I’ll be brutally honest. I have a hard time with this whole faith thing. I had someone recently tell me that if more folks in pastoral or ministerial roles admitted that they wrestled with faith than the church would be a better place, with better congregations. The fact is that non believers and new believers hate pretenders. This particular person that I was talking with grotesquely opposed, what he called, “those hypocrites.” If only more people would admit that they have a difficult time balancing this world with the stuff that Scripture talks about. If only more people would admit that wealth and sex and pride and anger and everything else that accompanies them — are really temptations. If only more people would admit that they don’t have it all together and that they’re constantly seeking after something Better.
Well, I think that both Tim Chaddick and the author of the book of Ecclesiastes, the book of the Bible that Chaddick wrote his book #Better from, would both agree with this friend of mine. What is more, the author of Ecclesiastes was brutally honest that he had in fact chased after all those things (and much, much more). Chaddick’s book #Better was a breath of fresh air in a dark and tempting world, a world saturated with alluring claims to offer us something better than Christ. Wisdom, Money, Time, Sex, Guilt, Fear … You name it and you’d find it in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Chaddick had to somehow organize these points because Solomon, the proposed author, doesn’t exactly lay them out in a four point sermon. He breaks them down as follows:
- Aspirations (If I Only Knew, If I Only Had, If I Only Did)
- Assets (Money, Time, Community, Power)
- Attitudes (Religiosity, Envy, Discontent, Worry, Joy).
They’re brilliant and strikingly applicable chapter themes. Not only does he constantly tie in more of Scripture (always seeking the BIBLICAL meaning of a passage and not simply its immediate context) but Chaddick writes candidly, in a way that is both transparent and relatable.