3 out of 4 stars
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Killing Abel is a historical Christian fiction novel by Michael Tieman. It explores the Genesis story from the fall of man till the flood with the author taking liberties as to how he thinks it could have happened by filling in the blanks.
God has created for himself two adult children that can procreate. Their names are Adam and Eve. They are only a few days old. They live in a paradise of a garden called Eden. Among many fruit trees in the garden are two significant trees. The fruit of one tree is forbidden while the other is ignored. There's an envious and deceptive Angel who can transform into a serpent in the garden as well. Instead of ministering to the couple, this Angel known as Lucifer decides to manipulate Eve. Through her, he can get to Adam. Then the family that God wanted will belong to Lucifer. What will God as a loving Father do to salvage his relationship with his children?
The author Michael Tieman is a Christian father of three children. He wrote the book not as a theologian but as another father telling the story of God as a loving Father. He creatively tells the story in the third person citing Bible passages where necessary. His writing is clear and easy to understand.
The story does contain the main Bible characters such as Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel. However, it also includes Eva among others who are not mentioned in the Bible. She is one of the many daughters of Adam and Eve. What I didn't expect to find was the author not only revealing God's speech as it is written in the Bible but the thoughts, discussions and feelings of the triune Godhead. Adam is seen as burdened and thoughtful over his guilt due to the rebellion. He grows as he finds peace with God and his purpose as a husband and father. Eve is seen to have feminist thinking after God's curse. As a parent, she loves her children and is ready to see them happy with whatever they desire. Eva is obsessed with her parents having a son, for her marry. Cain is arrogant, selfish and lives for himself. Abel is caring and desires to follow God.
The book is 369 pages long and has 15 chapters. The one I downloaded had 347 pages. Although it is well-formatted, its table of contents could do with some editing. It was a little difficult to tell the chapters from the sub-chapters. It is an interesting read given that the author was creative. However, I did not find it believable and wanted to stop reading it many times.
While I do enjoy reading Christian fiction and was keen to read this book, I did not enjoy it. I did not like the fact that God is not portrayed as Omniscient or even Omnipresent. The creator of the universe has to study his creation to know and understand it. God can see what takes place on earth but looks away when Adam and Eve kiss. In trying to show God as a loving father, the author limited God into thinking like a human father. The book is full of surprises with some changes to the original story. One is bound to query one's knowledge of the scriptures. Unfortunately, the book can also be misleading. The book also contains some inconsistencies. One such inconsistency is that Eve was seven days old at the time of the rebellion (page 15 line 4). Later on, as Adam remembers the rebellion, he says that he was only six days old (page 227 line 18).
This book is rated 3 out of 4 stars. I removed one star for the inconsistencies as well as the portrayal of God. The book does contain sex scenes most of which are behind closed doors. I am afraid that I can not recommend this book to anyone. Firstly, I do not agree with the authors' portrayal of God. Secondly, I do not want anyone to be misled by it even if it is fiction.
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