Christopher J. H. Wright is International Ministries director of the Langham Partnership and the author of numerous books related to global missions, the Old Testament, and the people of God. Wright is both a veteran scholar and a seasoned pastor, and like many of his books, Hearing the Message of Daniel: Sustaining Faith in Today’s World demonstrates this blended reality with excellence.
Hearing the Message of Daniel is not a commentary. This needs to be stated and understood at the beginning so readers are not disappointed with the outcome. As Wright notes, “[the book has] its origin in preaching, and retains much of that style” (p. 12). Furthermore, as should be expected, Wright avoids the critical questions of the book and takes no position on “the unity of Daniel, or dating of its later chapters, or of the book as a whole” (p. 12). Hearing the Message of Daniel is an encouragement rooted in the exposition of the book of Daniel. As Wright explains, “the entire book is indented to be an encouragement to God’s people in the midst of hostile and threatening cultures and to affirm God’s sovereign control of all that happens, even as fallen human beings ‘do as they please’ in exercising their own rebellious wills in opposition to God and his people” (p. 12).
The book is comprised of numerous expositions on the book of Daniel. Each chapter in the book corresponds to a chapter in the book of Daniel, apart from the final chapter which covers Daniel 10-12. It should also be noted that chapters 1-6 were previously published in Tested by Fire: Daniel 1-6—Solid Faith in Today’s World (Scripture Union Publishing, 1993). Wright does an exceptional job keeping the reader focused on the message of the book while avoiding much of the theological, namely eschatological concerns many readers will be familiar with from the book of Daniel. He does well to provide the reader with background information pertinent to the message of the book and doesn’t shy away from offering theological observations founded upon the larger narrative (i.e. God’s sovereignty).
Hearing the Message of Daniel: Sustaining Faith in Today’s World is quintessential Christopher J. H. Wright. It is readable, reliable, and sensitive to what matters in the Christian life. Wright sets out to strengthen and offer encouragement for those facing hostility and persecution and does so with an eye upon the grace and mercy of God. Wright demonstrates the relevance of the book of Daniel with little effort and captures the reader’s hearts in the process. This is a book that will stir your heart with confidence for God and his lovingkindness for his people. If you’re preaching or teaching through Daniel, then Hearing the Message of Daniel is an essential read. It comes highly recommended!