This highly rewarding work goes back to a time when theological discussion was not considered "heavy." It contains an inspirational treatment of the subject of conversion, and sees faith as creating fresh possibilities that can lead to great accomplishments. In modest, inspiring, but still powerful language, it puts forward many important ideas using a sensible, logical plan that helps the individual interact with God in his new-found spiritual life. As the title suggests, The New Birth views the concept of conversion as a momentous, singular event. Austin Phelps discusses the subject in relation to the subjects of guilt, self-respect, ritual, laws, mysticism, regeneration, the power of truth, the role of the preacher, and personal responsibility. Phelps strikes just the right balance of advice, admonition, dogma and social commentary. His writing is almost poetic, yet it is also steady, careful, straightforward and compelling. Although Phelps saw great value in the spreading of ideas through preaching, he perceived this form of address as more than a lecture; indeed, it was a kind of conversation, where people could stop to think, ask questions, and proceed to learn further. The author understood that the profundities of Christianity could not be laid out in a simple sermon; they need to be expounded upon with a great diligence and earnestness, in direct language that does not trivialize, but still maintains the purity of the fundamental concept.