Sometimes you might think that Satan is attacking the Bible in book-chapter-verse order. It might take him a while to accomplish his purpose as there still is a remnant who believe and are willing to fight for the veracity of the Scriptures. But, eventually he gets a foot in the door and that’s all he requires. Case in point Satan has already had widespread success in his attack on Genesis 1 and 2 with the attack coming from both outside and inside the walls of the church. Once Satan slithered through the doors of the church in his attack on Genesis 1 and 2, he began on the next chapter – Genesis 3. What about this whole incident in the garden? Did it really happen? Were Adam and Eve real people? And whoever heard of a talking serpent?
These issues (well, almost all of them) are what this volume engages. What Happened in the Garden: The Reality and Ramifications of the Creation and Fall of Man is a scholarly, technical defense of Genesis 3. The book consists of a series of focused essays that is divided into three parts: 1. Reality of Genesis 2-3, 2. Theological Ramifications of the Creation and Fall, and 3. Worldview Ramifications of the Creation and Fall. The volume is edited by Abner Chou, professor of biblical studies at The Master’s College and Seminary and published by Kregel Academic. The contributors are all experts in their various fields.
Chou readily admits that the content of the essays is technical by demand but that there was an attempt to make the material understandable to the lay reader by placing “technical detail in the footnotes.” Unfortunately, this goal had limited success. Virtually all of the essays contain various amounts of technical detail. But that is not to infer that the lay reader cannot digest the material. All of it is well-written and all of the arguments are presented logically. The technicality of the book is its nature. Each essay is specialized.
For example, if one is scientifically minded, Taylor B. Jones’ contribution entitled “Thermodynamics and the Fall – How the Curse Changed Our World” is a moderately technical examination of how the laws of thermodynamics were affected by what happened in Genesis 3. It will appeal to the science buff. Jo Suzuki engages the gender debate. John MacArthur provides the concluding chapter “A Sin of Historic Proportions,” one that will be liked by theologians and Bible students.
Bottom line: Regardless of your field of study or expertise, if you have even a passing interest in Genesis 3 and the importance of its literal interpretation, I would recommend that you examine this book even if you concentrated on the essays that attract your interest.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by Kregel Publications for a fair and honest review.