Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wreck in one paragraph or less

Riverview is currently doing a series called "Wreck" that walks us through Solomon's wisdom gained by making all of the wrong decisions. I decided to open my super-spiritual* Ryrie Study Bible to Ecclesiastes today and came across this summary, which I enjoyed . It dove tail nicely with the "Wreck" series and what I've been learning lately.
The message of the book may be stated in the form of three propositions. (1) When you look at life with its seemingly aimless cycles (1:4ff.) and inexplicable paradoxes (4:1; 7:15; 8:8), you might conclude that all is futile, since it is impossible to discern any purpose in the ordering of events. (2) Nevertheless, life is to be enjoyed to the fullest, realizing that it is the gift of God (3:12-13; 3:22; 5:18-19; 8:15; 9:7-9). (3) The wise man will live his life in obedience to God, recognizing that God will eventually judge all men (3:16-17; 12:14).

*In my college days, we used to joke that this is how you demonstrate how spiritually mature you are. By the condition of your Bible. This Bible looks quite worn and is literally coming apart at the seams. I only wish I had been that much of a student of the Word. The truth is, it's a poorly-constructed book. I purchased 1981 or so, around the time Detroit was making some poorly-constructed cars, too. It showed signs of structural weakness very early in it's limited-use life. I keep it because I like the study references and in fond memory of bygone days. Twenty some years after purchasing this Bible, I found myself enjoying the teaching of one of Charles Ryrie's students Arnold Fruchtenbaum. I guess it's a small theological world.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I used to enjoy essay exams in college. I've since been stuck when it comes to writing. I'm reading Paul Graham's "Hacker and Painters" and he points out:
The word "essay" comes from the French word "essayer", which means "to try". An essay, in the original sense, is something you write to try to figure something out.

Writing to try to figure something out, is a lot easier than writing what you've already figured out. There's certainly a broad range of material available to me in the former.