4 out of 4 stars
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Who Told You That You Were Naked? A Refreshing Reexamination of the Garden of Eden by William E. Combs (an ordained Presbyterian minister) is a personal narrative that offers a thorough insight into the basics of Christianity beginning with the first book of the Bible (Genesis), and the domino effects that followed The Fall of mankind through original sin. After adding a tangible existence to what life was like for Adam and Eve in the Garden, Combs leads the reader through nine supplementary chapters, covering popular topics with an extremely in-depth approach including: the concept of faith, Christ’s perfect sacrifice, God’s past and present communication with His followers, human suffering, and eternal salvation (to name a few). Amazingly, this author can tie the information presented in his work back to the book of Genesis whereas the first act of disobedience occurred in The Garden of Eden. Additionally, the reader will get a good concentration of Scripture, this pastor’s personal testimonies, and many references to Paul’s teachings as well as other eye-witness apostles who observed the foundational times in the development of Christianity, which help further explain key points.
Coming from a Protestant background, I enjoyed the book since Combs did not attempt to change the written word of God; all the points made throughout this work came from the Bible’s original text. I believe that in many contemporary Christian teachings, numerous preachers attempt to create a “feel-good” ministry, stretching parts of the Bible to fit into an interpretation that may or may not be true. Combs adhered to the facts offering his theologian expertise rather than debatable opinions. Also, at the end of every chapter is a list of comprehension questions. I found this feature especially helpful (given the fact that there is an abundant amount of information) as I could use the quiz as a guide to make sure I was retaining and understanding the main ideas.
Although there was a plethora of characteristics about the book I did enjoy, there were a couple of aspects that did not sustain my interest. Given the fact that this work is very extensive, I would have preferred the chapters have specific titles relevant to their content for ease of reference. In addition, this piece of literature is not structured in a Biblical chronology, but rather tends to jump sporadically, making it hard to follow at times.
Obviously, individuals who may enjoy reading this book include fellow members of the Protestant faith (including ordained ministers) who seek a deeper understanding of the Word. Also, those who desire to know more about the nature of good and evil, the relevance of original sin, and what it means today (past, present, future) would benefit from this author’s philosophies. Perhaps, non-Christian faiths (Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc.) who have curiosity regarding the vastness of Christianity would find these ideas helpful. Most likely, any individual who has not yet accepted Christ, but has an interest in the faith would benefit from this book as it contains impressive spiritual connections, plus easy-to-follow steps for becoming a believer.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Combs takes an objective standpoint, letting scripture define scripture, rather than preacher defining scripture. Additionally, the author resorts to Biblical truths, referring to concepts concealed in the Old Testament which are, in turn, revealed in the New Testament. After reading this book (and having prior Biblical knowledge), even I was able to view some aspects of the Bible in a new “Light”—no pun intended.
Who Told You That You Were Naked?
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