4 out of 4 stars
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Who Told You That You Were Naked: A Refreshing Re-examination of the Garden of Eden by William E Combs is a novel on Christian Faith. Just to share a bit of William’s history to understand the development of the chapters in this book. The author holds a master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary, a bachelor's degree in maths and in music from Alaska Methodist University. He is passionate about creativity and his Ministry on God. He loves giving artistic views when teaching. This novel is a perfect illustration of his creativity and teachings interwoven into some sort of a review style novel. The author challenges his readers to review their faith by actively reviewing some bible verses in context, as well as some translations that have helped with leading the church astray. I loved this way of writing.
A small introductory story about William walking in the woods as a kid gets the reader geared up and lights up imagery senses. It leads us to Adam and Eve discovering their nakedness in the Garden of Eden. He uses his gas-lit lamp as an emogasis to a Christians walk which needs faith and light. The walk that Moses, Abraham, and Paul walked. Paul was used by the author as a very enlightened person who knew about the ‘waging war' within his body that caused him to sin. Sin in this novel is explained as a mere act of lack of faith which does lead to (together with many factors) physical death. Sin is not as taboo as people have been taught it is, and that because of these extremities of judgment, we have led ourselves to have unthinkable actions (such as murders) that started when Cain killed his brother Abel.
I love how the author gave the verses a fresh perspective. we get that when Adam and Eve ate the Apple and realized that they were naked, human-like issues arouse as we know them today. The feelings of’ ‘nakedness’. A perspective anyone hardly thought of. Furthermore, we learn that we are godlike as beings but not in nature, only Jesus was a complete God incarnate. As humans, we started experiencing relational and spiritual death when Adam and Eve realized they were naked and were ashamed. God asked a very critical question “Who told you that you were naked?”. Jesus, being a complete God incarnate was the only seed that was born with this knowledge of good and evil and who also did not experience relational and spiritual death like the rest of us. We experience this daily. The author reviews events that led to the judgment that solely stemmed from the feeling of nakedness. The author also warns us of having ‘false faith' and uses models of faith such as the leper and the centurion (from the bible). The underlying message of hope the author gives with the reviews and re-examination is that we should look at ourselves the way God sees us and to look at everything else the way God sees it. It's then that we begin the true, pure walk in faith.
I loved the empathetic tale-telling style. The book has a poetic feel especially with the quoting of verses and how each chapter is themed. For example, chapter 8 has titles like; "Deny Your Self", "Take Up Your Cross", "Follow Me". The book flows well and is very consistently and immaculately delivered. The complexities of this book cannot be undermined by merely looking at the title. As a Christian with unlimited beliefs, the book had a very familiar feel to it but some sentiments were completely limited. For example, I do not believe that Jesus is the only way to God. I only spotted one spelling error on page 15. I give the book 4 out of 4 stars and also commend the engaging style of writing. There are questions at the end of each chapter and endnotes at the end of the book. Readers from all walks of Faith, seekers, students, Christians, librarians, teachers, preachers, and the likes can get a hold of this book for an array of reasons.
Who Told You That You Were Naked?
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