Ecclesiastes as an authoritative foundation for teaching life skills to youth today

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dc.contributor.advisor Masango, Maake J.S.
dc.contributor.postgraduate Forsyth, Douglas
dc.date.accessioned 2016-05-23T12:37:35Z
dc.date.available 2016-05-23T12:37:35Z
dc.date.created 2006
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.description Thesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2016. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Ecclesiastes has often been seen as a sceptic's view of life and because of its complex nature has not been studied thoroughly nor clearly understood. It is a very interesting book in the Bible because it addresses pertinent issues of life such as pleasure, fame, money, achievement, worship, satisfaction, work, justice, happiness and death. Each of these aspects affects the purpose and fulfilment of life. Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, sought to examine life so that he could determine its real meaning, in order to teach these principles to others and leave a lasting legacy. He was a man who had the time, the money, the wisdom, and the authority to examine life thoroughly and he had the means to pursue his every desire. He came to the conclusion that any pursuit in life, apart from a relationship with God and submitting to His purpose, was transitory and did not bring lasting satisfaction. These discoveries are the focus of Ecclesiastes and they direct one towards the understanding that life only has meaning in a relationship with God and living out His purposes. Solomon uses a unique form of"goad and nail" (Ecc. 12:11) in his writing style to capture the reader's attention and then direct them to a conclusive foundation of truth on which they can base their view of life. I believe it is the "Gospel of the Old Testament" and an authoritative book for evangelising and teaching life skills to Youth today. This thesis is a thorough study of Ecclesiastes, so as to accurately determine the message that Solomon wanted to convey and then apply those truths to Youth today. As a book contained in the Biblical scope of wisdom literature, Ecclesiastes teaches life skills on how to understand, approach and live life meaningfully. This is an important topic for all people and especially for Youth who have their lives ahead of them and are seeking for meaning and purpose, so that they can live fulfilled lives. However, because of the secularisation of our western society and the influence of Postmodernism, Youth are not receiving a true or realistic message on which to base their worldview. Much of what they have gleaned and believe is based on superficial thinking, feeling and presumption. Life's philosophies must be based on a solid foundation of convictions, which are based on absolute truth. This absolute truth is God's truth, as found in the Bible. As God inspired the writing of the book of Ecclesiastes, it becomes one of those bases within the scope of the Scriptures that authoritatively addresses the issues Youth face when developing their life purpose. Before trying to teach Youth the truths of Ecclesiastes one must first gain their acceptance because they have been influenced to reject absolutes. Thus it is necessary to cause them to re-evaluate their philosophies of life before teaching them biblical truth. Positive Deconstruction is the proposed method of approach and re-evaluation. The proposed method of teaching Youth the truths laid out in Ecclesiastes is through interactive discussion. This is a form of discussion that involves them and causes them to think independently. This method can be used by parents with their teens at home, teachers with their learners at school and also Youth leaders at church. Research also includes personal interviews with young people to determine their life goals and purpose. en_ZA
dc.description.availability Unrestricted en_ZA
dc.description.degree PhD en_ZA
dc.description.department Practical Theology en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Forsyth, D 2005, Ecclesiastes as an authoritative foundation for teaching life skills to youth today, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/52742> en_ZA
dc.identifier.other A2016
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/52742
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en_ZA
dc.subject Teaching life skills en_ZA
dc.subject UCTD
dc.title Ecclesiastes as an authoritative foundation for teaching life skills to youth today en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA


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