on June 9, 2004
I came into reading "Deadline" knowing that it was Christian fiction, so I did expect the possiblity that the author could be dogmatic. Reading Alcorn's work, there is some dogma attached, which seems to indicate that he didn't think it through enough, or he let his own bias get in the way of the truth. Anyway, Alcorn paints a picture of a liberal journalist surviving a car "accident" that killed his two best friends, Dr. Greg Lowell and Finnegan "Finney" Keels. As you expect, Doc and Finney had opposite views of Christianity, and Alcorn depicts their respective fates as according to Scripture. This is the true part. The false because they are misleadly simple areas are the author's abortion scenarios(a morally complicated problem in reality) which boil down to "in every case, a mother must give birth to a living child". This ignores the complex nature of the debate, which I won't discuss here. Also, the author has a "homosexuals are free to change" approach that doesn't work out well in reality. Alcorn does get some journalistic ethos right, and I admire his honesty about that, but he paints liberals with a broadbrush(Jimmy Carter, a DEMOCRAT, is a very godly man, despite what the author may think) that is factually inaccurate. The book only musters 3 stars, because while the action is great, the story is overly preachy, and makes weak arguments.
on March 7, 2004
I have to say that this book took me a little longer than it normally would take me. But that's the good thing about this book. If you take the time to absorb the message, it will be more than worth your valued time.
I was taken on a journey through the eyes of journalist, Jake Woods, who investigates the death of his two friends. It describes the relationship between Finney, who cares enough about his friends to correct them and try to guide them in the right direction, and then there's Doc, who only cares about himself and lives for himself. Jake has to decide what is real for him, and he has to go through some trial in his life to do this. I think it's awesome how Alcorn describes that in Heaven there's always someone watching out for you and someone who desires to fight for you at your greatest moment of need, at least that's what I got out of this. He gives an awesome reality of our Heavenly Father, and also leaves the reader with a desire to live for God.
Deadline is a great book with some really powerful twists. One other person said that if you can just take your time through this book, it is well worth it. That is so true, and I'm looking forward to reading Randy Alcorn in the future!
on July 27, 2003
Jake Woods, liberal columnist and agnostic goes out on a short jaunt to pick up pizza with his best friends, Doc and Finney. On the way back, they crash and Jake finds himself suspended between two friends, and between two destinies. Doc, the "I'll Do it My Way" Guy and Finney, the man submitted to God. This storyline takes Jake from the ICU where he says good-bye to Finney, to an investigation into the shadowy worlds where right and wrong are relative and no one knows anything for a certainty, with human rationalization as the ultimate standard for behavior. The reader is pulled along from the earth, to the glorious raptures of Heaven to the despair of Hell, along with Jake as he searches for the truth and tries to find meaning in a shifting morass of values. In the process he has to face some pretty unsavory things about himself, and tragic consequences of choices and philosophies that he adhered to.
Inside the story, the author has several deep messages for his readers and he doesn't pull any punches. This book tackles just about all of the issues in our society where the guideposts have been lost, and relativism is taken for granted. Abortion, AIDs, media-bias, homosexual bias, political correctness, assisted suicide, organ transplant lists, organized crime, Vietnam, you name it and it is weaved into a monologue or dialogue somewhere in the book. All this is interwoven into a mystery involving some stereotyped characters, some surprising twists, and some awkward relevations. As if that's not enough, there are matters of eternal consequences, like Heaven and Hell to delve into.
There is a very good understanding and exploration of the effects of abortion on men which is usually ignored. And you'll never think about organ donations the same way again. You'll also think twice or thrice about the definition of "dead" after you've read this book.
Highly recommended for teenagers as it gets them to think before acting. Also, a hard-to-put-down book for mystery fans. Finally, if you're at all curious about what life is like in the hereafter (or as far as Mr. Alcorn's imagination can bring you), you'll want to read or debate about his portrayals of Heaven. Definitely a good vacation read, and a book to leave on your coffee table for curious friends.
on May 22, 2003
This book attacks the concept of political correctness and the hypocritical quicksand of "moral relativism" by weaving a tale of suspense and intrigue into the everyday life of a liberal newspaper reporter. The book hooks you from the beginning, with a story about three friends on a typical Sunday afternoon watching football, and tossing a coin to see who will drive to get the pizza at halftime. The coin lands, and stays, on its side! All three pile into the car together and after picking up the pizza and heading back, there is a terrible accident and the story picks up with one of the three, the reporter, awaking in the hospital. Thus begins a journey during which his popular beliefs about life, meaning and morality are challenged in a very personal way. Instead of spoiling the story, I will leave it up to the reader to explore.
The message of the book can be best described by the following passage regarding morality (page 419). "Maybe the greatest danger isn't when the rules get broken, maybe it's when the rules get changed. Once they're changed you can follow the new rules and think you are doing the right thing, while all the time your new truth is just the old lies. You can tell yourself it's OK because the standards have changed, but if the standards mean anything at all they don't change. I want to follow the truth no matter where it leads me. The Truth will set you free."
Overall, this is a well-written story, and provides enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested. Often however, the author seems to try and take on too many issues at once. The depictions of the social agenda's of various special interest groups and how they drove the slant of news stories was frighteningly accurate, considering the book was written in 1994 well before the documented events of liberal bias on behalf of Networks and print media had been exposed in the last few years by numerous sources. The author points out in the notes at the end of the book that "This is a work of fiction. While it contains many factual details which are the product of careful research, it intermingles these events with fictitious settings and persons".
A good story, with a well-needed message.
on February 26, 2001
I have read 4 of Randy Alcorns books and enjoyed them all but DEADLINE was my favorite. He very wonderfully talks about issues that we face today in an America of the politically correct; the New Age America (even though it was published in '94). The story line is actually quite incidental to the great truths he presents. The main character is an opinion columnist for a local newspaper so he (Randy) has a perfect opportunity to give great teachings, great arguements if you will, against the new age philosophies of today as you read the column Jake, the main character, is writing for the day. I'd give my eye teeth to see articles like these in the newpaper but I think they will only be seen in fiction novels! He is a huge fan of and is incredibly influenced by and imitates the writings of C.S. Lewis. LORD FOULGRIN'S LETTERS is a modern day version of C.S. Lewis's SCREWTAPE LETTERS. He owns up to this fact without apology in the introduction. He is also, obviously, a John Bunyan fan because his book EDGE OF ETERNITY is a modern day PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. I enjoyed that book very much as well. It is full of great spiritual truths.
on January 26, 2001
This is one of the best christian fiction books I have ever read!!! I am an avid fan of Randy Alcorn and have read most of his novels, but this by far is my favorite!! This book not only tells the story of a friendship between three adult males (one a believer- one a non-believer- and one who is undecided) each one with very different personalities and occupations from one another, but it accompolishes three very important things. First, it paints a very unique and fresh view of heaven. If you have ever wondered what we (believers in Christ) are going to do once we get there, this book paints a picture of beautiful scenery, and fun and enjoyable activities. Secondly, this book paints a realistic view of hell. It reminds the reader of the often overlooked and disbelieved fact that once one goes to hell, the pain and anguish is eternal and forever! You can not go back and change your mind if you die as a non-believer. You go to hell - and live the rest of your eternity in terror, torment, agony, and distress - plain and simple. Thirdly, and most importantly, Alcorn's novels (this one and especially "Edge of Eternity") remind us that our time on earth is simply "a test." Our real life, our eternal life, begins after death. What we do on earth, determines where and how we will spend our eternity. We must take this short life that we are given on earth very seriously and choose who we will serve and where we will spend our eternity. Give this book to an unsaved friend. Change their life!
on February 22, 2000
This book took me a while to get into...but it's also taken me longer to forget. On the one hand, Alcorn paints a more realistic view of life than Christian novels often do; on the other hand, it dives deeply into thought-provoking--sometimes contrived--discourse. I appreciated the transformation of the characters through the story, and found myself looking forward to more in the next book, "Dominion." Alcorn seeks to deliver a message through his fiction, and he succeeds. At times, the story takes a backseat to the message, but he manages to gather the plot threads back together before they fray into thinly veiled sermons. For any readers put off by this book's length, try Alcorn's "Edge of Eternity." It's a shorter, powerful allegory of the road to Jesus, a modern Pilgrim's Progress, except this time the Pilgrim isn't quite sure where he's headed. Don't try to read "Deadline" with any deadlines--spend time with it and absorb it. It might seep deeper than you think.
on August 2, 2000
Being a Christian is hard enough in todays' enlightened world with its new age movement, constant secular evolutionist "truths" and the incessant verbal, and sometimes physical, attacks against ideas and beliefs held most dear. Randy Alcorn walks the reader through a complex, yet very plausible, murder mystery while providing Christian models for everyday behavior. He approaches quite of few of today's issues with grace and style without swerving in his convictions. He provides insightful views of the afterlife to include that of an active productive joyful heaven where learning and growth never cease to the contrasting hell as the complete absence of God. The characters are believable and filled with life - suffering from everyday troubles and trials. The ending will move you and you will have a difficult time forgetting this novel. I have purchased over twenty copies as gifts for non-Christian friends because this book will change your life.
on July 28, 2003
I first became aware of Randy Alcorn through his tremendous fiction book "Lord Foulgrin's Letters" (another "must have" book). When it came time for me to buy some more Christian fiction books, "Deadline" was one of the first ones I bought.
"Deadline" is like no Christian book I have ever read. Instead of just telling us a fictional story about fictional characters, Randy Alcorn has also included a glimpse into what scripture says Heaven will be like (yes, the scenes themselves are ficitonal in nature, but they are based on scriptures). Instead of waiting until the end of the book to share a few words about God to the readers, Randy Alcorn has incorporated the sermon into the story. While this will turn a lot of readers off, it makes for a very engrossing story.
If you like Christian fiction books that will challenge you to think, then this is a great book for you.
on October 11, 1999
No doubt, Deadline was one of the most captivating works of Christian fiction I've ever had the pleasure of reading. The glimpes of afterlife, both in Heaven and Hell, were well researched and, therefore, very believable. Alcorn made me look forward more to heaven than I ever have before. He handles the subject of eternity with ease and yet the descriptions and details are handled with care and thoughtfulness. I look forward to reading his second book and hope there is more to come. I recommend this great story to anyone who wonders about the reality of heaven, or anyone who just wants to read a refreshing, clean, realistic and believable story that is tough to put down. Great read! A wonderful Christ-centered account of life and death. I WANT MORE!!!!