Andrea Doering of Crossings Book Club interviews Randy Alcorn about his book Edge of Eternity.
Probably the only thing better than reading good books is talking to the people who write them. That’s why I was so excited to have the chance to meet and talk with Randy Alcorn, author of Edge of Eternity. This is a man of many talents—he’s been a pastor and a writer of nonfiction, and he now directs the efforts of a national nonprofit organization. But many people will recognize Alcorn’s name as the author of Deadline and Dominion, two novels that have topped the Christian best-seller list for several years.
Why would someone so involved in such serious pursuits take the time to write novels? For Randy Alcorn, the answer is simple.
“Fiction affords an opportunity to deal with serious themes, but in a manner most people can more easily relate to. I call it the ‘Trojan horse’ effect. Readers will allow something that they don’t totally understand to come inside the gates of their mind, and when their defenses are down, I can reach them with eternal truths in ways that are impossible with nonfiction. When you connect with a character on an emotional level, it can really make a difference. Jesus’ parables are the perfect example of the power of storytelling. I love the story of the prodigal son-we could write forever trying to define grace, but that is grace.”
Alcorn’s own spiritual life began in high school. “My life radically changed,” he remembers with enthusiasm. “I grew up in a non-Christian home, and I was always searching for something. I had an emptiness inside, a deep sense that there was something more to life than what I saw around me. My hobby was astronomy, and I think God used that love for the awesomeness of the universe to prepare me for the gospel, to finally meet the Creator. I was invited to a church youth group and became fascinated by all these truths that were brand new to me. I remember picking up an old Bible, the only one in our house, and reading it page by page until I found myself believing it and finally bowed my knees to the Lord. My mom became a Christian a year later. After 25 years of praying for him, my 84-year-old dad, who’d been the most resistant person to the gospel I ever knew, turned his life over to Christ in a hospital...”
What does he hope readers will take away from Edge of Eternity?
“I hope it will help people see Christ in a fresh and powerful way and trust Him in areas where we don’t see the results or rewards. We all need to be reminded of God’s sovereignty and of the tangible reality of heaven as our home. Through writing this book, the reality of my citizenship in heaven hit home to me—and the reality of hell, too, and the fact that we all have one chance to live life on this earth. Five minutes after we die, we’ll know exactly how we should have lived. Fortunately, God has given us His Word and His Spirit and His people so we can live that way now.”
One of my favorite things about Randy’s new book is the passages where the veil between heaven and earth is lifted, and we, the readers, see things as they really are. I asked Randy if he thought this happened in real life as well.
“Yes,” Randy answered immediately. “Not in the sense of visions, perhaps, but I believe we all have moments, if we stop and pay attention, where we can sense being on the edge of eternity. And we know in those moments that we’re not made for this world, but for another world—where we’ll see the King at last.”