Between Two Trees
Our Transformation from Death to Life
by Shane J. Wood
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Pub Date 12 Feb 2019 | Archive Date 16 Jul 2019
Abilene Christian University Press & Leafwood Publishers, Leafwood Publishers
The problem of Eden is much worse than you thought, but the solution is much better than you could have ever imagined.
Between Two Trees reveals that the real tragedy of Eden is a union with death, a union that produces division and despair. Life isn’t lived under Eden’s tree of life or beneath the healing leaves of the tree in the New Jerusalem. It is lived between them. And between these two trees, life is hard. In spite of this tragedy, Between Two Trees will challenge you to embrace hope, love, and the beauty of reconciliation at the true tree of life: the cross of Calvary.
By exploring the problem of Eden and the power of the cross, Shane Wood calls us to walk on a path to transformation, a path to union with God. The book’s journey ends under the shade of the tree of life in the New Jerusalem with God’s unfinished creation now complete. Yes, Eden, but more importantly, you. The unfinished creation in us.
“If you doubt it’s possible for one image to tell the whole story from Genesis to Revelation, then you need to read Shane Wood’s masterful Between Two Trees. There isn’t another book that comes close to it, both in its pioneering methodology and in its brilliance of presentation. I found myself completely absorbed and provoked by my own missed readings of the Scriptures.”
— Leonard Sweet, Charles Wesley Distinguished Professor of Doctoral Studies, Evangelical Seminary
“Through theological reflection poised with poetic flare, Shane Wood admirably explores the trials and triumphs of a world united to death yet wooed by a tender father to return home. This book challenges our understanding of the problem of Eden and enhances the revelation of the depths of God’s solution in Jesus—union with God. Reading Between Two Trees, you will be deeply enriched, tenderly called, and masterfully guided into the transformative power of the incarnate Christ.”
— Fr. Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation and best-selling author of Everything Belongs and Falling Upward
“A professor of mine once told me I could not understand either the apostle Paul or the Bible until I understood the potency of death. He said Paul was a ‘thanatologist,’ which means one who studies death. That professor was right, but very few—until Shane Wood’s excellent, playful, and poetic exploration of the Bible’s thanatology—have let the specter of death emerge in furious force in their theology. Between Two Trees is a splendid entrance into the heart of Christian theology.”
— Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary, and author of The King Jesus Gospel
“The Bible tells a huge story, one big enough to embrace, empower, and transform everyone’s story. This book unpacks that huge story as well as any I have ever read. I am so grateful to Shane Wood for giving the church such an insightful and helpful way to understand God’s big story. Between Two Trees will help us grasp a better narrative and help us transform our own stories into better tales of redemption.”
— Rick Atchley, Senior Teaching Minister, The Hills Church, North Richland Hills, TX
“The Bible opens with a tree, and it closes with a tree. In between, we find an epic tale of God’s love for us. Shane Wood knows the metanarrative of Scripture like few others, but what is more important is that he lives its principles every day. He trusts the author who writes the story and the gardener who cares for his creation. Be sure to read Between Two Trees and nurture the fruit within.”
— Kyle Idleman, author of Not a Fan and Don’t Give Up
“How do you tell the story of humanity as portrayed in the Bible and make it both riveting and relevant with fresh twists around every bend? Shane Wood has accomplished just that. Part autobiography, part theology, and part narrative of the story of every human being, we laugh, cry, agonize, and end with great hope as we see the story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation with fresh eyes. A delight to read.”
— Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
“Between Two Trees is a contemplative and passionate work that explains in a scholarly yet accessible manner the personal transformation we can all have by knowing Christ Jesus. Shane Wood brilliantly challenges us to cling to hope, love, and life, even while we are in the middle of struggle, strife, and division. I highly recommend Between Two Trees as a guide for your spiritual journey.”
— Dave Ferguson, Lead Pastor, Community Christian Church, Naperville, IL, and author of Finding Your Way Back to God and Starting Over
“Simultaneously honest confession and wise counsel, Shane Wood’s Between Two Trees invites us to contemplate life in terms of union and transformation. Anyone looking for new perspectives on old questions about faith and life, about sin and death and God, about being fully human, will be enriched by this book. It guides us toward living between the trees of creation and new creation in light of the tree in the middle: the cross of Jesus.”
— Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary & University
“Shane Wood understands that our life of union with God has been reduced to a simple transaction: confess Jesus, get heaven someday. He opens our eyes to the drama and mystery of God’s ardent longing for humanity and our eager response to this relentless love.”
— Jan Johnson, author of Invitation to the Jesus Life and Meeting God in Scripture
“Shane Wood steers our heads and hearts to the final pages of the Bible and helps us better understand God’s blueprint for a transformed creation. The work of Jesus has changed, is changing, and will change the sinful world we live in, and that includes our sin-saturated lives. Between Two Trees will help you bridge the gap between who you are and who you most long to be.”
— Jon Weece, Lead Follower, Southland Christian Church, Lexington, KY, and author of Jesus Prom and Me Too
“Only a few authors compel me to immediately read anything they write. Dr. Shane Wood is one of those authors. I know of no finer scholar who truly embodies what it means to love God and love people. You’ll find his reasoning to be well thought-out, God-centered, and full of grace. I’m grateful for the insight, encouragement, and conviction that Shane’s work has brought to my life. I know you’ll experience the same as well.”
— Caleb Kaltenbach, author of Messy Grace and God of Tomorrow
“In his own inimitable style, which can only be described as theological poetry, Dr. Wood manages to bridge the breadth of the Bible by rooting the grand narrative in a tangible metaphor of two trees. This simplified template of God’s metanarrative helps us get our hands around the entirety of the Bible. We owe a debt to Dr. Wood for allowing us to see with prophetic clarity God’s heart as well as our own.”
— Mark Moore, Teaching Pastor, Christ’s Church of the Valley, Phoenix, AZ, and author of The Chronological Life of Christ and Kenotic Politics
“Shane Wood penetrates the surface of the biblical story to reveal how God’s original creation went wrong and how it will be restored. Wood shows that the redemption God offers is nothing less than restoration of the Eden ideal, which is at the heart of our deepest longings. With fresh insight, Shane Wood explores and explains the fear, anxiety, alienation, and vulnerability we experience living between the fateful tree of Eden and the restorative tree of Revelation.”
— Thomas Williams, best-selling author of The Crown of Eden
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Shane Wood has done a wonderful job of describing life as we now experience it. At the same time he offers great insight into what life is supposed to be, why it isn't that way and what God has done and is doing to restore life to the way it is supposed to be.
The great understanding of the concept of union is so insightful and more valuable than the price of the book. I am so glad that I made the decision to let Shane influence me through this book.
Thanks to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Wow! I really enjoyed this book. It was so thought provoking and awe inspiring. It is beautifully written with so much truth but also with great wit and humor as well. It felt like I was having a conversation with a friend. I loved so many different parts of it. I loved the way it explains death and our union with it from the Fall and the first tree in the Garden of Eden. How we are so inclined to lean toward death. Death is ever at our door. But there is another tree, the tree of Life. I love the way he talked about "with" and how God desires to be with us. He doesn't want us to always do for him, he wants us to be with him. I am an introvert and quality time is my love language so this spoke volumes to my heart. It also isn't all. We do have works prepared in advance for us to do and that our purpose is to do those works. There was also the part of transformation. Wow! I loved how he talked about every decision we make is who we become. So there may be things in our life that we say, "is this so bad?", this one thing in and of itself may not be but every decision we make is part of our transformation and we are either becoming more like Christ or we are not. The chose is ours every single day. I am so glad to have had the chance to read this as it has given me pause to think on these things myself. Great book to encourage you in your walk with God.
"As knowledge increases so does our arrogance, pretending that I-don't-know's tenuous existence is marching ever closer to its end." Between Two Trees artfully illustrates the far reaching effect that the fall had on humanity and creation. The distortion of humanity and creation Between Genesis and Revelation mirrors the beginning quote. We think we know better than God. The author is not condemning but encouraging, sharing many aspects of his own life that were not pretty or perfect. One thing I thought was especially eye opening was looking at sin as union with death and what that means. In the end there is no way of reading this in which you do not sit back in awe of what Jesus' death on the cross meant for us, transforming death into life. Do Not Sleep on This Book, A Must Read!
Shane Wood has written a fantastic book delving into the book of Revelation, Genesis and Jesus' life. I really enjoyed this book and learned a great deal from it. I would recommend this book! I believe it would be great in a small group or bible study as well as for personal study. Woods writes in a way that is easy to read yet informative at the same time.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The views given are my own. #BetweenTwoTrees #NetGalley
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