How could an ancient book provide wisdom today?
Graham Hooper shares from many years of experience about what makes a truly wise life. A conversation with humour, wisdom and practical advice assessing if the Bible's framework for life really works.
Graham Hooper has worked for over twenty years in senior executive roles with a global infrastructure company. He has worked in some twenty countries around the world. He’s the author of two books, Undivided, and, A better way to live.
Join us as we ask Graham some bigger questions.
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Bigger questions asked in the conversation
You’ve worked in twenty countries? Is this because you’re on the run from the law?
Graham, we’re going to ask you a couple of smaller questions about poor choices.
Do you think Enron executive made some foolish decisions?
Now Graham, you believe that the Bible provides wisdom on how to make wise choices in life - you claim that it provides a better way to live. But before we think about that, we’re interested to hear about why you believe the Bible is even worth following. So Graham, what convinced you to become a Christian believer?
The Bible in modern life
You worked in a major infrastructure firm - how could the Bible apply in the modern working world?
Your latest book, ‘A Better way to live’ focuses on two specific parts of the Bible: the Psalms and Proverbs. What do those books mean to you?
What are the Psalms and Proverbs?
What did you love about them?
Wisdom, not foolishness - Proverbs 9
In Proverbs wisdom is contrasted with foolishness. This contrast is described in Proverbs chapter 9 via two different women. One named, ‘Wisdom’ is depicted as a noble patroness and the other ‘Folly’ as pretentious, unruly woman. What choice is Proverbs offering here?
What is the difference between a wise and a foolish choice?
Is getting a bad tattoo a wise or foolish choice?
Proverbs 9:10 says that The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
What is the fear of the Lord?
How does following God help us make wise choices?
Why is this a better way to live?
Integrity, not dishonesty - Proverbs 11:1-11
Let’s consider the choices that Proverbs sets out before us in a couple of aspects of our life. What about integrity and dishonesty. Graham, have you ever seen dishonesty in business?
What’s the matter with a bribe? Isn’t that the way business is done in some parts of the world?
The Bible says something different Proverbs 11:3 says,
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
If you consider the major corporate scandals such as the VW emissions scandal, or Enron’s fraudulent management and accounting. Then does this Proverb ring true? That the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity?
It was ironic that Enron company values included integrity, yet it made a series of choices which didn’t really demonstrate that. Proverbs encourages more than lip-service to these ideas?
But do you really need the Bible to tell you this - surely this is common sense?
Faithful relationships - Proverbs 5
According to your book, you claim that the Bible offers a better way to live by encouraging faithful relationships. Proverbs encourages marital fidelity, for example, Proverbs 5:20
Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
And it also goes on in Proverbs 6 to warn that marital infidelity will lead to disaster
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
Have you seen the negative consequences of adulterous decisions?
It sounds like the Bible is just moralising. A bunch of rules that you have to follow. Is this the way of life Proverbs presents?
Blessing of forgiveness Psalm 32
This is the way of life the Proverbs offers. It sounds like it offers a better way to live, but what if we make mistakes?
So what is the Bible’s solution?
Psalm 32 begins with this statement:
1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
Why is forgiveness a blessing?
Would this have been good news to your insurance salesman?
There was a period in your life where you doubted you were really forgiven. How did you resolve that?
The Big Question
So Graham, does the Bible really offer a better way to live?