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Letter to the Editor: Response to the Last Editorial

Letter to the Editor Response to Last Edition’s Editorial Dear Editor, Thank you very much for your Christian charity and spirited editorial, Friday 8th October 2021, ( E.C. No.8090).  Also thanks are due to you for reprinting so much excellent reformed evangelical...

Letter to the Editor: The Murder of Sir David Amess

Murder of Sir David Amess Dear Editor, I grieve at the loss of a friend and former Party colleague Sir David Amess, MP who was murdered in an increasingly dangerous world. In the 70s I worked with David in the Young Conservatives before he became an MP and he was...

Reformation Sunday Advert

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:                        15 October 2021. My ‘Advert’ titled “Reformation Sunday 31 October” said, “The Church of England should still celebrate this 500th year since Martin Luther declared at the ‘Diet of Worms’ in 1521, “Here I stand. God help...

Leicester Diocese Illogical

Letter to the Editor Leicester Diocese Illogical   Sir, Leicester Diocese’s decision on 9 October to replace its traditional Parishes with ‘Minsters' is both spiritually and financially illogical.  The Church of England’s own growth report ‘From Anecdote to...

Barnabas Fund Reports: Turkey Escalates Airstrikes Against Christians in Syria & Iraq

Barnabas Fund Reports Turkey Escalating Airstrikes Against Christians and other Minorities in Syria and Iraq Turkey has escalated a supposedly anti-terrorist military campaign in Syria and Iraq which appears to be targeting Christians and other minorities. A spate of...

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Part 4

Should I Stay or Should I Go? By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles Part 4 Gedaliah is appointed governor and we read that Jeremiah purposely chooses to live amongst “those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile in Babylon” (40:7). Things have taken a turn...

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley Saturday, 16 October marked the 466th anniversary of the martyrdoms of Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.   They were burned at the stake after being found guilty of heresy due to their refusal to...

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture: John Yates III to Speak

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture  Revd Dr John Yates III to Speak The annual Clive West Memorial Lecture will be held on Thursday, 11 November at 19:30 at St Nicholas’ Church, Lisburn Road in Belfast.  This year’s speaker is the Revd Dr John Yates III, Rector of Holy...

Book Review: Bleeding for Jesus

Bleeding for Jesus John Smyth and the cult of the Iwerne Camps Andrew Graystone Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913657123, 250pp, £12.99) This book is the latest instalment of a long-running tragedy. It comes six years after the author was first made aware...

School Pupils Across the Country Memorise Passages from BCP for £1,000 Prize

School Pupils Across the Country  Memorise Book of Common Prayer Passages  £1,000 Prize for Winner By Tim Stanley Hundreds of school pupils across the country are busy this term studying prayers and readings from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in a bid to win a prize...

Against The Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel In An Age Of Relativism

Against The Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel In An Age Of Relativism

John C Lennox

Monarch Books, 2015. 

ISBN: 978-0-85721-621-2

The Book of Daniel gains barely a mention in the Revised Common Lectionary, but arguably there is not a book of Scripture that is more relevant for our troubled time than in history than this one. The stories of the abduction of Daniel and his friends to Babylon, the burning fiery furnace, Belshazzar’s Feast and Daniel in the Lions’ Den are the stuff of Sunday School curricula and sermons encouraging faithfulness. John Lennox, well known for his works on apologetics has done the Church a great service by taking these famous stories and highlighting their significance for ourselves today.

From the outset Lennox points out that it is the sovereignty of God which is key to understanding the text of Daniel. As he unpacks the story we learn about the impact of pluralism, as real an issue in 6th century BC Babylon as today, the significance of identity, the problem of idolatry and how to take a principled stand on issues such as diet in a conciliatory manner so as to gain the respect of others if not their entire approval. Daniel and his friends thrived in Babylon precisely because of their determination to be faithful to God. Furthermore, God honours their faithfulness with promotion in the political structures of Babylon. However, it is clear that in spite of their exalted position they still had to tread carefully in the midst of political intrigue in high places and the volatile temperament of an absolute monarch. When the State becomes “God” we discover that there can be a cost to pay in faithfulness to God and refusing to bow down to the golden idol Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Those who have watched television series such ‘The West Wing’ or ‘House of Cards’ will be well aware of the corrosive effects of power corrupting and the impact of intrigues in high places. We may not be thrown to the lions in the 21st century but the impact of our so-called ‘cancel culture’ can be just as threatening as any wild beast.

Lennox weaves his way through the various stories of Daniel in such a way that we are immediately able to make the connection between the ancient world and our own time. He has done a great service for all of us who are preachers of the Word today. He helps us make sense of the visions in the second half of Daniel and his observations about eschatology are measured and free of the sort of speculative offerings too much in evidence from conspiracy theorists. Lennox defends the 6th century BC dating of Daniel and the predictive nature of prophecy upheld in Daniel. For those committed to systematic expository preaching this is a thoroughly engaging resource as well as a reliable guide to understanding Daniel’s message for today. It has an honourable place in my library alongside other fine works on Daniel by Iain M Duguid, Joyce Baldwin, Ronald S Wallace and E J Young. If you have never previously thought of preaching on Daniel maybe now is a good time to think about it.

 

Revd Stephan van Os

St. Andrew’s Church

WANGANUI

    

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