Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Review: Exalting Jesus in Ecclesiastes

Exalting Jesus in Ecclesiastes. Daniel L. Akin and Jonathan Akin. 2016. B&H. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Exalting Jesus in Ecclesiastes is part of the Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series published by B&H. This title is written by Daniel L. Akin and Jonathan Akin.

Ecclesiastes is an interesting read--especially in a text-only Bible. What are readers to make of it? No doubt it is relevant to our lives--and not just because it is in the Bible--but because we can relate to the feelings described by Solomon. For example, that every day is the same and there really isn't anything new under the sun. But as Christians, how are we to be influenced by the book of Ecclesiastes? Is it hopeful or depressing?

Here is the table of contents:

  • Everything is Meaningless without Jesus
  • The American Dream is Meaningless without Jesus
  • Time is Meaningless without Jesus
  • Politics and Justice are Meaningless without Jesus
  • Religion is Meaningless without Jesus
  • Money is Meaningless without Jesus
  • Wisdom in a Meaningless World
  • Death is Meaningless without Jesus
  • Aging is Meaningless without Jesus
  • The Preacher on Preaching

Each chapter focuses on a chunk of text. Each chapter gives a straightforward 'main idea' for interpreting or making sense of the text. This is followed by an outline. Each chapter ends with reflect and discuss questions. I love the organization of the series. This is how every book in the series is structured. Readers know exactly what to expect and how to use the book.

I love that the book focuses on EXALTING JESUS in the book of Ecclesiastes. I think Ecclesiastes without Christ would be a very different read. Solomon's "life is meaningless" message could easily be misinterpreted without Christ as teacher and guide. Early on in the book, the author writes: "Ecclesiastes wants to push us to faith and contentment in God." The author urges readers to consider the message of the book to be, "More will not satisfy us; only God can."

I love that the book is reader-friendly. I would never, ever, ever say the book is made more relevant by references to songs, movies, tv shows, etc. Ecclesiastes is relevant because it is an inspired book in the Word of God. It is relevant because it tells us something about God and it tells us something about ourselves. But I will say that the authors writing style resonated with me. And that I could relate to what the authors were saying. Which in my opinion makes it reader-friendly.

I love that the authors quote Alistair Begg a LOT. And not just Begg but other preachers I like as well. (Matt Chandler, Sinclair Ferguson, Tim Keller, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John MacArthur, J.I. Packer, Charles Spurgeon, etc.)

I like the length of the chapters. I like that the book is short and to the point. Again going back to reader-friendliness. A commentary does not have to be terribly lengthy and actually heavy to be worth reading.

I would definitely recommend this book in the series.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: