HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Adam’s Long Shadow: Lessons from Bible People Who Sinned
Author: Joseph Stoll
Cover Designer: Lonnie D. Yoder
Publisher: Vision Publishers LLC, republished in 2010
Related website: http://www.vision-publishers.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level:
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Stoll, Joseph. Adam’s Long Shadow: Lessons from Bible People Who Sinned (published in 2008 by Vision Publishers, P. O. Box 190, Harrisonburg, VA 22803). What is the long shadow that Adam cast over the whole world? “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). We learn from mistakes—our own and those of others. We can even learn from the mistakes of people who live a long time ago. Adam’s Long Shadow points out important lessons from Bible people who sinned, beginning with Adam and Eve, through Noah’s generation, Lot, Korah, Balaam, Achan, Eli, King Saul, Uzzah, David, Solomon, Jeroboam, and Jonah, down to the Pharisees of Jesus’s day. Thus, we see that Adam’s sin is still much in evidence today, as history repeats itself again and again.
Not only is it evident all about us, but we continue to experience it ourselves through the same temptations to which these Biblical figures succumbed. Will it never end? Both national and church leaders fail. Spouses are unfaithful, marriages are broken, parents are delinquent, and families are dysfunctional. There are also drunkenness, drug abuse, murder, rape, pornography, immodest dress, and filthy language. People have not changed; yet, we do not need to commit the same sins as others, but we can learn from their examples. In addition, we have hope. The last chapter points to Jesus Christ as God’s remedy for the shadow of sin. This is a great book for group studies of Bible characters and an excellent source for personal devotional reading.
The author, Joseph Stoll, is a minister and bishop of the Old Order Amish church in Ontario, Canada. He wrote these accounts for their twice yearly Ordnung Gemeinde services in which the sermons consist almost entirely of narrative accounts from the first five books of the Bible and are especially directed towards young people. There might be a few underlying theological views with which some believers may disagree. For example, Stoll talks about how “a sinful nature became the heritage of every human being born into the world.” That sounds a little like total inherited depravity. Yet, he also says that, while God holds the sinner accountable, “Infants, however, are innocent.” Aside from this, these insightful studies of men in the Bible who failed are a most challenging call to holy living by the professing people of God.