Shepherding spirit

Thanks to my friend Alex Trochez for stimulating the following line of thought. According to Jordan’s count (confirmed by my own), the phrase “shepherding wind” occurs twice in Ecclesiastes by itself (1:17; 4:6) and 7 times with the word “vapor” (1:14; 2:11, 17, 26; . . . . Continue Reading »

Solomonic epistemology

Solomon pursued knowledge and wisdom, and concluded that the pursuit was no more than vapor and shepherding wind, and besides the more he knew the more pain and grief he suffered (1:17-18). There is so much in this wispy world that we cannot know: Whether the result of our works will be universal . . . . Continue Reading »


John Thackara ‘s In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World , a brief for more human, and more eco-friendly, technology and economy, is full of insights that challenge much of the conventional wisdom about the “information age.” A sampling: We do not live in “the . . . . Continue Reading »


Solomon captures the aporia of beginnings in Ecclesiastes 3:15: “That which is has been already, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.” This not only restates “there is nothing new under the sun” but also suggests that the search for an . . . . Continue Reading »

Qohelet and the gospel

Provan has this insightful comment: “A central theme of [Jesus’] ministry, enacted in his own life, is that the proper way in which to respond to the nature of reality is to give away one’s life rather than hold on to it, to open our hands and let things go rather than to close . . . . Continue Reading »

Late Modern Vapor

The style industry exists to keep producing new styles, to keep everyone thinking that they have to buy a new wardrobe each year to keep up, to bring shame to everyone uncool enough to wear last season’s colors . A celebrity, someone once said, is a person well known for being well known. But . . . . Continue Reading »