Monday, May 03, 2010
The Bible Essential chapter for this week is Ecclesiastes 3. The style of the writing is "wisdom." Those that spoke and shared wisdom were like the kings and the prophets - it was an office that held value in the ancient world of the Hebrews. The one who embodied wisdom in that world was King Solomon, who did not ask God for riches, but for wisdom.
In selecting these Bible Essential chapters, I was looking for the passages of the Bible that had the most connections to understanding our own arts and culture as well as the rest of the Bible. The themes expressed through wisdom and poetry in Ecclesiastes 3 are tied to some of the deepest philosophical thoughts throughout history. Namely, is our life predetermined, or do our decisions and free will decide our fate? How much control does God have over the events of this world (or, if you prefer a scientific way of looking at it - to what extent does our genetic makeup determine the decisions we make)?
Ecclesiastes 3 does not necessarily resolve the tension of predestination vs. free will. Rather, it seems to paint a vivid picture of life through liberal use of light and dark contrast. Well, that's my opinion, anyway. What do you think?