Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Faithful to the End

Gordon Wong, 2006, Faithful to the End: The Message of Daniel for Life in the Real World (Singapore: Genesis Books)

For some reasons, I always feel tense and a bit apprehensive when I read commentaries about the prophetic books from the Bible. I guess it is because these commentaries tend to be very serious, conjuring up images from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Hence I was pleasantly surprised when I find Dr. Gordon Wong’s book a delightful read.

Dr. Gordon Wong lectures in Old Testament, Hebrew and Homiletics at Trinity Theological College in Singapore. The various chapters are based on a serious of sermons he gave on the book of Daniel. It retains the flavor of a conversational type of sermon with numerous illustrations. I especially love the illustrations he made from movies that he has watched.

His approach is pastoral rather than academic. This does not mean that there are no academic materials there. In fact, there are tons of theological studies and commentaries but Dr. Wong has distilled the essence out of them and presented them as something simple and easy to understand. He is not dogmatic in his approach but makes allowance for other views too. Each chapter ends with a summary and additional reading where he deals with the more academic aspects of the book. I like this approach because it does not distract from the key points of the chapter. Often, reading commentaries on prophetic books are confusing because the authors present the forest and the trees together. So we end up being lost in the wood. There are also discussion questions at the end of each chapter for group study.

This is an excellent good book, written by Dr. Wong. I would recommend it for individual or group study in the churches.


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6 Comments:

Anonymous Daud said...

The prophet Daniel, a worshipper of YHWH in exile serving in a powerful, pagan empire, has many lessons for how to be the people of God as minorities in a culture which does not share our assumptions

6:50 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi daud,

That is why I think it is a good book for us to study. Babylon was a multicultural and pluralistic society likes ours. There is so much we can learn from him.

7:15 PM  
Blogger sivinkit said...

I must say .. the book covers have improved these days! :-)

11:12 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

yes, isn't that great. I really like the celtic cross and Aslan the lion from Narnia in the background.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Daud said...

hmm... isnt that lion look suspiciously like one of Daniel's house-mates for a night?? :D

7:53 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

now that you mention it, you may be right. *smile*

12:43 AM  

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