Tuesday, May 20, 2008

[REV] From Eden to Exile

I was tickled pink to get a review copy of Eric Cline's From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible. Those who know me know that I'm not usually drawn to Biblical studies as a field, but I do like to know what is going on in a field that is important to any Christian theology. Cline did not let me down. This is an engaging read.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was Cline's project. He is not trying to shoulder up some agenda of proving or disproving the historicity of the Bible, rather he provides a frank look at the Biblical, extra-biblical and archeological evidence (or lack thereof) for several fascinating Biblical mysteries. These mysteries include such favourites as the location of Eden and Noah's ark, as well as finding the lost tribes of Israel. If you are looking for someone to tell you that there are clear answers for any of these mysteries you probably want a different book.

While the whole book is quite engaging and accessible, it was his concluding chapter that really shined. Here Cline urges us not to give up our various positions on the historicity of the various early Biblical accounts, but rather to take seriously all the data. To avoid speculating and going beyond the evidence. But remember that the Biblical narratives are about something more important than a verifiable history. "People read the Bible to find themselves in it, and many people don't just read the story, they live it." (p.185)

7 comments:

Hank said...

Hmmm. From the title I was expecting something else. Something along the lines of how ever since Eden, mankind has been living in a sort of self-imposed exile from their Creator. In fact, I base a sermon on two passages of Scripture; one, in Genesis 3 where Adam and Eve have sinned, and are hiding from God as He comes to visit. I focus on the question God asks: "Where are you?" and then move to Paul's letter to the Romans. Romans 3:23, the Today's English Version reads 'For all have sinned and are far away from God's saving presence (emphasis mine).' I may have to hijack that title sometime in relation to this sermon....

One of Freedom said...

Yeah this book isn't really even sermon prep material. Unless you like to preach sermons on that likeliness of ever finding Noah's ark! Its real boon is in updating the curious as to the actual state of such archeological searches and making us aware of the various wackier claims out there concerning these mysteries.

Michael Samson said...

Is the book available yet bro? Looks interesting!

One of Freedom said...

Dude, mine came with a note saying I should loan it out when I am done. You are more than welcome to borrow it.

Michael Samson said...

Very kind of you bro! Up for some coffe anytime soon?

One of Freedom said...

Next week is possible. I've a sick little girl this week.

Michael Samson said...

I know what that is like... Cherish the moments eh bro! Let me know when you have some time...

PAX