenced my life

I have to be honest about two things. First, I should state that I was influenced by the authors, not just the books themselves. I have since read many books by many of these men and enjoy the conversation I have with each one. Second, with the exception of John Piper, the authors on this list are dead. God has used them in a mighty way past the years he has given them on this earth. I am thankful that though they are dead, they still speak.

1. Desiring GodJohn Piper

I first read this book while still in school at the University of Mobile and it opened up a world for me to begin to understand God in a way that I had never understood him before.  I was amazed to discover that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”  I don’t think any other single person (short of my parents) has had the level of impact on my thinking.  I was blessed to hear a sermon by Dr. Piper a little later that year entitled “Doing Missions When Dying is Gain.”  (you can listen to the same sermon for free here.) I have never been the same.

2. Pilgrim’s ProgressJohn Bunyan

I read pilgrims progress when I was a child at a small Christian School in Montana.  I have since read and reread it in several different modern English versions.  It was through John Bunyan that I was introduced to the rich application of the scriptures.  I have never read another book that so completely described the Christian journey.  I think this is the book I have shared most often with others. It was once a theme for a Disciple Now and a Christian Heritage Conference Its an easy read, but spiritually challenging.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDale Carnegie

I picked up the 1936 edition of this book and read it when I was 16 years old.  A speech teacher had told me about it and I set out to read it.  It profoundly shaped the way I communicate and made me a different person.  Dale Carnegie taught me to take a genuine interest and really care about people.

What about you?  What books or people have greatly influenced your life?