Hearing the Message of Ecclesiastes
There is no easy answer to the meaning of life--even when you believe in God.
The book of Ecclesiastes seeks to answer the question: "What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?" The book's central character is Qoheleth, who wants to understand the meaning of life as far as he possibly can with the tools of his own empirical observation and reason. He struggles to reconcile the beautiful world that we love and enjoy with the baffling world of injustice, suffering, and death. Qoheleth circles around an abyss of nihilism and pessimism. He lives with unanswered questions. Yet he remains a believer.
Old Testament scholar Christopher J. H. Wright invites you to join Qoheleth on a journey through wisdom literature from centuries ago, because the message of Ecclesiastes can be strangely reassuring as we put our faith to the test in today's post-modern era. There will be disorienting twists and turns and the occasional complete impasse as complex topics are discussed, like:
- The meaning of life
- Mysteries of time and injustice
- Ambiguities of work, politics, worship, and wealth
Hearing the Message of Ecclesiastes won't answer your questions about the meaning of life, but it will ultimately help you live in the tension of God's gifts in Genesis 1-2 and the fallen world of Genesis 3--and still go on trusting in the sovereign goodness of God.
About the Author
Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright is Global Ambassador for the Langham Partnership International. His many books include Hearing the Message of Ecclesiastes, Hearing the Message of Daniel, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, Deuteronomy (Understanding the Bible Commentary), Salvation Belongs to Our God, The Mission of God, The God I Don't Understand, and The Mission of God's People. Chris and his wife Liz, who have four adult children and eleven grandchildren, live in London, UK, and belong to All Souls Church, Langham Place.