Review: Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything About Your Story by Nancy Guthrie

“Christ came to accomplish what was necessary to open the way for us, not just back into the garden of Eden, but into a home that will be even better than Eden and a life that will be even better than the life Adam and Eve enjoyed there.”

What is your story? Where would you begin? Maybe it’d be where you grew, where you went to school. Nancy Guthrie in ‘Even Better Than Eden’ wants you to start further back. She wants you to think of your story as part of the grand story – the story that begins in Eden.

Getting the church to understand the grand story of the Bible is something that Crossway have been trying to do now for a while. From books in the ‘shorter studies in Biblical Theology’, to ‘Echoes of Exodus’, and many others. I, for one, am really glad of this emphasis, so when I saw this book up for review, I jumped at it.

In this book Nancy traces 9 themes from Eden through the Bible story line. And these themes don’t leave you thinking ‘oh that was interesting’, but instead draw you into them – making you long for the ending that is better than Eden.

Structure

The nine themes that can be found in this book are:

  1. Wilderness
  2. The Tree
  3. His Image
  4. Clothing
  5. The Bridegroom
  6. Sabbath
  7. Offspring
  8. Dwelling Place
  9. The City

Each of these ‘stories’ begins in Eden, and progresses through to the new creation – the better than Eden. Along the way you’ll meet the different Bible characters, and see how the Bible really is one story. A hymn also ends each section, which I found adds more depth to the hymns which feel so familiar.

Nancy comes across as someone who you’d love to tell you a bedtime story, and her writing style will introduce those who would usually not open a theological tome to enter the world of Biblical Theology. She relates the stories to her own life, and in turn is then able to apply the themes in a way that you would not necessarily guess at the outset.

The book also offers discussion questions at the end, which would allow you to use the book in a reading group (Guthrie is also working on a video series to accompany the book). 

Summary

Even though I don’t fully agree with Nancy on all the specific theological points (Nancy would hold to a Presbyterian view, unlike myself), she does a great job at tracing the stories throughout the Bible. Reading this book will greatly challenge and encourage you by the storyline of Scripture that shines through the pages. I am all behind getting Biblical Theology into the hands of the masses, and this book does that job well.

We are about to begin a Bible Overview at our church in the next few months, and having a book like this in my library will help me to tie major themes together.

Thanks to Crossway for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book through their Blog Review Program.

Even Better Than Eden is out now in the UK!

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