Making Sanity Out of Vanity: Christian Realism in the Book of Ecclesiastes Gale, Stanley G. cover image
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Product Details
  • Cover Type:
  • 176 Pages
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • Publication Date: May 2011
  • ISBN: SGALESTDMAKINGSANITYOUTOFVAN9780852347454

Making Sanity Out of Vanity: Christian Realism in the Book of Ecclesiastes

Gale, Stanley G.

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Somehow there is a myth floating around that when you follow Jesus life has certain tangible perks. When your Father is God and Jesus is the reigning King, you expect that finances won't be quite as tight, relationships will be easier, and life will be a bit merrier. A little bit of false advertising. Seemingly innocent expectations. But these beliefs are far from innocent. When you expect wine and roses and end up with gruel, your confidence in the Lord wanes. Maybe, you wonder, this relationship with Christ is just a life insurance policy after all. It is good for when you die, but costly for when you live. Life insurance policies are boring, at best. Maybe the Bible has no real-world application.

And what about the many men and women who jettison their faith because they encounter suffering—lots of suffering—and following Christ seems to make absolutely no difference? They have been spared nothing. There is a rule in suffering: the more intense the suffering, the more alone you feel from both other people and the Lord. There are times when life is a painful mess, and if God doesn't speak to us in the midst of that mess, why bother?

In Ecclesiastes, God speaks into the mess. Ecclesiastes is not about happy thoughts that deny earthly realities. Instead, the Preacher, along with the other voice we hear in Ecclesiastes, open our eyes even wider than normal. They take us to all the hard places. They hear our questions and run further with them until all is laid bare. Every once in a while you might think that Ecclesiastes is written by a dour existentialist, but, somehow, even before you get to the end of the book, you can tell that this examination of life will end in hope and result in more meaning and fullness that we can comprehend.

Includes a Foreword by Edward T. Welch

About the Author

Stanley D. Gale serves as senior minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He has authored a number of works on spiritual warfare, including Warfare Witness: Contending with Spiritual Opposition in Everyday Evangelism.

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Somehow there is a myth floating around that when you follow Jesus life has certain tangible perks. When your Father is God and Jesus is the reigning King, you expect that finances won't be quite as tight, relationships will be easier, and life will be a bit merrier. A little bit of false advertising. Seemingly innocent expectations. But these beliefs are far from innocent. When you expect wine and roses and end up with gruel, your confidence in the Lord wanes. Maybe, you wonder, this relationship with Christ is just a life insurance policy after all. It is good for when you die, but costly for when you live. Life insurance policies are boring, at best. Maybe the Bible has no real-world application.

And what about the many men and women who jettison their faith because they encounter suffering—lots of suffering—and following Christ seems to make absolutely no difference? They have been spared nothing. There is a rule in suffering: the more intense the suffering, the more alone you feel from both other people and the Lord. There are times when life is a painful mess, and if God doesn't speak to us in the midst of that mess, why bother?

In Ecclesiastes, God speaks into the mess. Ecclesiastes is not about happy thoughts that deny earthly realities. Instead, the Preacher, along with the other voice we hear in Ecclesiastes, open our eyes even wider than normal. They take us to all the hard places. They hear our questions and run further with them until all is laid bare. Every once in a while you might think that Ecclesiastes is written by a dour existentialist, but, somehow, even before you get to the end of the book, you can tell that this examination of life will end in hope and result in more meaning and fullness that we can comprehend.

Includes a Foreword by Edward T. Welch

About the Author

Stanley D. Gale serves as senior minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He has authored a number of works on spiritual warfare, including Warfare Witness: Contending with Spiritual Opposition in Everyday Evangelism.

  • Cover Type:
  • 176 Pages
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • Publication Date: May 2011
  • ISBN: SGALESTDMAKINGSANITYOUTOFVAN9780852347454