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THE CHASM, BY RANDY ALCORN

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...an imaginative allegory of man's lifelong journey

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The Chasm, A Journey to the Edge of Life, by Randy Alcorn, Multnomah Books, 2011, Hardcover, 128 pages, ISBN-13: 9781601423399, $14.99

"...not all is as it appears. Are you ready to walk the red road to the chasm?" Shadrach spoke of the road to "Charis, the City of Light," the road before death, not after.

After a foolhardy detour when he left the cave, Nick Seagrave returned to the red road Shadrach first directed him to, which brought him to the chasm and the "bottomless pit." Where multitudes of terror-filled voices filled with "...sorrow...regrets and bitterness..." rose into the air. They sounded like "voices of the damned" to him.

Eyes burning with unshed tears, fear and a familiar longing within, Nick entered a "dark night of the soul," and questioning despair. Would he reach the "City of Light" across the chasm or the "City of Darkness" below?

Then he saw the Woodsman dressed in a white robe striding toward him in the distance seeming to float above the chasm. His melodious song rang out and he grasped a great sword in rough hewn hands, adorned with ancient inscriptions in an unknown language.

He told Nick about things he'd never heard or thought of, eternal truths—"about himself...life" and about Nick. Then the Woodsman said, "I offer a joy that will cost you everything...but gain you everything that matters" with a simple choice.

Join American businessman, Nick Seagrave on an intriguing journey of self-discovery, to a strange land of light, darkness, hidden motives and dangers, where two worlds collide. There Nick meets Joshua, who says, "Welcome" and offers to be his guide on a grey road he cautions is "not safe." Nick soon questions if Joshua is who he appears to be.

Readers also meet Shadrack, "a white-haired, craggy-faced man dressed in tattered rags," who trusts the shimmering light far ahead. "Mailaiki, a young African woman" who dances to music she alone hears in "a thousand languages...of life...learning...pleasure and adventure." Where Nick's own wife and children watch him shamefully cheat with another woman, before a large bird carries him to a battlefield, a Commander takes off his arm then tries to kill him.

This imaginative, allegorical journey, by my favorite author, portrays man's lifelong journey. Mike Biegel's twelve black and white allegorical drawings combine with "compelling narrative" to illustrate a modern day Pilgrim's Progress. Nick's character is drawn from the fiction pages of Alcorn's 1999 novel, Edge of Eternity. I read the book in one sitting, could not put it down and plan to savor it many more times. Alcorn's written a classic that will stand the test of time.

The book ends with a chapter-by-chapter reader's guide that includes Bible passages about Jesus Christ and the gospel message. Contact Eternal Perspective Ministries: info@epm.org to find a Bible-teaching, Christ honoring church or EPM Website: http://www.epm.org/

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