There is enjoyment east of Eden! In his new commentary on Ecclesiastes, Douglas O'Donnell argues that grateful obedience, steady contentment, and surprising joy are God's gifts to those who trembling trust in him.
About the Series:
The Reformed Expository Commentary focuses on the English rendering of the biblical text, and thus does not address concerns of the original language or other academic technicalities. Nonetheless it is the product of rigorous work with the biblical text in its original languages. Each volume proceeds section-by-section and focuses on the narrative flow of the biblical book. Moreover, it draws out significant points or theological emphases in the text, and then applies them to the daily life of the Christian.
As with all volumes in the Reformed Expository Commentary series, this exposition of Philippians is accessible to both pastors and lay readers. Each volume in the series provides exposition that gives careful attention to the biblical text, is doctrinally Reformed, focuses on Christ through the lens of redemptive history, and applies the Bible to our contemporary setting.
The commentary series analyzes the text in 4 ways - expositionally, doctrinally, redemptively, and practically.
Douglas ODonnell shows, in this redemptive-historical, biblical, practical, and expositional commentary, that Ecclesiastes answers two key questions that worry everybody in the depths of their minds. The first is What does man gain from all the toil at which he toils under the sun?the answer being nothing. The second follows: In light of such vanitythe fact that our work and knowledge and pleasures and possessions are ultimately made futile by deathhow then should we live this temporary life under the sun? The answer is surprisingly simple: we are to abandon human illusions of self-importance, put aside all pretense of pride, and embrace divine wisdom. The Preacher of Ecclesiastes says that this is the end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man (12:13). ODonnell explains how these two key ideas inform the text of Ecclesiastes and the practical instruction that flows from them.
Douglas Sean ODonnell (M.A., Wheaton College; M.A., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) was senior pastor of New Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois. He is currently a senior lecturer at Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, Australia, while obtaining his doctorate at Trinity College Bristol and the University of Aberdeen.
Witty, insightful and exceptionally well researched, Doug ODonnells new commentary is one that I enthusiastically recommend. If youre a preacher who is interested in communicating the truth of Ecclesiastes in a fresh way, this is a must-have volume for your library.
Douglas ODonnells new commentary, Ecclesiastes, is a delight to read. Although originally preached (in part) as sermons, this commentary is much more than a series of sixteen well-crafted sermons on the book of Ecclesiastes. The footnoted sermons are based on solid research and spiced with wonderful insights, good humor, striking metaphors, clarifying illustrations and quotations, smooth transitions to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and relevant applications. This commentary will serve preachers well for one or more series of sermons on Ecclesiastes. It will provide them with many sermon ideas, solid exegesis and applications, illustrations, and quotations from numerous books, songs, and movies. Above all, this commentary with its God-centered, redemptive-historical approach clearly shows how one can preach Christ from Ecclesiastes.
This is a fine commentary because it represents the confluence of, first, a deft exegetical precision in dealing with the words and symmetries of wisdom literature, therefore providing the reader with an unusually rich, polychrome understanding of Gods glory midst the dark realities of earthly existence. Second, the book exhibits a masterful tracing of the exalted, Christ-infused inter-canonical connections -- that will aid the reader in focusing on Christ Jesus, the only answer to an empty life. Third, the authors engaging style packed with wide-ranging literary references (from the ancients to Woody Allen) -- makes for superb reading as well as study. Certainly its resources will be a boon to all students. And, fourth, the commentarys application of the grand theme of how believers ought to live the brief span of their lives under the sun will harrow and elevate the heart of every serious reader. This book is a tonic for the soul. Doug ODonnells Ecclesiastes is a masterwork that will be read for generations to come. It deserves an honored place in the libraries of those who would preach and teach the Word.
With frequent references to modern and classical literature ODonnell illustrates the ever present problems and dilemmas of life that Ecclesiastes deals with. But his fresh and relevant style never strays from the biblical text that he so artfully expounds. And he never leaves the various parts of Ecclesiastes alone until he has explored how they testify to the Christ in whom all the riches of wisdom and knowledge are found.
Ecclesiastes is a book for our time: its relentless examination of the source of meaning and relevance finds echoes in every facet of contemporary life and its restless pursuit of happiness. Douglas Sean ODonnells treatment of Ecclesiastes is both fresh and thorough. Resolutely committed to exposition, ODonnell makes these sermons come to life and speak with clarity and conviction. Reading these chapters proves a rich and nourishing experience. A wise pastor and careful exegete takes you to the heart of the gospel in Ecclesiastes again and again. A wonderful achievement.
Sean ODonnell is a gifted preacher and pastor who is passionate about Christ and the gospel. In this engaging exposition he pastors us by introducing us to Pastor Solomon (the author of Ecclesiastes), and though him to Jesus Christ, the greatest pastor of all. He shows how the glorious gospel of Christ shines all the more brightly when set against the depressing backdrop of the book of Ecclesiastes.