Author: William Burnett
Mr. Burnett does not present your average book on Daniel. He purposefully delves into the rich character of Daniel and his friends, with applications to our lives today. He gives a clear and conscise introduction of the historical aspect of Daniel then goes on to cover in detail the first ten chapters. Many of the chapters have a helpful summary at the end to review the main points given. This book brings out beautiful examples of a man dedicated to God that will be an encouragement and a challenge to any reader. It is well written, in a style that is very comfortable.
Daniel: Godly Living in a Hostile World is an encouragement and a challenge. Throughout his life, Daniel exemplifies what a true believer ought to be, completely reliant on God. He goes through many situations where his life for the Lord is made obvious. While the book covers many topics, such as trusting God, standing for truth, trials, value of a testimony, prayer and evangelism, here are a few of my favourite:
However, like Joseph, Daniel and his companions had a firm grasp of the sovereign ways of God, and, despite the situation and its complexities, he refused to compromise his faith. He acted in Babylon as he would have acted under better circumstances in Jerusalem (pg.23).
Sadly, standing for truth has often been done in a wrong spirit. Many Christians have felt that being severe, surly and uncooperative is part of the requirement, and that this is the manner in which to face the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need to develop good relationships with our colleagues at work, and with our unsaved friends and neighbours, without compromising our faith, so that when we are against the wall and needing some elbow room, they will give it to us. Daniel was able to persuade Melzar, whose life incidentally was on the line in this matter, to allow him a ten-day testing period of abstaining from the king’s meat. Daniel was granted his request because Melzar had come to love him. So we must conduct ourselves in a manner that will attract people, and earn a character credit rating that will stand us in good stead when it comes to spiritual challenges (Pg. 24).
Daniel believed that God was sovereign, and that this crisis was a time of opportunity rather than a disaster, and he did not panic (pg. 28).
While this book has much to recommend it there is one item I didn’t agree with. Mr. Burnett includes his personal convictions regarding music. I agree with some of what he said regarding secular music, and the dangers thereof, but cannot agree with the whole of his statements.
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it for others. There are many situations that arise in our lives that I think Daniel would have handled well. We have much to learn from his life of service to God. He stayed humble despite his elevated status, was wholly dedicated to his God, and communed with God closely. This book shows that indeed “there is no new thing under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9) and God is still in control.