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Does Anything Make Sense?
So recommends the last words of the Buddha. It sounds like good advice, but then the human heart invariably presses on to doubt itself! After all, what security, what authority, what kind of assurance can we have that this light is real light or true? The hunger for meaning, the quest for understanding, the search for answers and solutions are central features of the human condition. For instance, what is the nature of reality? What is it (existence) all about? What is the purpose of life (if any), and to what should we try to give answers? A much-neglected source and resource for reflection in this area, perhaps due to a more rationalistic approach to apologetics, is the book of Ecclesiastes or the Preacher (Qoheleth in Hebrew). It is a book that speaks profoundly to our times by asking questions, by setting out contradictions, and by forcing the reader to “feel” what absurdity as an outlook is really like.
As the book opens, we are confronted with its most famous words, “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity and a striving after wind” (Eccl. 1:2). Or in the New International Version: “ ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher, ‘Utterly Meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’” Not a very inspiring start! Why does he say this? Well, he has devoted himself to explore life, to examine what is good for men to do under the sun, and his observations have yielded some depressing results...
Stuart McAllister, Apologist, is an itinerant speaker and writer. Since becoming a Christian in his home country of Scotland in 1977, he has traveled the globe, first smuggling bibles and other Christian resources behind the Iron Curtain. Throughout almost forty-five years of ministry, he has spoken to business groups, medical professionals, and government and community leaders. He has been a frequent contributor to many publications over the years. He has contributed chapters in the books Beyond Opinion (Thomas Nelson, 2007) and Global Missiology for the 21st Century (World Evangelical Fellowship, 2000). He and his son, Cameron, have co- written a book, Faith That Lasts: A Father and Son on Cultivating Lifelong Belief , which was published in 2021.