The Gospel Coalition


Preaching Wisdom


"Where is the one who is wise?" the apostle Paul asks in 1 Corinthians 1:20. "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" We might think the Pharisee-trained Paul aims to overturn Old Testament notions of wisdom with his Christ-centered message. After all, he writes, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Cor. 1:22-25). Yet the New Testament depiction of wisdom—personified by Jesus—resonates strongly with what we read in the Old Testament's wisdom books: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Solomon. For here we read, contrary to the world's standards, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 9:10). Those who fear the crucified Christ are wise, for he now reigns in heaven, the creator, redeemer, and sustainer.

Recommended Resources


Preaching Christ from Wisdom Literature Aug 29, 2011 | Author: Doug O'Donnell | Topic: Wisdom | Category: courses
The Particulars of Proverbs Aug 29, 2011 | Author: Michael Graves | Topic: Wisdom | Category: courses
Wisdom Literature Overview Aug 29, 2011 | Author: Michael Graves | Topic: Wisdom | Category: courses
Why God’s Ancient Wisdom Matters Today Aug 29, 2011 | Author: Doug O'Donnell | Topic: Wisdom | Category: courses
How Shall Wisdom Be Preached? Aug 26, 2011 | Author: Doug O'Donnell | Topic: Wisdom | Category: courses
Mapping the Wisdom Genre Aug 26, 2011 | Author: David Jackman | Topic: Wisdom | Category: courses
Preaching Wisdom Today Aug 26, 2011 | Author: David Jackman | Topic: Wisdom | Category: courses


Where Wisdom Can Be Found: Preaching Jesus from Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job

Doug O'Donnell
Few teachers feel as confident with the wisdom literature of the Old Testament as they do with the Pauline epistles or Gospels. Fewer still can draw connections between the search for wisdom and its final destination, Jesus Christ.

The Wisdom of Solomon and the Greater Glories of Christ

Phil Ryken
Jesus is greater in his superior wisdom, which is infinite in its knowledge of the truth. Jesus is greater in his vast wealth; as the Lord of heaven and earth, he owns everything. Jesus is greater in the extent of his kingdom, which spans the entire universe.


Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms

Daniel J. Estes
The Cedarville professor summarizes each wisdom book's key issues, offers an exposition of the book that interacts with major commentaries and recent studies, and concludes with an extensive bibliography

An Introduction to the Old Testament Poetic Books

Hassell Bullock
The Wheaton College professor and former president of the Evangelical Theological Society equips readers with the fundamental tools needed for interpreting these important if difficult books of the Old Testament.

The Goldsworthy Trilogy

Graeme Goldsworthy
This collection of biblical theologian Goldsworthy's most significant contributions includes his work on "Gospel and Wisdom." He explains his aim as applying biblical theology to the OT wisdom literature in order to put it in a Christian context, to understand it as Christian Scripture. He explores the pursuit of order in Proverbs, which contrasts with the crisis of wisdom on display in Job and Ecclesiastes.

Preaching Christ from Ecclesiastes: Foundations for Expository Sermons

Sidney Greidanus
Greidanus, professor emeritus at Calvin Seminary, demonstrates how Ecclesiastes is especially relevant for our culture as the Teacher confronts enticements like materialism, secularism, hedonism, human autonomy, and self-sufficiency. He suggests preaching units, identifies their themes, and recommends how preachers can move to Christ in the New Testament.

Proverbs (NIV Application Commentary)

Paul E. Koptak
Koptak, a professor at North Park Theological Seminary, helps readers understand a key theme of Proverbs, that true wisdom—the kind that begins with fear of the Lord—frequently runs counter to what our culture values and applauds. The application focus gives teachers an idea for the diverse ways they can bring this teaching to bear on contemporary life, which so often shuns the way of wisdom embodied by Jesus Christ.

The Way of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Bruce K. Waltke

J. I. Packer and Sven K. Soderlund
J. I. Packer co-edited this tribute to renowned OT scholar Bruce Waltke and writes an exceptional essay on theology and wisdom. William Dumbrell explains the purpose of the book of Job while Karen Jobes explores "Sophia Christology? The Way of Wisdom?"

The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes: An Introduction to the Wisdom Literature

Derek Kidner
Kidner, former warden of Tyndale House, Cambridge, draws few parallels between the OT wisdom literature and Christ. But he can help you understand the wisdom literature in its original context with attention to both literary form and theological content. He explains these books' basic character and internal structure, comparing and contrasting them while presenting their unified view of life.


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Good Preaching Examples

Job 42:2-9 Aug 29, 2011 | Author: Doug O'Donnell | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Aug 29, 2011 | Author: Doug O'Donnell | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons
“Youth” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14) Apr 13, 2011 | Author: Matt Chandler | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons
Wife of Noble Character Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Vaughan Roberts | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons
Fear of The Lord Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Gordon Hugenberger | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons
Lord’s Final Answer to Suffering Jan 01, 2008 | Author: Iain Duguid | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons
Nothing but Vanity Mar 22, 2009 | Author: Kevin DeYoung | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons
What Faith Gains in the Pits Nov 28, 2008 | Author: Dale Ralph Davis | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons
Everything Under the Sun Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Phil Ryken | Topic: Wisdom | Category: sermons

Recommended Series and Sermon Outlines

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Additional Resources