Wisdom Literature and the Emerging Church, or Where do we go from here?

I’ve read about a bazillion books about the emerging church, and they’ve all kind of run together in the disordered maelstrom that is my brain pan. Consequently, I can’t remember exactly where I read the suggestion that the Bible’s “wisdom literature” (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs) could have special value to postmodern-type people — if ever they were inclined to read them — because the writers approached faith and relationships (with God and others) through the lens of personal experience.

When I read it (sorry, emerging author who shall remain nameless due to negligence and bad memory), a light bulb appeared for a split-second over my head. (Okay, okay. Not a literal light bulb. But that would seriously rock if it happened.) “Hey, Self,” I thought to myself. “Wouldn’t it be sweet if someone could present the content of those books in a medium that resonated with persons of the postmodernish persuasion?” And that is how My Lover Is Mine was conceived. (Our due date is February 5.) Ash and I and our friend Ramon put our heads together and tried to figure a way to make Holy Scripture appealing to non-Bible readers. We were helped immensely by gratuitous sexual content.

And now it’s time to decide where we go from here…which is where you come in. Of the four remaining books that fall into the wisdom lit category, which would you most like to see presented in a similar poetry/fine art format? (I’m laboring under the assumption that you care.) Take a gander, when you get a minute, at a couple of the original chapters (see links above) and let us know what you think. I’m leaning toward Ecclesiastes, since the original form and length is close to that of Song of Songs (so we’d know what to expect)…but I’m open to suggestions. A few of the more gut-crunching Psalms, perhaps? Or maybe the wacky-ass metaphysical conversations of Job and his good-for-nothing friends?

Help a sista out.

11 thoughts on “Wisdom Literature and the Emerging Church, or Where do we go from here?

  1. grammy

    Ecclesiastes by a HUGE margin. It’s such a weird, misunderstood book and pastors avoid teaching it like the plague. So go for it, seestah!!!

  2. june

    I’ve no clue where you should go from here, but this phrase:
    “the disordered maelstrom that is my brain pan” has been ringing in my ears all weekend…especially after the birthday party for my six-year-old son. Six boys, all ages six and under plus sugar equals a mental maelstrom like nothing else. If I can still read after this weekend, I’ll enjoy whatever you do next.

  3. ness

    Once upon a time I was very depressed. For lots of very good reasons.

    My husband is also my pastor.

    He preached through Ecclesiastes. Meticulously. For over two months. In a very honest way.

    I got better.

    I love Ecclesiastes. It’s good stuff.

  4. Melody

    As I suspected, you are published by Regal Books. I worked there in the ’70′s when Fritz Ridenour (How To Be A Christian Without Being Religous) was Senior Editor. I tried to create a library of all the books they had ever published. What a job.

  5. aly hawkins Post author

    Yep, we’re published by Regal…and I work there as an editor. I like to think we’d have gotten published by pretty much anyone because our book is so awesome, but darn it if the inside track isn’t nice. First right of refusal and all that.

    Thanks for the input, kiddos. Ecclesiastes it is. Though I’m not sure how well “Life is meaningless” will follow “Sex is rad!” We’ll see.

  6. Morphea

    If three Gen-Xers (and artists, no less) can’t come up with a whole…nay, three or four volumes even…of “Life is Shit” then the world’s going to come to an end.

    Cerise

  7. michael lee

    [quote comment="29579"]Ecclesiastes it is. Though I’m not sure how well “Life is meaningless” will follow “Sex is rad!” We’ll see.[/quote]

    It’s even more ironic if they were written by the same person! Which leads us to the obvious conclusion that, in spite of having 1,000 wives and concubines, Solomon wasn’t having nearly enough sex.

    All snarkiness aside, I think Ecclesiastes is a deeply human sort of book. It’s exactly the kind of book that would be written by someone who looks at the world around him, and says, “Where is God? This world is broken, and I am set adrift in it.”

    The opening and closing couplet use that word hebel, which gets translated as vanity, or breath, or smoke. Even though it’s a cry of frustration, I think the author finds some comfort in the fact that everything he sees around him is temporary and illusory, and that the only thing of substance is the sovereignty of God, and his ordination (Ch. 3, 12).

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