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Review by Uinto -- Who Told You That You Were Naked?

Posted: 19 May 2019, 20:11
by Uinto
[Following is a volunteer review of "Who Told You That You Were Naked?" by William Combs.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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I found the book Who Told You That You Were Naked? A Refreshing Reexamination of the Garden of Eden by William E. Combs providing me with new insights into previously read passages of the Holy Bible. Divided into ten chapters, the 138-page book provides a firm foundation for the understanding of Scriptures. Apart from the informative and referenced content, Mr. Combs does this by providing questions at the end of each chapter, which tests on comprehension of what has just been read.

Adam is out strolling by the riverbank with nothing particularly on his mind, except, maybe, to enjoy the serene sights and sounds of his new habitation. Ever since God showed him his image reflected on a pool, he’s been dying to show another a similar sight. And enjoy in the other’s face, that exhilarating feel he got when he first saw his image cast on the water. However, for now, he’s not found anyone yet, but nevertheless, he remains hopeful.

Amidst a candid tone and with anecdotes peppered throughout this non-fiction book, I hardly found time to be bored. Not all, even so, are excerpts of Scriptures; some are Mr. Combs own stories that reflect his and his wife’s family background, life’s challenges, and testimonies, up to and beyond the time he became a Presbyterian minister.

Based on an event in the Garden of Eden, I found the themes built upon the knowledge of good and evil inspiring. Indeed, after this event, Adam and Eve, and by extension, all humanity, acquired this intellect that was not there at the moment of creation. It’s the knowledge that, nevertheless, enslaves us to the law of sin and death (relational and spiritual death). Mr. Combs examines how faith in Jesus Christ, “the only Son of Adam who lived a life unimpeded by the destructive consequences of this intellectual capacity,” works to redeem us from hopelessness.

Quoting from Scripture, as he does quite often, Mr. Combs asserts faith—a spiritual beginning known as being born again—is so important that “even the smallest amount of faith would uproot a mulberry tree and plant it in the sea.” To the contrary, though, the Christian Gospel has lost a lot of relevance in our society today because the vast majority don’t see themselves as “sinners”; something Mr. Combs addresses by giving appropriate quotes from the book of Romans which contrasts the Spirit of life with the law of sin and death.

Other discussions I found compelling include the three ways the Lord uses to assist us in our relationship with Him. This is sure to comfort and encourage those who suffer on account of following the Lord, as he promises to always be available amid every exasperating situation. Furthermore, the Scriptures teach that the Lord can and does offer His rest to those who are weary and believe as He did to Moses.

With a doctorate in Theology, Mr. Combs is convincing in interpreting and extrapolating Scripture. I learned and saw how the New Testament can help one understand the Old Testament (e.g., the initial chapters of Genesis can be interpreted based on Romans 5:12-21). As an academic, he draws and references from the works of other commentators of the Bible, such as John Calvin and Gottfried Quell. Moreover, in the light of the principles of Biblical interpretation (exegesis versus eisegesis), he illustrates that in an ancient language, such as Hebrew, a singular noun could at times be understood as plural depending on the context. In my opinion, this exposition was the only aspect of the book I found hard to grasp, and hence, I liked the least.

To the contrary, however, the anecdotes were my cup of tea and were what made the pace of the book leisurely to read. The number of editing errors I found, on the other hand, was a bit on the higher side to cause me to reduce the rating of this excellent book by a star. Some of the errors were on missing words in sentences and capitalization in the middle of a sentence. I would suggest another round of editing to clear this. I, therefore, rate the book 3 out of 4 stars.

I would recommend the book to all who want to (re)establish a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The tone of the book also speaks well to married couples whose relationship is mirrored to that of Christ and His bride—the church. Additionally, students of theology will also find treasure in-between the book's covers.

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Who Told You That You Were Naked?
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Re: Review by Uinto -- Who Told You That You Were Naked?

Posted: 31 May 2019, 06:19
by Wyland
I like the discussion on knowledge of good and evil. The book is relevant in our times because many think the concept is just arbitrary. Thanks for your review.