Monday, March 15, 2021

Even Better Than Eden

Even Better than Eden, Nancy Guthrie 

I have spent a few months in this excellent book of Nancy Guthrie’s, which follows different themes through the bible, exploring each from creation to new creation, seeing how they are fulfilled in Christ.

Having previously enjoyed many of Guthrie’s devotional materials (for parents, Easter and Christmas) and her book on grief, I was keen to turn to this thematic biblical theology. She is a skilled biblical exegete and writer, and excels at applying the bible to our lives today.

The nine themes explored are:
  • wilderness 
  • the tree 
  • His image 
  • clothing 
  • the Bridegroom 
  • Sabbath 
  • offspring 
  • a dwelling place 
  • the city 
If you haven’t spent much time exploring these themes in the bible, there is much to discover. Many will find Guthrie’s links from creation through exodus and exile, to Jesus, culminating in the new creation, to be eye-opening and insightful. I think that even those who are quite familiar with the bible and how these themes grow, adapt and are fulfilled will be encouraged and see links they not have before. That was certainly my experience. If the whole idea of exploring the bible through a theme is unfamiliar to you and you would like to explore how to do it yourself, CrossTalk by Michael Emlet would be a good place to start.

I realised quickly that using her Personal Bible Study notes to go along with it would be worthwhile, so paid $3 on her website to access a copy. I worked through each study over a few days and found that when I then read the relevant chapter it gave it even more clarity.

Because I was using this in my own personal devotion, I didn’t note many quotes, just these from the first chapter on wilderness:
"God sees the emptiness in your life as his greatest opportunity, because God does his best work with empty as he fills it with himself."
"Do you think, perhaps, that God has let you hunger for whatever it is you are so hungry for so that you might become more desperate for him, more convinced that he is the source of what will fill you up? Might want to retrain your appetites, redirecting them away from this world, this life, even this age, so that your anticipation of the age to come might begin to shape your perspective on whatever it is you lack?"
If you want a taste, have a look at her website, where you can download the introduction and first chapter.

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