By Christopher A. Lane
Does the Garden of Eden still exist? If so,
is it guarded by an angel with a flaming sword, as it says in Genesis?
Zondervan Publishing House, 383 pp, 1994
Iíve long been intrigued by such
questions. So many people, including some Christians, believe much of the
Bible is made up, nice, albeit significant, myths dreamed up by charlatans
for their own gain. Concrete archaeological discoveries of Biblical
stories would blow that out of the water, including the Garden of Eden.
Edenís Gate explores such a
question. Dr. Ben Lawrence, a noted archaeologist and Christian, is
selected to lead a dig in Iraq. He is replacing world-famous Richard
Grimm, who has mysteriously disappeared. The site is extremely important,
offering clues to the very origins of mankind. While there, he meets an
archaeologist babe, Jennifer Rogers, and they, naturally, fall for each
other, although she is not a Christian and is outright hostile to
Lawrence, at least at first.
In the meantime, the FBI is
investigating the disappearance of Dr. Grimm, and comes across an
operation that stinks of the CIA. Add a vengeful, jilted lover, a CEO of a
multi-billion dollar high-tech company, and some bumbling mercenaries, and
Edenís Gate is a pleasant adventure novel, though stopping well
short of spine-tingling action.
Do Lawrence and Rogers find the Garden
of Eden? Read it and find out.
Christian fiction has come a long way
just in the 1990s, spearheaded by the commercial success of the Left
Behind series, and seems poised to continue its success in 2000 and
beyond. Edenís Gate, although it has its share of preachiní and
teachiní, is a well-rounded, at times violent, novel. In fact, itís a
shame that such books, with sincere Christians as main characters, have
been segregated away into their own corner of literature, rather than
treated as mainstream works. After all, the only reason Left Behind
and its sequels are sold at the big chain bookstores is because they sell.
But maybe theyíll open the door for other Christian novels to be placed
in the stacks in the Literature and Fiction section, rather than hidden
away in a tiny alcove lumped under the all-encompassing heading of