From the Garden of Eden to the glory of heaven
J. R. Williamson
Calvary Press Publishing; 240 pages; £12; ISBN: 978-187973-761-7
As a pastor it is not uncommon for me to be asked, ‘How does the Bible fit together?’ From home study groups, I am sometimes sent questions about the ‘big picture’ of salvation; individuals ask me, ‘What book can I read to help me understand how Scripture works?’
I was therefore intrigued, and delighted to be presented with this book to review. If you wish to see both the ‘wood’ and the ‘trees’ of Scripture’s message of salvation, then this will help you do it.
The book’s claim is that it gives a full picture of how the world moved from the wonder of Eden into a situation where the glory of heaven seemed far away, and then became available to all through salvation in Christ.
On the back cover the book says, ‘Discover God’s unfolding plan of salvation’, and it does enable the reader to do this. It outlines and details man’s true condition before God and why we need Jesus Christ.
It admirably explains the path from sin to salvation, showing how God moves us from one to the other by means of his covenants. Although this may be found to be a challenging read, it is certainly worth it. I would encourage readers to persist and allow it to stretch you spiritually and intellectually, because its spiritual value is more than worth the effort.
The book clearly comes from an evangelical perspective, basing all it says on scriptural teaching. Towards the end, the author’s Baptist views briefly become obvious, but this should not put off anyone of a paedobaptist position.
The author’s explanation about the make-up of the true church of Christ is excellent, and his decision not to assume knowledge on the part of readers but explain everything carefully is useful.
The final chapters on practical Christianity in view of the covenants should prove helpful to pastors and church members alike.