Nancy Guthrie, Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything about Your Story (Crossway, 2018)

Have you ever heard that there is a precious golden thread that connects the biblical stories?  This is precisely what Nancy Guthrie points out in “Even Better than Eden“.  The book approaches the Bible from “In the beginning…” (Genesis) to “…the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.  Amen” (Revelation) not as a collection of biblical stories but instead, one storyline centred in the person and work of Christ connected by nine “golden threads” (themes).

Guthrie presents in each chapter a different theme. For example, Chapter 1 The Story of the Wilderness, Tree, His Image, Clothing, Bridegroom, Sabbath, Offspring, Dwelling Place and finally, City. As such, she tells the Bible’s entire story of redemption helping us to see the beauty of Christ, His sufficiency, and our need of Him from many different angles.  It leads us to understand rightly what God wants to communicate concerning Creation, Fall, Redemption and Consummation.

The title of the book, “Even better than Eden”, refers to that, the garden of Eden was never meant to be an end in itself.  God always meant to head His creation to a glorious consummation.  Even if in the beginning Adam had have obeyed God, and the fall didn’t happen, the presence of the Tree of Life in the garden leads us to an understanding that there was more to come! 

Guthrie’s book encourages greater Biblical literacy – a much needed encouragement for today for it is something which is increasingly lacking. It encourages a sound and deeper understanding of this redemptive story, centred in the work and person of Christ that leads to a change in our mindset and worldview, redirecting our thoughts, deeds, priorities and desires towards God.

Guthrie’s book is a work of biblical theology written in simple language, easy to read and understand.  It is an excellent teaching of the Bible as a whole, the redemptive and saving purpose of God, deepening our love for God as we gain sound knowledge that leads us to live full lives. In the words of A. W. Tozer “And it is a well-known law of the spiritual life that our love for God will spring up and flourish just as our knowledge of Him increases. To know Him is to love Him, and to know Him better is to love Him more”.

I highly recommend this book.  It is very worthwhile to learn more about God’s plan for us, His creation, and His purpose for the future.  Or, as Guthrie says: “to see how our lives can be changed through this incredible story”. 

Cristiane Baker
Worships at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Hobart.

Buy Even Better Than Eden from Reformers Bookshop.