Trust God for a future home that will be truly (and amazingly!) Even Better than Eden.

God Has a Bigger and Better Story for You

We are a story-telling family, composing on-the-spot homespun tales, filling up the long minutes of road trips with audio books, laughing together over replays from crazy conversations, and delighting in glory-moments together after the fact. As our family continually rotates in wider orbits, stories have become the fibers that connect us, that keep us known to one other.

I’m grateful that all our story threads are woven into the fabric of the huge over-arching narrative found in the pages of Scripture. This once-upon-a-time-that-really-happened got its start in the mind of God, but the plot first hunkered down in the idyllic setting of Eden. Nancy Guthrie picked up her pen, gathered up the tangled threads of that story set in a garden, and she moves forward in hope through the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan in her latest book, Even Better than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything about Your Story

On her meandering way from the thunderous God-force of creation to the end of the ages, she shares stunning truth about “what the original garden has to show us about the more secure, more satisfying, and more glorious garden we’re destined to live in forever, which will be even better than Eden.” (14) It’s easy to forget that Eden was born out of an uninhabitable wasteland on a planet that was “formless and empty.”

  • Guthrie follows this story of wilderness through the Old Testament and the wanderings of the discontented Israelites, the ruins of Jerusalem after Nebuchadnezzar’s armies had had their way, and into the New Testament where Jesus passed His wilderness testing and Paul lived pinned down by a thorn in the flesh, but found contentment in his spiritual wilderness;
  • Then, there’s the story of the tree, a symbol from Genesis to Revelation that pops up in the appearance of the lampstands in the Tabernacle and in prophetic symbolism. By grace, we are invited to find our way to the tree of life by way of Calvary’s tree;
  • The story of God’s image is full of hope, for though it was marred, it was flawlessly revealed in Christ and will ultimately be restored in us;
  • The story of clothing begins with God providing for Adam and Eve with love and tenderness that points to the truth that one day we will be beautifully clothed in “the greater glory Adam and Eve forfeited” (70);
  • The story of the Bridegroom features Eve as the original bride in the very first wedding conducted by God which went terribly wrong. That pain resonated throughout Israel’s history, but the ruined bride will one day be restored and presented to God’s Son, the second Adam’
  • The story of sabbath began before there was Law and remains as God’s gift;
  • The story of offspring unpacks Psalm 91 within the greater context of God’s sovereignty over evil and the “Offspring of the Woman” (Jesus) who will put an end to evil once and for all;
  • The story of a dwelling place assures believers of God’s intention to make His home with us–an intention that cannot be thwarted even by our own fumbling and fluctuating intention to cling to Him. The tabernacle, the temple, and God’s indwelling Spirit all bear witness to His zeal and devotion;
  • Finally, the story of the city reveals that all of Scripture points toward the story of two cities– “the city of man and the city of God. And what matters most about your story is which city you have made your home.”

Nancy Guthrie renders biblical theology with beauty and a depth of emotion that motivates me to become a better learner, and a more passionate student of Scripture and observer of life. A firm grasp on the gospel-oriented-big-picture of the Bible’s 66 books will change the way you read. God takes a long view of goodness and hope, and his promises for our welfare point to a life that exponentially transcends the three-score-and-ten we fixate upon.

A good foundation in biblical theology also impacts on the way we pray.  For example, God’s promise of protection in Psalm 91 is not the lucky-rabbit’s foot that means our children will “never face danger or death in this life. But [rather that God] has promised to gather his own to himself, where he will protect them from ultimate and eternal harm.”

Following the threads of these nine stories reinforced my understanding of God as both transcendent and relational. Finding myself within the context of His desires for me — a hope that far exceeds my own aspirations for myself and those I love — opens my eyes to the beauty of struggle and the redemptive nature of waiting as we fix our eyes upon the unseen, and trust God for a future home that will be truly (and amazingly!) even better than Eden.


Many thanks to Crossway for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.

Grace and peace to you,

I  am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you should decide to purchase Even Better than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything about Your Storysimply click on the title (or the image) within the text, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

54 thoughts on “God Has a Bigger and Better Story for You”

  1. Michele, WOW! What a wonderful review of this powerful new book! I love this quote from your review, “A good foundation in biblical theology also impacts on the way we pray. For example, God’s promise of protection in Psalm 91 is not the lucky-rabbit’s foot that means our children will “never face danger or death in this life. But [rather that God] has promised to gather his own to himself, where he will protect them from ultimate and eternal harm.” Amen! Many blessings to you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Psalm 91 is one of my favorite go-to’s and it’s so helpful to me when I read insights that help me to interpret God’s promises in the correct way. As John Piper has said, the Old Testament is for us too, but we do have to understand the intent of the speaker/writer.

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  2. I do believe, Michele, that one day if you visit me in Ohio, you will find a shelf of books labeled “Michele’s goodies” from all the books you encourage me to read by your reviews! Thanks as always!

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  3. I have loved Nancy’s books that I have read. This sounds like another great one. Lately I keep coming across this theme of keeping the overarching story of the Bible in mind as a whole and reading the individual stories as part of the main one. Just from your description, I love how Nancy has done that.

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  4. Hi Michele, This sounds like an awesome read!

    I always appreciate your reviews so much because I get such a sense of the book beforehand.

    Thanks so much for faithfully sharing such great book reviews!

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  5. It is so important to consider all 66 books of the Bible, Michele, instead of picking and choosing things out of context to suit us. It sounds like this author has taken a big picture view, that is often lacking. The promise of all things being made new is hard to keep sight of in a broken and hurting world, but it is what we Christians cling to in order to keep our faith. And now I have another book I want to read thanks to you!

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    1. I’ve even become a little surly with curriculum providers who write Sunday School lessons like popcorn for our kids: one week it’s Moses in the bullrushes and the next week it’s Peter escaping from a Roman prison. Yes, they both might be good lessons to teach about prayer or some other topic, but can we please anchor our kids in the big picture??
      I hope you get time to enjoy Nancy’s book. And I hope your concussion healing is nearly accomplished!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it is the same thing in the pulpit, Michele. Churches are afraid that part of the message might turn someone off. Even our lectionary deletes certain passages that might not fit in with our ‘feel good’ culture. And then we get into trouble with hypocrisy when our actions don’t match our faith. Is it any wonder? We don’t even know what it is! I am doing much better with very little residual from the concussion – only an occasional dizzy spell. The experience made me take stock of my life, and contributed to my decision to retire. My last day of work is 11/2 and I’m very excited about it! More time to read and write!

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  6. This review reminded me of the study “Seamless” by Angie Smith which goes through each of the books of the Bible. It is amazing to consider the story of God woven down through the ages. Yes, another one to add to my ever growing list!

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  7. What a wonderful observation – every family does have their often-repeated stories, don’t we? I love my families stories that have been told over and over again, polished to a high shine through all of the re-tellings. Great way to begin the post!

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  8. Wow, this looks like such an important book! I love that list of 9 stories. What creativity and insight!

    And Michele, your first paragraph makes me smile this morning. Family story truly is a force that binds us together! Comforting thought to me as I’m just now waking up to the reality that my daughter has gone to school in South Carolina. (I just had a “horrifying” thought: “What if she stays there after college?” 🙂 ) So your first paragraph reassures.

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    1. Oh, goodness, distance is such a heartache when our kids leave the nest. I’m glad this post was helpful in that way.
      And I have to say that every single chapter of this book with its 9 stories beginning in the garden just blew me away. So engaging and so insightful.

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  9. About that rabbit foot, someone asked a question, one time – how much luck can a rabbit foot bring? The rabbit had four, and look what happened to it! Thanks for this review Michele. I just wonder how that day would be when Jesus perfects His promise and takes us home. Blessings to you!

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  10. Michele, this sounds like a deep read. The way Nancy shared the parallels between here and heaven sound amazing. The thought that stopped me was what you wrote about how, before the garden, this planet was formless and void. Perhaps for the first time, I saw our planet like the others in our solar system. Though not necessarily formless now, they are void of life. Life comes through God’s breath, doesn’t it?

    I’ll be pondering that today.

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  11. Sounds like a great book! It’s interesting how she wove all the strands of her story starting at Eden. I have really never considered the garden of Eden as much as the garden of Gethsemane … but both had vital roles to play in His story.

    I’m very curious where you find time to read as much as you do along with all your other activities. I’m in awe!

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    1. I’m glad so many authors are now underscoring the importance of viewing the biblical narrative as one big story. And the garden of Gethsemane (and what followed) assures us of a future in a place even better than Eden’s garden.
      Thanks for taking time to read and react!

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  12. Your first paragraph reminded me of my actual family. Have you been hanging in on some of those storytelling evenings? You talked about book this in such an enticing way I want to read this book. You have such a good way of describing books.

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    1. I’m also listening to her podcast episode that features a presentation she made at the Gospel Coalition Women’s conference and it deals with the content of the book. I’m LOVING the review.

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