With the books first award came the editorial review I have included below. Thank you everyone for reading the book and all your support.
“Love is the truth, religion is the lie, the great misdirect. It takes the truth and molds it to self- serving principles, doctrines, and rules. They threaten you with hell as if a God made of love would allow his loved to burn.”
There are many passages I could have taken from God is in the Garden by Cory B. Scott, but having spent my own childhood fearing I would somehow displease God because of my very human fallibilities, this is a passage that really struck a chord. How can a benevolent, omnipotent God, hang the torment of eternity in Hell, and yet still be called all-loving? It is a paradox and one that Scott explores in this frank, honest, and remarkable book.
Scott takes his readers on a very personal journey, where he explores his beginnings, and the abuse he endured by those who hid their true selves in the darkest shadows of institutional religion. Scott is unfailingly honest, which at times can make this book an emotional rollercoaster, and it did leave me in tears on more than one occasion. The doubts, the confusion that Scott talks about as he looks back on his life is a familiar story which most of us, unfortunately, would recognise. Scott does not shy away from who he is, and where he has been, and what he has done, which makes this book all the more hard-hitting. At the same time, however, Scott gives his readers hope. Hope that they too can find their way back to God and his Garden.
Scott’s message is clear and concise, and easy to understand because of his use of stories, parables if you will. His story about a child at Sunday School whose curiosity and questions were squashed by an adult who was not qualified, as no one really is, to interpret how we should praise God was very moving. I think Scott made his point admirably when he stated:
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” With that in mind, maybe the children should be teaching Sunday school to the adults.
Would God really set his people up to fail? Scott asks. When you come away from the religious doctrine, then questions such as this one makes one pause and consider. However, as Scott stated, it is incredibly challenging to let go of the concepts and the “truths” that have been drummed into our minds so very early on in our lives, and not always done positively — especially when the threat of Hell is used to force obedience. No wonder the relationship many people have with God is corrupted, no wonder so many turn their backs on him — but what we forget, as Scott reminds us, is that God isn’t the problem. Scott urges us to think for ourselves and to connect with God in our own way. Is it right for good people to fear that they will go to Hell because they have stumbled in life — made a mistake, made a wrong choice? How is this right? Scott says it is not. Another question that Scott asks is, can we only find God in the Bible? And then he reminds us that this book’s contents were agreed upon not by God, but by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. It is a sobering thought, indeed. Society has come along way since that first Council of Nicaea. Still, religion it seems has not kept pace as it drags its feet with regards to equality and tolerance, and let’s not forget empathy.
Scott dares to argue that God cannot be all-loving and all-hating at the same time. Scott does not, however, dismiss God in any way, shape, or form, he is steadfast in his beliefs of this mighty celestial being, but what he questions is how religion is used as a tool to control minds and assure obedience. We are the sheep, and the shepherds (the religious leaders) are not really shepherds at all, and some of them are the wolves, or the serpent, sent to lead us away from God. There was, after all, only one Good Shephard — anything else is a poor and sometimes very dangerous imitation.
Some times self-help, self-enlightening books, can be rather dry and somewhat heavy in the delivery, but this is not so in Scott’s book. What is also different about God’s in the Garden, is that Scott does not pretend to have all the answers, but he wants his readers to awaken, to realise that there is a way back to the God they knew as a young child before religion got a hold of them.
Some who read this book will take offence at the arguments Scott puts forwards, which is totally understandable, and nothing can be done about their displeasure. But, if you read this book with an open mind, then you can take a lot away from it. This is the kind of book I wish I had read twenty years ago.
I Highly Recommend.
Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.
Dr. Cory B. Scott has had an adventurous career that has afforded him the honor of such titles as Reverend, Deputy, Executive, Director, Lieutenant, Doctor, and finally, his true passion, Professor.
But those titles were just masks; his official titles are, Daddy, Husband, Brother, Friend, Uncle, Mentor, and finally, in 2019, he was awarded his true love, Grandpa.
Cory has survived some devastating tragic events and personal failures in his life. These experiences have given him deep insight and a desire to help others overcome personal obstacles and transform their tragedies into sacred gurus who teach and strengthen.
Cory weaves original artwork, poetry, and short stories in an incredible memoir titled, "Gods in the Garden." This book captures the essence of a survivor's journey through abuse, pain, loss, betrayal, and enlightenment.