Skip to main content

The Derision of Heaven








The Derision of Heaven by Michael Whitworth

Unaccustomed to Michael Whitworth’s writing, I was glad to receive this book for review in the mail on the Book of Daniel.  The Book, Derision of Heaven, is a guide to the book of Daniel as Michael looks at the hostile world that Daniel is up against in Babylon and the world we live in also.  With a combination of scholarly acumen and theological wisdom, Michael steadily brings us through the situation that Daniel faced and the situation we face today.  With an eye towards God’s sovereign work over all nations, the obedience that he calls believers to, and the way believers are to live in ungodly cultural circumstances, The Derision of Heaven makes for an excellent read.

One of the significant aspects of the book was the way Michael opened up key points in Daniel’s life that helped us frame the entire message of the book.  In the first chapter Michael writes, “The word “resolved” (Hebrew sim) in 1:8 is among the most important in the entire book.  It marks Daniel as a man of great integrity and conviction, one absolutely committed to doing God’s will and bringing God glory” (32).  Daniel paid careful attention to serving God in his heart and in his actions regardless of what those people around him were asking him to do.  The importance of Daniel’s resolve was in part due to his resolve “to buck the trends of so many generations before him” (33) and follow after God and his Law.  Israel prior to Daniel looked more like the nations that squashed them than a holy people devoted to a jealous God.

Not a point easily seen, Michael’s careful use of good scholarly material on Daniel is to be commended.  In Daniel 7, he references the four different empires alluded to in ch. 7-12 as having various interpretations, whether they be from conservative or liberal scholars (134).  He goes on to make the telling comment that, “..obtaining a scholarly consensus on most anything in Dan 7-12 is as likely as getting a bus full of adolescents to agree on where to eat lunch on a long road trip” (134).  Yet, he takes the position that the fourth empire in Daniel is Rome.  Michael is careful to outline the various views of the kingdoms and still cogently argue for his position.

Overall, this book was a blessing in disguise.  I was not expecting to find such God-glorifying writing that used such great background research.  You will certainly find much to learn from and grow from in this book.


Thanks to Book Crash and Start2Finish  Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

The Paraclete Poetry Anthology, Edited by Mark S. Burrows

Bringing words to life on a page is hard work, and no work is harder than poetry.  Poets take the visceral, the mundane, and the disjointed and frayed things of life and put them on their head.  This new anthology of poetry put out by Paraclete Press and edited by Mark S. Burrows, takes the best poetry of today and brings together old and new poems from these gifted creators.  You find poems from Scott Cairs, SAID, Phyllis Tickle, and others.  The collection stems the span of 2005-2016 and includes both religious poems and themes, as well as themes covering a broad swath of topics.

One of the beauties of this collection is the array of poems that the anthology includes in its pages.  One poem in particular stuck with me as read through the collection.  Anna Kamienska is a wonderful Polish poet who interacts with the wider lens of faith while looking carefully at the world we live in.  She says in her poem named Gratitude, (44)

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to…