The Beginning and End of Wisdom

Tuesday is for Preaching

Just came into possession of a new book on preaching wisdom literature. My daughter and her husband gave me a copy of Douglas Sean O’Donnell’s The Beginning and End of Wisdom: Preaching Christ from the First and Last Chapters of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. The title and subtitle are long but the book and content are relatively brief and important.

Too often, wisdom literature is either overlooked or given out as moralized legalism. Rarely are these books (Job-Song of Solomon) preached with skill, and almost never is a path beaten to the cross from their narrative and poetic beauty. O’Donnell sets out to change that pattern. In the preface, he tells us what he is shooting at:

“The aim of this book … is twofold. First, I wish to light a fire beneath you; that is, I desire to help you know and enjoy the Wisdom Literature of the Bible so that you might preach on it more often. Second, I wish to show you how to build a fire, that is, how to preach such literature. In short this is a book on what the Wisdom Literature is, why we should delight in it, and how we should preach it. (p. 23)

I’m looking forward to the read.

Question: What is the most stimulating book on preaching that you have read in the last year?

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