Friday, June 20, 2014

"The Beginning and End of Wisdom" by Douglas Sean O'Donnell: A Review

A growing trend I see among current evangelicals is the desire to see Christ on every page of God's Word.  From Creation to Consummation, the desire to see Scripture as a book painted with the blood of Christ is a welcomed trend.  To help us in this journey, Douglas Sea O'Donnell has offered some insight into how we can preach Christ from the Wisdom texts of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job in the book The Beginning and End of Wisdom:  Preaching Christ From the First and Last Chapters of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job.

The book itself is straightforward. After some introductory remarks on wisdom literature and preaching, the author moves to highlight, as the subtitle suggests, the beginning and ending of the three main books of Wisdom in the Old Testament: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. These are essentially sermons that offer insights for the believer and aide for the pastor.

The theology and writing are sound. My favorite chapter, regarded his discussion of Proverbs 31 in which the author offers some real exegetical insight into the text and some great pastoral application for both men and women. This chapter alone makes it a helpful resource as Proverbs 31 is a great Mother's Day text.

Overall, the book is well written and worth having in your library.  His discussion and application of the doctrine of Providence in Job was real insightful. His layout of Ecclesiastes also reveals the preacher's heart. The appendix's are helpful and the book itself overall is a real aide. Its limitation is that it is a collection of sermons, not discussion of how to do sermons or how to find Christ throughout the Wisdom books. Likewise, the author only looks at very select passages avoiding huge chunks of texts including many difficult areas of Wisdom literature.  Nonetheless, the book is still really insightful and I would recommend it to any pastor.  It is an easy read with some great insight.

This book was given to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.
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