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Don't Waste Your Breath: Ecclesiastes and the Joy of a Fleeting Life by Brian Borgman

Don't Waste Your Breath: Ecclesiastes and the Joy of a Fleeting Life by Brian Borgman

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Your life is a mere breath. This reality can be difficult for us to live by. The book of Ecclesiastes takes us on a journey to show us that although this life is a vapor, it is still a gift from God meant to be enjoyed. Instead of giving a pessimistic look at life under the sun, Ecclesiastes shows us how to glorify God in this fleeting life by enjoying the ordinary, good gifts God bestows.

From the Foreword (by Paul Washer)

As I read through this work by Dr. Brian Borgman, he played the role of a Philip and enabled me to understand the book of Ecclesiastes in a completely new light. I no longer interpret Solomon’s words as the somber musings of a secular sage about the harsh realities of this fallen world. Instead, they have been transformed into a message of hope, a catalyst to trust God, and a goad to live life to the fullest.

Endorsements:
Get ready to be refreshed, strengthened, steadied, and wisened. Through this commentary, Brian will help you navigate life as it really is. Brian Borgman’s commentary on Ecclesiastes is here to deliver the book from a bad reputation and the reader from immaturity. Ecclesiastes has a reputation for being esoteric, disheartening, and confusing. Brian masterfully exposes the true meaning through his treatment of the underlying interpretive grids in the book. This commentary will help you navigate life’s ups and downs, gains and losses, sorrows and joys.
—Scott Brown
Pastor at Hope Baptist Church, Wake Forest, NC
President of Church and Family Life


For many people, the book of Ecclesiastes seems just too puzzling and negative to interest them. However, Brian Borgman's exposition of Ecclesiastes will change their minds, because through careful analysis and vivid writing he has explained the positive message of this biblical text in a compelling fashion. Life is indeed short, and it contains a lot of things that we cannot understand or control, yet God has also given us the ability to find joy in our brief and perplexing lives. If you have avoided Ecclesiastes, thinking it depressing and discouraging, let Borgman take you by the hand and show you its delights.
—Daniel Estes
Distinguished Professor of Old Testament
Cedarville University


In this accessible, experiential, and thought-provoking commentary, Brian Borgman provides faithful exegesis, practical application, and balanced perspective on perhaps one of the most misunderstood books of the Bible. Borgman demonstrates that Ecclesiastes is not about life’s vanity (lack of purpose) but its vapor (lack of permanence). Although Solomon is realistic about life in a fallen world that is full of uncertainty, injustice, suffering, pain, and death, he also shows that man’s vaporous life is full of God’s beautiful gifts—like food, youth, work, and marriage—and that we can glorify our Creator by enjoying these gifts with thanksgiving. The good life, then, is one lived soli Deo gloria—for the glory of God alone and in the enjoyment of Him alone. Be prepared to have your assumptions about Ecclesiastes transformed!
—Joel R. Beeke
Chancellor and Professor of Homiletics & Systematic Theology
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary


Turns out, Ecclesiastes is far more encouraging than we’ve been led to think. At least, this is what Brian Borgman has concluded, and his case for this conclusion is at one and the same time well-informed, argued persuasively, clearly written, and spiritually enlivening. I finished my reading of his book with my head bowed in renewed gratitude to God for the privilege of yet another day granted by His grace and kindness. I don’t want to waste another breath. Enjoy and serve, in humility, trust, and obedience. This is what life truly is about. I’m deeply grateful to Dr. Borgman for this valuable contribution to our understanding of this precious biblical book and for the tremendous encouragement it is to our faith.
—Bruce A. Ware
Professor of Christian Theology
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky


Discerning the meaning of Ecclesiastes has eluded commentators through the ages. Not Brian Borgman. Through meticulous exegesis and profound pastoral insight, he skillfully unveils the true meaning behind Qoheleth’s message. Borgman convincingly demonstrates that Ecclesiastes is anything but “meaningless”; instead, it brims with timeless biblical wisdom applicable to every demographic. Don’t Waste Your Breath is one book on which your breath will not be wasted! Highly recommended.
—Robert Gonzales
Dean
Reformed Baptist Seminary


I thank God that Brian Borgman not only preached through Ecclesiastes but also reduced his sermons to book form. This exposition of Ecclesiastes is a breath of fresh air. Here are twenty chapters of wisdom gleaned from someone who was stunned by the realization that life was a vapor. Solomon had enough God-inspired wisdom to appreciate the centrality of God as he took a mental journey through this brief and uncertain life. This book will help you to do the same. Enjoy the ride!
—Conrad Mbewe
Pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church
Founding chancellor of the African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia


Brian takes a fresh positive approach to the book of Ecclesiastes, finding hope in the gospel despite the brevity of this life. This is not a book Brian could have written when he was thirty. He needed to pastor the same congregation for thirty years (marrying and burying), to become a grandfather, and to undergo brain surgery to gain the wise personal insights he offers in this book. This treatment of Ecclesiastes is personal, transparent, readable, carefully researched, and humble. I found this commentary so helpful that I am almost ready to take the plunge and preach from Ecclesiastes for the first time.
—Dr. Jim Newheiser
Professor of Christian Counseling and Pastoral Theology
Director of the Christian Counseling Program
Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte
IBCD Executive Director


In his new commentary on Ecclesiastes, Brian Borgman helpfully unravels much of the difficulty often found in this challenging book of the Bible. Well-written and reliable, this work will benefit any gospel minister with its solid exegesis and Christ-centeredness. This will be among the first resources I pull from my shelf whenever I preach from this book.
—Pastor Rob Ventura
Author of Expository Outlines & Observations on Romans and co-author of A Portrait of Paul and Spiritual Warfare


The biblical book of Ecclesiastes has been variously called “enigmatic,” “troublesome,” “puzzling,” and even “strange,” by so many, even those who have actually tried to diligently understand it. Some unbelievers think it is a book so seemingly disturbing and mysterious, that they frankly find it impossible to grasp, finally mocking it altogether. Others do not—those who actually believe in God (whether Jews or Christians)—yet seem rather to just throw up their hands in frustration, confessing ignorance of the book’s overall thrust and meaning. If you find yourself somewhere in the middle of this wide spectrum of views, please consider reading this excellent book by Brian Borgman. From my perspective, at least, Dr. Borgman truly understands both the scope and meaning of this biblical book of divine wisdom, which we call Ecclesiastes. Through solid English prose and sure-footed biblical interpretation, Borgman leads you by the hand, ably explaining each section of the Scriptural text, thereby helping the reader understand the whole. My thanks indeed, to the author, for a skillful portrayal of life under the sun, and how you and I ought to humbly respond to it.
—Lance Quinn
Vice-President The Expositors Seminary
Jupiter, Florida


The book of Ecclesiastes does not get the attention it deserves. If you are not familiar with the book, you’ll find Brian Borgman an enlightening guide. If you’re planning to preach through the book, you’ll want his guidance also. A delightful, enriching study on this uniquely important part of our Bible!
—Fred G. Zaspel
Pastor, Reformed Baptist Church, Franconia, PA
Executive Editor, Books at a Glance
Adjunct Professor of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Co-author with Bruce Waltke, How to Read and Understand the Psalms (Crossway, 2023).

Author Bio

Brian Borgman is the founding pastor of Grace Community Church in Minden, NV, where he has served since 1994. He has degrees from  Biola University, Western Seminary, Westminster Seminary in  California, and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is a speaker and the author of several books, including An Exiles Guide to  Walking with God: Meditations on Psalm 119 (Free Grace  Press) Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian  Life (Crossway). He has been married to Ariel since 1987, and they  have three grown children and several grandchildren.

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Don't Waste Your Breath: Ecclesiastes and the Joy of a Fleeting Life by Brian Borgman
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