I find it hard to describe this book. It is part personal memoir of the gospel in Bryant's life. It is part an exploration of the gospel with frequent penetrating insights. It is sometimes eloquent yet sometimes rambling. It is sometimes reality and sometimes imagination.
Bryant has taken the title from the experience of Peter on the night Jesus was arrested. He makes a distinction between the experience of Peter after the first crow and the second. That first crow found Peter warming himself. This, Bryant says, is the time we are in. It is a time of familiarity, worldliness, getting by, chores, and provision. When the second crow is heard, it becomes a time of shame, realization, loss, despair, and weeping.
Bryant takes us through an overview of the gospel. He writes about creation, the fall, various events from the Old Testament, the life and death of Jesus and what it has brought us.
Like Peter, we have fallen short but forgiveness, restoration and a new path is available. The rooster has crowed once. It is time for us to make a decision.
Bryant shares many of his own experiences and visions as well as his own understanding of the gospel. He quotes at length from a number of authors, such as Plantinga, Lewis, and Keller. He has placed text boxes of the relevant Scriptures on each page.
While this book is popular with many, I was not particularly moved by it. Perhaps because I am a seasoned Christian and have over the years worked out my own understanding of the gospel. I think this book might be better appreciated by a very new Christian or by someone who is not a Christian but is willing to read about one man's thoughts on it.
At times I felt Bryant was just a little too personal in his writing. An example from his writing about belief: “I've paved the road thus far, and honestly, I'm exhausted. I thought the end of this topic was just ahead, but now I realize...” (140) Was the fact that he was exhausted really something I, the reader, needed to know? What purpose did it serve?
So I have some mixed feelings about this book. The book came out of a Sunday School class Bryant taught. You can listen to the relevant session at www.fullporchpress.com. Listening to the recording will give you a taste of Bryant's rambling writing style too. You can also download a free sample of the book there.
Bryant Cornett is a commercial real estate broker. He and his wife have three children and live in Atlanta.
Carpenter's Son Publishing, 208 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Book Group Network for the purpose of this review.