"Chasing the Wind" by Robert White

Robert White. Chasing the Wind. Word Alive Press, 2011. 120 pgs. 

Chasing the Wind explores, through the lens of Ecclesiastes, three key aspects of human life: meaninglessness, futility, and frustration. More specifically, the meaninglessness of wisdom, work, and wishes; the futility of desires and deeds; the frustration of toils, treasures, and terminations (gotta like the alliteration going on there). I know, it sounds strange to say that we are going to focus on the key areas of meaninglessness, futility, and frustration. But what did you expect from a book focused on Ecclesiastes? Furthermore, these are, in fact, key areas of human experience. That we do our best to ignore and pass over them, from Monday at work to Sunday at church, does not change the fact that make up a large part of our common human experience. 

White begins each section with a verse from Ecclesiastes and a short story. He then moves on to share personal stories and details from his life to illustrate how the truths he is exploring impacted his own life. Finally, he reiterates his point and adds discussion questions. 

This book was a quick and easy read, but I didn't find it to be all that good. It was entirely formulaic, spoke through Ecclesiastes rather than under and within it, and relies entirely on stories to carry it forward. I often found that White added to the conclusions of Ecclesiastes. So, wisdom is meaningless because Solomon lost site of God's big picture. This is not an insight found in the text, but layered on top. Such was the pattern. Overall, this destroys the actual effect of Ecclesiastes, which is only fully turned upwards to hope in the final verses (though there are hints along the way). 

Conclusion: 2 Stars. Not Recommended. White is right about one thing: Ecclesiastes is an oft ignored book which we need to learn from. So go read it, instead of this book. 

Book has been provided courtesy of Word Alive Press and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Word Alive Press. 

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