Subscribe now

What do you expect?

By Melvin Tinker
October 2014 | Review by Michael Bentley
  • Publisher: EP Books
  • ISBN: 978-1-78397-006-3
  • Pages: 200
  • Price: 7.49
Buy this book »

Book Review

What do you expect?

Melvin Tinker
EP Books
200, £9.99
ISBN: 978-1-78397-006-3
Star Rating: 4

Although I have been preaching for almost 60 years, I confess I have never preached a series on Ecclesiastes. Perhaps others have also neglected this book.

However, Ecclesiastes belongs with the other 65 books of the Bible, and ‘all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness’ (2 Timothy 3:16).

Tinker does an excellent job in helping us understand the way wisdom literature works: ‘It is not a way of following a formal argument; it is an invitation to see through the eyes of another, to adopt a different angle of vision which enables new perspectives to be gained’ (p.17).

The author assists us to see that, in fact, not everything is ‘Meaningless! Meaningless! … Utterly meaningless!’ (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3). Although this word is used 38 times, the teacher reminds us that ‘it is possible for human beings to know the goodness and joy of existence’ (p.20).

Especially helpful is chapter one, ‘Bubbles and smoke’ (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11), where Tinker explains various terms, including ‘the Teacher’, ‘wisdom’, ‘meaningless’ and ‘gain’. I like his way of expressing our frustration after citing Ecclesiastes 2:15, ‘What then do I gain from being wise?’ He writes, ‘[The Teacher] really does seem to know how to put the mockers on things!’ (p.16).

The Teacher describes ‘a world on the run from God’, yet one where people must ‘remember [their] Creator. This is that same God who has placed ‘eternity in our hearts’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Life throws up many problems in childhood, middle age (chapter 7, Ecclesiastes 10:1-11:8, is called ‘Getting through life’) and old age.

Space will not allow me to say more, but every page is full of contemporary illustrations. I found chapter 8, ‘Age concern’ (Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14), of great relevance to me.

Evangelical Press is to be congratulated for producing this helpful book. I thoroughly recommend it to all, especially those who find this life meaningless. It will lead you through the quagmire and bring you to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Michael Bentley

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
God’s design for women in an age of gender confusion
Sharon James

Is our belief in male headship culturally outdated, and should we see alternative ideas of marriage as ‘progress’? Is it possible to be born into the wrong body, and is sexual freedom good for women? Does Scripture show us a…

Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…