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Statute of Limitations Proposed for Legacy of Troubles

Statute of Limitations Proposed for Legacy of the Troubles During the Prime Minister’s Question time on 15 July, PM Johnson announced that the government would be bringing forth a statute of limitations in regard to occurencess committed before the Good Friday...

Church of England Considering Legislation Regarding Parishes Seeking Input on Proposals

Church of England Considering Legislation Regarding Parishes Seeking Input on Proposals   Input has been requested on the proposals to change the current legislation regarding parishes within the Church of England.  The review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure...

GAFCON Australia to Support Diocese for Those Forced from Anglican Church of Australia

GAFCON Australia to Support Diocese for Those Forced from Anglican Church of Australia Gafcon Australia has outlined its plan to support Anglicans who leave the Anglican Church of Australia over doctrinal revision which overturns the plain teaching of Scripture. At an...

Church of England Evangelical Council Reacts to Unorthodox Remarks by Bp of Liverpool

Church of England Evangelical Council Reacts to Unorthodox Remarks by Bishop of Liverpool The Church of England Evangelical Council has responded to a widely criticised public address and subsequent apology made last month by the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of...

Questions Out of LFF, Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir, I read the first article from Anglican Futures, regarding the document, Living In Love and Faith, [LLF] EC 8083. I found the article helpful, well presented and gives a clear overview of the document.  However, I found myself seriously disquieted and I raise...

Kenyan Bishop Appeals for Orphan Aid: Parental Deaths Due to HIV

Kenyan Bishop Appeals for Orphan Aid Parental Deaths Due to HIV  The Rt Revd John Orina Omangi, Bishop of the Kisii Missionary District in Eastern Kenya is appealing for assistance in caring for 100 children orphaned by the widespread HIV problem in the area.  Kisii...

Christianity & Craft Freemasonry, A Pastoral Guide for Christian Ministers

Christianity and Craft Freemasonry A Pastoral Guide for Christian Ministers Gerard Moate Latimer Trust, 2021 (ISBN: 9781906327705, 70pp) By 1964 a national commission of enquiry estimated the existence of 50,000 books and pamphlets on freemasonry. This literature has,...

Forgotten Reformer: Myles Coverdale

Forgotten Reformer: Miles Coverdale Geoffrey Main Self-published, 2021 (ISBN: 9781916873704, 228pp) Episcopal biographies are always an enjoyable read, not least those of bishops who are better known for their non-episcopal work. Coverdale is of course best known for...

And Just When You Thought You’d Heard Everything, Bats Communications Officer

Whilst considering reducing the number of clergy nationwide, the Church of England is advertising for someone to be employed as its, “Bats in Churches Communications Officer”.  The post, which is located in London, pays between £31,857 and £34,255 (pro rata).  The...

Pilgrim’s Proces: Baptism Depths of Meaning by Peter Sanlon

In my last column we looked at the Lord’s Supper.  Today, we take a look at the other sign our Lord Jesus instituted among us.  These signs, or sacraments, which God gives his people are both simple and profound. In their simplicity, God's grace is powerfully...

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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