The honest faith in the Wisdom literature in the Old Testament

This is the third post on Christopher Wright’s insights into the Wisdom literature in the Old Testament (in his The Mission of God [Nottingham: IVP, 2006]). Here we will find that the Wisdom literature contains an “honest faith.”

The most challenging difference between Wisdom and the rest of the Old Testament tradition arises when some voices within the former express doubts about or question the universal applicability of some of the mainline affirmations in other parts of the Old Testament. And yet this may be precisely part of the purpose of the presence of this material in the canon of Scripture—to compel us towards an honest faith that is willing to acknowledge the existence of doubts we cannot entirely dismiss and questions we cannot satisfactorily answer within the limits of our experience or even the limits of the revelation God has chosen to give us. (p. 450)

The fact is that the world poses some very hard questions for those who, in line with the whole Bible testimony, believe in one, good, personal, sovereign God. Wisdom provides a license to think, to wrestle, to struggle, to protest and to argue. All it asks is that we do so with the undergirding faith and humble commitment encapsulated in its own core testimony that “the fear of the LORD—that is wisdom,/ and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). (p, 452)

(The previous two posts mentioned above can be found here and here.)


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