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!

Review: Christian Ethics: Biblical Moral Reasoning by Wayne Grudem

Christian Ethics is a complicated subject to tackle. Well, I say complicated, in some ways it is pretty straight forward. But ethics are what fall out of a whole Bible theology; and therefore, are affected by the way you put together the Bible. So the challenge is to put together an ethical standard that is consistent and as Biblically centred as is possible.

To this challenge, Wayne Grudem steps up with his book on Christian Ethics. I’ve been looking forward to this book coming out ever since I first listened to recordings of his Sunday School class on the topic a few years ago. At that point he kept pointing back to Frame, but you just knew he would publish his own after a little while. Read More

Review: Archaeology Study Bible (ESV)

‘History is foundational to the worldview presented in Scripture’. As we read the Bible we need to know that it’s contents were written to a specific people at a specific time. Therefore we need to ‘go to Corinth’ – to understand what the original readers would have thought – before we apply truths to ourselves. This is where Crossway’s Archaeology Study Bible aims to help.

As famed Biblical archeologist David E. Graves says, archaeology is not a ‘proof’ for the Bible. Instead it should inform our exegesis. This is why I was excited to hear about Crossway’s latest study bible. And why I was even more excited they offered me a copy to review!

So let me take you on a tour… Read More

Review: Light in a Dark Place – The Doctrine of Scripture

Light in a Dark Place is the latest entry in Crossway’s ‘Foundations of Evangelical Theology’. This has been a great series of systematic theology over the past few years, with each volume tackling a foundational aspect of theology.

In the latest volume, the editor of the series, John Feinberg turns the focus on to another foundation – the doctrine of Scripture. This book could not have come at a better time, both personally where I have been completing studies in the doctrine at college, and in society where society seems to be scraping around in the darkness looking for the light of truth.

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Review: Echoes of Exodus

When you think of the Exodus, what do you think of? For me I still have Dreamwork’s ‘Prince of Egypt’ jumping to the front of my mind. The authors of ‘Echoes of Exodus’ tell us we must think bigger than that.

In fact, we should think of the Exodus as fundamental to our understanding of the Bible. We should be seeing the echoes all over the place. God’s plan is about saving a people from slavery to freedom, and that applied physically to the Israelite nation in the book of Exodus, as well as to people today. The authors go on to explain that what we really need is ‘true freedom’.

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Review: Theistic Evolution

In ‘Theistic Evolution’, Crossway has gathered together a broad range of experts, both scientific and theological, to discuss the topic that titles this book.

The idea that evolution is scientifically accurate appears to have become a commonplace idea in today’s world. Part of this comes from confusion over what the term actually means. This has led Christians to react generally in two ways: either condemning science as a discipline and relying on faith alone, or saying that God uses evolution somehow in his design process (theistic evolution). This book points out the grave errors in this mindset, although they readily admit that “‘Theistic evolution’ can mean different things to different people largely because the term ‘evolution; itself has several distinct meanings.” Read More