In an age ruled by New Atheism and moral relativity, it’s hard to present a unified front against those who would see God destroyed. The idea of eliminating God, even those who believe in him, is not a new idea. In his newest book, Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism, John Lennox provides for us an example in Daniel of a life dedicated to God no matter the outcome. Not only does he give us an overview of the book of Daniel but shows us what a life sold out to God could look like in our day.
In this sweeping narrative Lennox shows us the intricacies and complexities of a book like Daniel. In doing so he also opens up to the reader a deeper understanding of the quality of literature we have in the Scriptures. He connects the life of Daniel to that of Peter in ways that seem so simple on the surface. Not only do we see the life of Peter but that of Christ as well.
Writing in a very practical way, Lennox challenges the reader at almost every turn. He compares the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar to the Western way of thinking today. He contrasts the ideology of naturalism and materialism with that of the worldview of Christianity. He carefully deconstructs the ideas that made Babylon so powerful, and those which seem to fuel a militant atheism in our own day.
Along the same lines of a fierce apologetic for the gospel we also see a door opened and glimpse a world of a tenacious gospel presence in the public square. Daniel and his friends not only immersed themselves in the culture, though they were apart from it, they also consumed the literature and philosophy of their current rulers. This allowed them to gain the ear of the King in such a way that they were given positions of great authority over their cultural counterparts.
In an urgent cry both Daniel and Lennox proceed to say, in effect, that the ideology of Babylon with leave you empty. If the current trends of crushing God underneath their feet continue, we shall see a new Babylon rise up in the West. In a time where a belief in God is pushed into a closet only to be pursued in private, we are left with a marred vision of truth rooted in ourselves instead of something outside of us. Here is where we begin to see the consequences that ideas have when they are built up with Babylonian bricks instead of the pillars of God’s Word.
Overall this book is written very clear and cogently. John Lennox brings us keen insight, not only of our culture, but of that which ruled the Ancient Near East. This book is simultaneously about exegeting the culture of Babylon while holding the book of Daniel up next to the rest of the Scripture. He navigates the complex passages with logical flow anyone can follow. He takes the lofty ideas which Daniel writes about and distills them so that the average laymen are able to see the beauty of Christ on every page.
Lennox also produces in this work an urgent call for Christians to rise up and challenge the endless philosophies and methods of the New Atheists. He gives us the example of Daniel as a way to move forward. We must not only know our God personally and understand His word, we must be able to formulate in our minds, the ideas raising themselves against he knowledge of God. We must first consecrate God in our hearts as holy and then we must act in the power of the Holy Spirit to destroy those loft arguments.
Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism, presents the reader with an overview of the book of Daniel but it does so much more. It presents a unified apologetic front that the Christian must run with. We must exegete our culture with precision and allow the word of God to permeate our society while we as Christians take bold stands in the public square. I’m appreciative for Litfuse Publicity for allowing me to review this volume. It has served to strengthen my own resolve and to disseminate culture in a way that is whimsical and powerful.
Lennox, John. Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism. Grand Rapids: Monarch, 2015. 440. Print.