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Upper Room Against the Grain: Unconventional Wisdom from Ecclesiastes

"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!"

Welcome to Ecclesiastes; one of the most crabby, beautiful, and challenging books in all of scripture! In what Waddle admits is the strangest and mostly overlooked (or avoided) corner of the Bible, you'll find words from which are derived the lyrics of a Top 40 hit song and the name of a classic 20th century novel.

The plainspoken skepticism, raw weariness, and pessimistic outbursts expressed in Ecclesiastes make organized religion uncomfortable. Boiled down, the words from this against-the-grain biblical voice offer an emotionally honest view of the meaning of life.

This poet teaches, toughens, and spans the ages to address 21st-century issues. By giving us permission to admit troubling spiritual moods, Ecclesiastes invites us to grow in wisdom and to accept all of God's gifts including doubt and dissatisfaction.

Written in a journalistic style, Waddle mixes contemporary reflections with insightful scholarship on Ecclesiastes; especially on the topics of biblical authority, politics, grief, wisdom, and spiritual trends in contemporary society. The 12 chapters parallel the 12 chapters of the biblical text.

Be better "equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:17) and for the inevitable periods of spiritual doldrums through the renegade-but-faithful realism found in Ecclesiastes!

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