Alcorn, Randy. The Chasm: A Journey to the Edge of Life. Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2011. 124 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Amazon for $10.12.
Randy Alcorn is founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. He is a believer in Christ first and foremost, a husband, father and grandfather secondly and then an author. He has written over thirty books and each one stands alone as a best seller. The Chasm is a continuation of the life of Nick Seagrave in another of Alcorn’s books entitled Edge of Eternity.
We join Nick on a trek through the wilderness when he comes upon the deepest, darkest Chasm he has ever seen. Across that Chasm is the beautiful city of Charis. He wants to go there but realizes that he needs to cross the Chasm and the only apparent way to do that is to go through it which is obviously impossible.
While seeking to journey to Charis, a guide comes and promises to lead him wherever he wants to go. Nick then follows this new guide and travels down many different paths all the while longing to go to Charis. What happens next is the thing of fantasy….or is it? You will have to read the book to find out.
Obviously, this is a Christian book with a Christian message. What sets this book apart is the vivid description and the wonderful sketches interspersed throughout the book. The journey to the edge of the Chasm is exhilarating enough and one we can all identify with. The journey through (or over?) the Chasm is beyond description. The discussion questions at the end are designed for the reader alone or for group discussion.
The story is familiar to all. The description is other worldly. The thoughts that spring to the reader’s mind are much needed. The questions on the dust jacket—Do I really understand this world I live in? Do I really understand myself? Is there more to all this than I’ve ever dared hope?— will be answered.
One might be quick to suggest this book for the unbeliever, but I hesitate to do that. The message of this book is Christocentric and evangelistic, however, I think the value of the book lies in the hands of a believer for two reasons. First, there are many who profess faith but do not know the Lord (Mt. 7:21). This book can be an instrument to show this. Second, many believers do not think about the battles raging around them that are unseen. The Chasm will get you thinking about those battles.
In the end, I found The Chasm to be as enjoyable as Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress though not as complete and in depth as such. The Chasm will be one of those works of Christian fiction that you will want to read again and again…just as a reminder. Pick up a copy today and prepare to think and worship.