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Against the Flow


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Uses the book of Daniel as a starting point for a wide-ranging critique of current Western thinking.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Why We Should Read Daniel 1
Daniel 1
1. A Matter of History 4
2. City of Idols 25
3. A Question of Values 33
4. A Question of Identity 40
5. The Resolution and the Protest 57
6. The World-View of Babylon 64
7. The Manner of the Protest 76
8. The Logical Structure of Daniel 83
Daniel 2
9. Dreams and Revelations 88
10. A Succession of Empires 104
Daniel 3
11. When the State Becomes God 136
Daniel 4
12. The Testimony of Nebuchadnezzar 152
Daniel 5
13. The Writing on the Wall 172
Daniel 6
14. The Law of the Medes and Persians 194
15. The Law of the Jungle 213
Daniel 7
16. The Four Beasts and the Son of Man 224
Daniel 8
17. The Vision of the Ram and the Goat 254
Daniel 9
18. Jerusalem and the Future 279
19. The Seventy Weeks 294
20. The Seventieth Week 301
Daniel 10
21. The Man above the River 311
Daniel 11
22. The Book of Truth 324
Daniel 12
23. The Time of the End 339
Appendix A: The Nature of the Kingdom of God 356
Appendix B: Translation of the Text on the Cyrus Cylinder 371
Appendix C: The Structure of the Book of Daniel 376
Appendix D: Daniel 11 and History 378
Appendix E: The Dating of the Book of Daniel 399
Questions for Reflection or Discussion 401
Bibliography 409
Notes 413
Index 417
Text Acknowledgments 432
Picture Acknowledgments 434

About the Author

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College. He lectures on Faith and Science for the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He has lectured in many universities around the world, including Austria and the former Soviet Union. He is particularly interested in the interface of Science, Philosophy and Theology. Lennox has been part of numerous public debates defending the Christian faith. He debated Richard Dawkins on "The God Delusion" in the University of Alabama (2007) and on "Has Science buried God?" in the Oxford Museum of Natural History (2008). He has also debated Christopher Hitchens on the New Atheism (Edinburgh Festival, 2008) and the question of "Is God Great?" (Samford University, 2010), as well as Peter Singer on the topic of "Is there a God?" (Melbourne, 2011). John is the author of a number of books on the relations of science, religion and ethics. He and his wife Sally live near Oxford.


"John Lennox has done it again. Combining deep thought, pervasive research and a keen eye on contemporary Western culture, Lennox has managed to draw tight, informative parallels between Daniel's life and circumstances and the contemporary believer's life and circumstances. In my view, the most interesting point in Against the Flow is Lennox's point that while embedded in the top echelons of a pluralistic culture growingly hostile to biblical religion, Daniel did not rest content to shrink his witness to one of personal piety. Instead, Daniel maintained public engagement with the ideas and practices extant in his day. Finally, Lennox offers wise advice and practical application for how we can become modern-day Daniels. I highly recommend this book." -- J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
"Few parts of Scripture are more conscious of the clash between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world than the Old Testament book of Daniel. Few authors today are more expert at analysing and articulating both than John Lennox. It is a masterful combination, and the result is extraordinary." -- Revd Dr John Dickson, Founding Director, Centre for Public Christianity
"I read everything John Lennox writes because of his amazing blend of rigorous scholarship with practical insights and applications for all of us. You cannot afford to miss this important book! Read it, then pass it on to a friend." -- Dr Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
"This book is an outstanding example of our responsibility both to understand God's Word and the culture in which we live, and then to make the connections between the two. John Lennox is uniquely gifted to help us do this, as he addresses the big themes of God's work in history, the place of morality, the nature of humankind, the challenges to faith, the trustworthiness of scripture, and the call to proclaim the truth whatever the cost. As a Bible teacher, a scientist, and a courageous disciple of Christ, John Lennox has provided us with an extraordinary resource - I wholeheartedly recommend this remarkable book." -- Jonathan Lamb, CEO and minister-at-large, Keswick Ministries
"I cannot think of a more important book for a secular, pluralist age. John Lennox challenges Christians to dare to be like Daniel, who witnessed boldly at the highest levels in a nation that did not share his faith. This book is a huge encouragement to all Christians who long to live faithfully and usefully for God in a hostile world." -- Amy Orr-Ewing, Director of Programmes, Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics
"John Lennox has achieved a rare thing - excellent scholarship, biblical faithfulness and cultural application par excellence. His examination of the story of Daniel exposes the deep tensions that were faced by Israel and reminds us that many of those challenges still exist. Just as Daniel maintained integrity and faithfulness to God, so can we. This is a book of applied theological reflection that overflows with hope. The challenges it addresses are very real but the answers it gives are breathtakingly simple and profoundly challenging." -- Malcolm Duncan, Senior Pastor, Gold Hill Baptist Church
"John Lennox has a unique gift as a Bible teacher. He applies text to today's world and its prevailing philosophies in penetrating ways. This learned exposition of Daniel shows how the book offers powerful critiques of the modern idolatries, whether atheist or secularist. Every reader of this volume will see the depth and coherence of the book of Daniel in a new way." -- Dr Peter J. Williams, Warden, Tyndale House, Cambridge
"Against the Flow combines solid study of the book of Daniel with clear insight into our current social and political conditions. The book helps us see the practical implications and relevance of the book of Daniel to 21st-Century life. Professor Lennox is a scientist and Christian apologist. Both aspects of his expertise are well demonstrated in this latest book. Lennox's writing style is easily accessible, with a delightful lack of unnecessary jargon. This is strong stuff, fascinating and illuminating. I heartily recommend it and will be seeking out Professor Lennox's previous books." * Reform Magazine *
"Lennox takes the reader through the book of Daniel and the world he inhabited in Babylon. This is an excellent book... He writes clearly and compellingly and offers significant insights into both the biblical material and the historical evidence surrounding it" * Idea Magazine *

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