At times, as I was reading, I felt this book would be fit for a classroom. It very much reads like a textbook. Each of the chapters were just pieces to the larger pictures that Alcorn was trying to get across. The only problem I foresaw with this set up was, at times things were repetitive, but you couldn't just skip any sections because though they repetitive, they would go more in depth. He delves into topics of original sin and how we've limited God and his redemptive work.
One of my favorite chapters to read was titled Inherited Sin and Our Sin Nature. In it, Alcorn tells the story of John Newton. In 1750 John Newton commanded a slave ship and committed horrific crimes. As a young man he "blasphemed God and engaged in brutality and immorality. He prided himself in being incorrigible." When Newton's ship nearly sank, he professed Christ, but continued spending many years committing acts of evil before he was truly saved. He then left the slave trade and felt great remorse for his past actions. He spend the last half of his life pastoring a church, "where he preached the gospel, taught the scriptures, and eventually spoke against the slave trade..." "Newton wrote hundreds of hymns, the most famous of which is the most popular among many African Christians throughout the world:
Amazing grace! How sweet the soundNewton's claim to wretchedness wasn't hyperbole; he clearly saw the evil in himself, an evil that remains better hidden in many. While Newton may appear an extreme case, the Bible teaches that all of us are evil-lovers, blind wretches in desperate need of God's transforming grace."
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see
This book was so challenging at times to read, not just from the sheer size, but for the conviction that it put on my own heart. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is seeking answers to these questions.
Chapter 1 - If God is Good by Randy Alcorn