Also by this author: Brave by Faith: God-Sized Confidence in a Post-Christian World, The Christian Manifesto: Jesus’ Life-Changing Words from the Sermon on the Plain
Published by Good Book Company on May 1, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
What does it look like to live with joy in a society that does not like what Christians believe, say, or do? It's tempting to grow angry, keep our heads down, retreat, or just give up altogether.
But this isn't the first time God's people have had to learn how to live in a pagan world that opposes God's rule. In this realistic yet positive book, renowned Bible teacher Alistair Begg examines the first seven chapters of Daniel to show us how to live bravely, confidently and obediently in an increasingly secular society.
Readers will see that God is powerful, God is sovereign, and that even in the face of circumstances that appear to be prevailing against his people, we may trust him entirely.
We can be as brave as Daniel, if we have faith in Daniel's God!
"The message of Daniel is incredibly relevant for us in our generation. Not because it maps out a strategy for how to deal with our new lack of status... or because Daniel was a great man and we need to follow his example. The reason is that it will help us to believe in Daniel's God." Alistair Begg, author.
This is yet another evangelical book about Daniel, but Alistair Begg explores the biblical narrative in a way that keeps God at the center. Instead of focusing on key parts of the story to highlight moral messages or character-building examples, he goes through the whole story in context, understanding God as the central character. He emphasizes God’s work within Daniel’s life and Israel’s exile, and instead of telling us to all be like Daniel, he emphasizes that we should worship and trust Daniel’s God.
However, Brave by Faith: God-Sized Confidence in a Post-Christian World includes cultural commentary that I found more frustrating than compelling. Society has shifted, and some Christians in the West face contempt and discrimination because of their beliefs, but given the amount of social and political power that Christians have in America, some of Begg’s statements seemed extreme and unfair. He could have addressed contemporary issues in a much more nuanced way, and would gain more credibility if he acknowledged ways that American Christians have historically silenced and marginalized others. Faith-based discrimination is very real, but because of Begg’s broad statements and sweeping assumptions, it would be easy for someone skeptical of this to dismiss it entirely.
Despite my concerns about the cultural commentary in this book, I would recommend it to people who are interested in a solid exegesis of the book of Daniel. Begg writes about the first seven chapters, drawing on ancient Near East historical context, engaging with the characters and events, and connecting details from the text to the whole redemptive story of Scripture. He also shares insight into the apocalyptic content of Daniel chapter seven. This book gives a fuller representation of the story than what most Christians remember or know, and the true story is bold, bracing, and inspiring.