Ecclesiastes is one of the Old Testaments five wisdom books. It has been said that the Psalms teach us how to worship; Proverbs, how to behave; Job, how to suffer; Song of Solomon, how to love; and Ecclesiastes, how to live. How? With realism and reverence, with humility and restraint, coolly and contentedly, in wisdom and in joy. — J. I. Packer, “How I Learned to Live Joyfully,” See: Christianity Today for online edition
THE ‘CALLED OUT’
It is often said that the English word “church” in the New Testament translates the word ekklesia in the Greek text, and that ekklesia comes from two words, ek (“out”) and kaleo (“to call”)–teaching us that we who comprise Christ’s “church” are “called out” from the world to follow Jesus as Lord and master.
This is an example of reaching a right conclusion for a wrong reason. In the New Testament, our word “church” does commonly represent ekklesia, and that word does have roots in the two words meaning “to call” and “out”. And the Bible does teach that we who comprise Christ’s “church” are “called out” from the the world to follow Jesus as Lord and master. However, by New Testament times the word ekklesia itself had come to mean simply “assembly” or congregation.”
Etymology is not the same thing as definition, and a word’s source is sometimes totally unrelated to its present meaning. For example, our word “butterfly” has nothing to do with either “butter” or “fly,” but instead evolved from “flutter-by”—the creature’s original name with an obvious source.
Or consider the origin of our word “canary.” The bird was named for the Canary Islands, where the European explorers discovered it in massive numbers. And where, if we dare to ask, did the Canary Islands get their name? From the Latin word for “dogs,” of course, the wild animals that earlier European explorers found living already in great numbers on the Islands when the explorers arrived. And that is one way to turn a dog into a bird!
Presentations at the second annual international Conference on Conditional Immortality, held this June at Fuller Theological Seminary in Fullerton, Calfornia, are now available from the conference sponsors on DVD. For details go to: www.RethinkingHell.com or to order, go to: www.RethinkingHell.com/DVD