4 out of 4 stars
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Who Told You That You Were Naked? by William E. Combs is a Christian-based book and an evocative re-telling of how humanity perceives sin, faith and salvation; these concepts are given a unique perspective by the author in explaining the true meaning of sin. An informative stroll through the Garden of Eden allows the reader a realistic insight into the lives of Adam and Eve where we witness their fall from grace and its effect on humanity today. The complexities of faith and redemption are analysed through a series of biblical texts and personal insight. Thought- provoking and profound, this book will leave the reader enthralled right up to the very last page.
I thoroughly enjoyed this enlightening book. The author, introduced as a young boy growing up in Alaska, recounts tales of his youth; I found particularly poignant the parallels drawn between his penlight guiding him on dark, winter walks and his own spiritual light, illuminating God’s words. The text is written in the first-person narrative with a fast, light and airy pace. The author’s knowledge of theology is impressive, no doubt drawing on his own experiences when he was a Minister of the Church. Reading the book evoked memories of my own Sunday School days and, even though the early chapters could be seen as a biblical study, I became engrossed in the dialog and realized it was so much more.
The reader follows the daily lives of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden whose characters were portrayed as pure and free from sin. We witness the beginning of humanity’s fall from grace when Eve is tempted to eat the forbidden fruit and the subsequent consequences of such an act. I enjoyed how the author incorporated the fig leaves into the narrative, giving it a realistic and humorous slant. There is a sense that God was disappointed with his creation rather than angry; I felt that as he could not destroy his greatest work, likewise he could not bear to see something which was no longer perfect. The author’s clever portrayal of how feelings of low self-esteem and jealousy can lead to irrational thoughts are highlighted in the struggles of Adam and Eve’s family, when banished from Eden. Fast-forward to present day and the reader is left to contemplate a legacy passed down through the centuries from humanity’s first family.
Subsequent chapters refer to true faith as the only way to salvation and I felt that the author was trying to convey the need to examine our own relationship with God. There are references to Christ, where examples of true faith are highlighted and attention is drawn to humanity’s own materialistic ways of covering up their insecurities. I was particularly impressed with the various creative stories, personal testimonies and highlighted biblical text, bringing a level of understanding to the topics discussed throughout the book. Delving into the original Hebrew and Greek of the texts not only provided a more accurate picture but also gave credence to the author’s claims. Ending each chapter was a series of study questions which were not only thought-provoking but allowed the reader to gain a better understanding of the author’s point of view. Highlighting biblical texts with reference to certain points made the book flow and had the added advantage of holding the reader’s attention.
Finalizing this spiritual walk of faith, the reader is given a deeper understanding of the many trials and tribulations that Christians face on a daily basis, and how difficult it can be to lead a life based on faith alone. The author’s inventive approach gives the reader a fresh look at how we should interpret sin, faith and salvation. His dialogue on creation and the nature of faith gives ample opportunity for thoughtful discussion by Christians and non-Christians alike.
I found this book to be incredibly insightful with valid points supported through biblical and scholarly references. On the downside, I felt that some of the author’s theories on the biblical text were pure speculation with very little evidence to back them up. Other than this, the book was an easy read that I would recommend for Christians and those with a particular interest in Christian history. I could not find any errors in the text and felt it was professionally edited. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars due to its profound and genuine message.
Who Told You That You Were Naked?
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