My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The one thing I know for sure about this book is that I need to read it again. This time, slower.

For most modern fiction readers, among whom the adjective “preachy” is an epithet in describing a novel, a book like this one will be most unwelcome. Numerous sermons appear in the story, sometimes taking several pages. And most of the dialogue is comprised of long, detailed theological discussions. For that reason, the story develops very slowly. It’s actually pretty boring in many places, to be honest.

On the other hand, for those who read fiction to be changed and to grow spiritually, this book is a gold mine. Much of the book is an apologetic against atheism. And MacDonald sets forth the arguments in far greater depth that is found today in most nonfiction apologetics texts. In fact, I think if most Christians were confronted with the arguments of the antagonists in the book, they would not be able to answer them.

The story is also peppered with countless spiritual insights that require the reader to set the book down to contemplate them if they are to be fully digested.