Monday, July 10, 2006

Hope in the Midst of a Hostile World

Over the summer, I've been preparing for a fall preaching series on Daniel at Covenant Presbyterian Church, where I serve as an assistant pastor. One of the more helpful things I've read is the new book, Hope in the Midst of a Hostile World, by George Schwab, associate professor of OT at Erskine Seminary.

This book is the newest installment in the "Gospel According to the OT" series, edited by Tremper Longman and Al Groves. Unlike some of the other volumes, which tend to feel like sermonic material, this volume seems more techinical in orientation. Still, there is a wealth of helpful material here. Particularly useful was the first part, which made the case for reading Daniel as one book containing apocalyptic material that meant to convey wisdom to Israel in its exilic condition. Also useful were Schwab's demonstration that the main focus of the book was the hope granted to God's people by the recognition of his sovereignty, even over the Babylonians; his overview of Daniel 2-7, seeing this Aramaic section as a coherent whole; and his discussion of the various interpretative possibilities for Daniel 9:24-27.

While this book does not replace (nor was it meant to replace) the need for solid commentaries on Daniel, I found this a helpful and useful book that covered key issues in a winsome writing style, all under 180 pages.

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