Living Life Backward: How Ecclesiastes Teaches Us to Live in Light of the End
“Too many view Ecclesiastes as merely the gloomy ruminations of a cynical pessimist. No wonder the book has fallen into neglect; we dont need more of that today. But David Gibson blows away the dust and cobwebs by demonstrating that while Ecclesiastes is indeed skeptical about finding a meaningful and satisfying life without God, its also hopeful and optimistic about finding joy in an ordinary life with God as its center and aim. We cant get enough of that today.”See All
pastor, Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church; professor of Old Testament and practical theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Jesus on Every Page and Reset
“Only when youre ready to die are you prepared to live. Sheer lunacy, isnt it? Or is it actually the sanest thing youll ever hear? Engaging contemporary culture, David Gibson retells Ecclesiastes in all of its jarring dissonance with whatever we consider reasonable and normal. As it turns out, the wisdom of the world is silly and its will to power is impotent. I needed to read thisand so do you.”See All
J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story
“Every reader of David Gibsons steady and reverent progress through the book will reap reward, along with wonderfully enhanced understanding and rich insight into divine truth. Those who have benefited from Davids work in the foundational book From Heaven He Came and Sought Her will rush to enjoy the same values here of profound scholarship and covetable clarity of presentation.”See All
author; Bible expositor
“If Ecclesiastes is a book for our times, then Living Life Backward is the book to unpack it. Beginning with the paradigm shift that embracing death is essential for life, I was intrigued from the start. Utterly counter to a modern worldview, the truths of Ecclesiastes are woven with ease into a narrative that rightly makes sense of why we are alive. Bold and beautiful in style, Living Life Backward promises to jolt the mind and shake us out of our complacencies. I couldnt put it down!”See All
director of national ministries, Scottish Bible Society
“David Gibsons expositions of Ecclesiastes are like Ecclesiastes itself: sometimes shocking, often tantalizing, always refreshing. He deftly combines serious stuff with a light touch, clear style, and gospel relief. You will repeatedly run into think-stoppers; he will make new grooves in your grey matter that werent there before, and you will often admit, I wish Id have thought to put it like that! I think the writer of Ecclesiastes would be pleased with Davids work.”See All
Dale Ralph Davis
professor emeritus of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary
“The past two decades have witnessed quite a number of popular expositions of Ecclesiastesand this one by David Gibson is the best of them. It follows the line of the book in a believable and compelling way. Its applications and reflections are cogent and telling, and the writing is characterized by grace and verve. Moreover, the questions found at the end of each chapter make this volume suitable for small-group Bible studies. Highly recommended.”See All
D. A. Carson
research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; cofounder, The Gospel Coalition
What if it is death that teaches us how to truly live?
Keeping the end in mind shapes how we live our lives in the here and now. Living life backward means taking the one thing in our future that is certain—death—and letting that inform our journey before we get there.
Looking to the book of Ecclesiastes for wisdom, Living Life Backward was written to shake up our expectations and priorities for what it means to live “the good life.” Considering the reality of death helps us pay attention to our limitations as human beings and receive life as a wondrous gift from God—freeing us to live wisely, generously, and faithfully for God’s glory and the good of his world.