COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

"“Against The Flow” by John Lennox" Tagged Sermons

IS IT THE TIME OF THE END?

John Lennox “Against the Flow”
“After an introductory paragraph that brings us to the death of Alexander the Great and the division of his kingdom among his four generals, the future is divided up into four movements:
Daniel 11:5-19
Daniel 11:20-28
Daniel 11:29-35
Daniel 11:36-12:3

According to www.Britannica.com
“Zeus, in ancient Greek religion, chief deity of the pantheon, a sky and weather god who was identical with the Roman god Jupiter.
As ruler of heaven Zeus led the gods to victory against the GIANTS (offspring of Gaea, Greek personification of the Earth as a goddess) and successfully crushed several revolts against him by his fellow gods.
According to the Greek poet Homer, heaven was located on the summit of Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece and the logical home for a weather god. The other members of the pantheon resided there with Zeus and were subject to his will.
From his exalted position atop Mount Olympus Zeus was thought to omnisciently observe the affair of men, seeing everything, governing all, and rewarding good conduct and punishing evil. Besides dispensing justice – he had a strong connection with his daughter Dike (Justice) – Zeus was the protector of cities, the home, property, strangers, guests, and supplicants.” Encyclopedia Britannica

According to the Talmud, one of Judaism’s most central texts, Judah Maccabee and the other Jews who took part in the rededication of the Second Temple witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply.
This wondrous event inspired the Jewish sages to proclaim a yearly eight-day festival.
The story of Hannukah does not a appear in the Torah because the events that inspired the holiday occurred after it was written. It is, however, mentioned in the New Testament, in which Jesus attends a ‘FEAST OF DEDICATION’

Did you know that on October 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared THANKSGIVING a NATIONAL HOLIDAY to be the last Thursday in November, which that particular year overlapped with one of Hanukkah’s eight days of celebration?

John Lennox
“Even though Antiochus’s oppression of the Jews would not usher in the time of the end, Daniel predicted that the people of Israel would experience persecution, war, captivity, and death over an unspecified period, UNTIL THE TIME OF THE END. (The nightmare of the Holocaust was yet to come.) There is no expectation here of the kind of deliverance that Daniel and his friends experienced in the earlier part of his book.”
“Throughout the centuries of Christian history there has been a constant danger of people failing to heed Christ’s warning. They thought that their time was the end time; a mistake that often led to behavior which discredited the Christian message. During the Second World War, for instance, there were those who thought the activity of Hitler and Mussolini was evidence that the end times had come. BUT THEY WERE WRONG.
In this final section of his book it should not surprise us, therefore, that Daniel issues a similar warning to those who would live four centuries after him. The angelic messenger told Daniel that some of his people would misread not only the time of Antiochus but other historical situations also and think the end had come. THAT WOULD SOMETIMES LEAD THEM TO DISASTER. For instance, some would even make a futile attempt TO BRING IN GOD’S KINGDOM BY FORCE OF ARMS.”
“If an event in history is a thought model or prototype of the end time, there will inevitably be a danger of confusing the PROTOTYPE with the event that it foreshadows. The former Chief Rabbi of the UK, Lord Sacks, in his analysis of why religion goes wrong, writes:
‘SOMETIMES IT IS BECAUSE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ATTEMPT TO BRING ABOUT THE END OF TIME IN THE MIDST OF TIME.’
As examples of attempting to bring the end of time within time, Lord Sacks cites the two major rebellions against Rome – AD 66 and AD 132 – that led to the destruction of the temple, the razing of Jerusalem, and 58,000 deaths. He comments: ‘Prior to the Holocaust, it was the greatest catastrophe in Jewish history.” John Lennox

What does history tell us?
“The reward of the historian is to locate patterns that recur over time and to discover the natural rhythms of social experience.
In fact, at the core of modern history lies this remarkable pattern: Over the past five centuries, Anglo-American society has entered a new era – a new TURNING – every two decades or so. At the start of each turning, people change how they feel about themselves, the culture, the nation, and the future. Turnings come in cycles of four. Each cycle, a unit of time the ancients called the saeculum. Together, the four turnings of the saeculum comprise history’s seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and destruction. Each turning comes with its own identifiable mood. Always, these mood shifts catch people by surprise.”
“The 1760s were followed by the American Revolution, the 1850s by Civil War, the 1920 by the Great Depression and World War II. All these Unraveling eras were followed by bone-jarring Crisis so monumental that, by their end, American society emerged in a wholly new form.
Each time, the change came with scant warning. As late as December 1773, November 1859, and October 1929, the American people had no idea how close it was. Then sudden sparks (the Boston Tea Party, John Brown’s raid and execution, Black Tuesday) transformed the public mood, swiftly and permanently. Over the next two decades or so, society convulsed.
Emergencies required massive sacrifices from a citizenry that responded by putting community ahead of self. Leaders led, and people trusted them. As a new social contract was created, people overcame challenges once thought insurmountable – and used the Crisis to elevate themselves and their nation to a higher plane of civilization.
In the 1790, they triumphantly created the modern world’s first democratic republic. In the late 1860, wounded but reunited, they forged a genuine nation extending new guarantees of liberty and equality. In the 1940, they constructed the most Promethean superpower ever seen.
The fourth turning is history’s great discontinuity. It ends one epoch and begins another.” “The Fourth Turning” William Strauss and Neil Howe

GOD HAS A TIMETABLE IN WORLD HISTORY

Ron Rhodes in his commentary on these verses in Daniel writes:
“Even weeks…sixty-two weeks (verses 25-26); Gabriel provided some rather complex details about both the immediate future and the more distant end-times future. Here is the gist of what is important to grasp;
Gabriel informed Daniel about 70 weeks of years. A week of years is 7 years, so 70 weeks of years comes to a total of 490 years.
Gabriel spoke of 7 weeks of years followed by 62 weeks of years.
Seven weeks plus 62 weeks adds up to 69 weeks of years.
And what is 69 weeks of years?
It comes to 483 years (69 multiplied by 7). Her is the important point: Gabriel indicated that there was to be a 483-years period from the issuing of a decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the time the Messiah comes (that is, the first coming of Jesus Christ, not the second coming).
The day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to proclaim Himself Israel’s Messiah was 483 years to the day after the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem had been given.”

How accurate and precise is God’s timetable in History?
John Lennox
“Twelve lunar cycles take 354 days. This means that the lunar year is just over eleven days shorter than the solar year, and it would appear that around the time of the Babylonian captivity an extra intercalary thirty-day month was added to make the necessary correction (just as we have a leap year of 366 days every four years, since the solar year is actually a little over 365 days long).
On this basis then:
• The 69 sevens – or 483 – years of 360 days, each amount to
173, 880 days
• 1 solar year = 365.24219879 days
• So 173,880 days = 476.067663 solar years = 476 years + 24.7 days
Using the familiar Gregorian calendar, if we start from the beginning of the month Nisan in 444 BC and add 476 years plus 25 days, then we get to the month Nisan in AD 33.
The two days for the crucifixion of Jesus that appear most often in scholarly writings are AD 30 and 33. One reason for this is that in those two years 14 Nisan, on which the Passover lamb was killed, fell on a Friday. Recently Cambridge scientist Sir Colin Humphreys, working with astrophysicist Graeme Waddington of Oxford, calculated that Jesus died on 3 April 33 AD.
These findings have been widely accepted and they show that Daniel’s sixth century BC prophecy turns out to be a phenomenally accurate prediction of the time when the “Messiah the Prince” would be cut off.”

GOD IS THE ZOOKEEPER

Sinclair Ferguson in his commentary on Daniel writes:
“What we seem to be given in the latter half of Daniel is divine insight into the ultimate significance and implications of the events of history. Here we learn that the events of history are not isolated from events beyond history.
The conflict with the people of God is an expression of an older, deeper, more sinister conflict between the powers of darkness, the spiritual hosts of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12), and the throne of God and His kingdom.”
A little bit later in his commentary Ferguson asked this question:
“If the Lord had simply wanted Daniel to know the facts of history ahead of time, why did He give him such a complex, curious, multi-colored, sense-appealing revelation?
To ask the question is to answer it. God not only revealed facts about history in advance; He revealed Himself to Daniel, impressing on him something of His own awesome and glorious purposes. Miss this and we miss almost everything.”

Let’s see how the visual dominates Daniel’s record:
• “I saw” (verses 2 and 7)
• “I watched” (verses 4, 9 and 11)
• “I looked” (verse 6)
• “I was considering” (verse 8)
• “I was watching” (verses 13 and 21)
• “I was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions troubled me….my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed” (verses 15-18)
The dreams and visions found in the Bible are intended to give an overwhelming impression of the mysteries of God’s PURPOSES and the awful conflict that lies behind and beneath HISTORY.

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” writes:
“The beginning of the vision echoes the creation narrative of Genesis, where we read that the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2). The Hebrew word for Spirit can be used of breath or wind. But in Daniels vision the wind and the sea are prelude not to making the earth into a home fit for human beings, but to the rise of a sequence of animals representing world empires bent increasingly on destruction.
The animal imagery here is clearly designed to convey a message very different from that projected by the metallic sections of the colossal man…
Just as the variety of metals in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream indicates the differing values of the successive empires, the various animals in Daniel’s dream denote what is probably best described as the relative “animal ferocity” of those empires. The first animal, for instance, is given a human heart. The subsequent animals become increasingly brutal, the fourth being rapacious in the extreme. It has the eyes of human intelligence but shows no trace of human compassion.
The perspective is clear; from one point of view, empires resemble wild animals. But, unlike humans, animals are not inhibited by moral considerations, since animals are not moral beings. Empires tend to behave like that – as amoral power blocs.
The overall impression of the vision is of the dark underbelly of politics; the jockeying for power, with less and less moral qualm, until a sense of humanity and compassion disappears under the ruthless lust for domination.”

John Lennox
“The symbol of a horn is used in the Bible to denote power. The fourth beast’s horn has eyes, symbolizing human insight and intelligence, coupled with brutal animal strength. Notably, it lacks a human heart; it is dreadful, evil, ruthless genius. Many of the worst atrocities that the world has known were and are still committed by highly intelligent people in whose hands are the levers of political power – witness Nazi Germany. It should not escape our attention that one of their main targets was the nation that gave birth to Daniel. Nor should we ignore the fact that the 20th century was the bloodiest in history, with millions perishing to satisfy the animal lust for power in dictatorships of both right and left.
What shall we think, then, when we consider the many faithful believers who have been and are being subjected to every kind of hideous torture and method of killing that powerful, heartless human beasts can devise – and yet God appears to do nothing?” What is the answer to it?

Daniel 7:9-14 (open your own Bible and highlight this passage)
Three scenes followed in rapid succession:
• The first contrasts strongly with the confusion and noise of the opening scene (verse 2). Here, all is calm and orderly in the presence of God. Just like in Revelation 4:6, the sea is as calm as glass in God’s presence and the four creatures are devoted to worship. The heavenly court was assembled, and God sat in judgment of the earthly kingdom.
• The second contrasts strongly with the human kingdoms that are being established with raw beastly power and lawless behavior. God wears a garment white as snow. He never compromises His righteous dealings in establishing his kingdom. The prophet Isaiah said: You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for He brings down those who dwell on high. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
• The third contrasts strongly with the lawless and unrighteous justice system of earthly, beastly kingdoms.
In Daniel’s vision the judgment of the divine court will go IN FAVOR OF THE SAINTS OF GOD. Truth will eventually prevail. Righteous judgment will be executed by the righteous judge, God himself.
This final judgment is a cause of joy, and the reason is obvious.

God is the zookeeper and none of the beasts will ESCAPE.

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!

John Lennox in “Against the Flow” writes:
“The first chapter of the first half of Daniel parallels the first chapter of the second half. They both describe court scenes in the city of Babylon, involving different regimes; chapter 1, the Babylonian; chapter 6, the Medo-Persian. They both involve protest;
Chapter 1 tells us how Daniel and his friends refused to partake of the food and wine in the palace, presumably because of their association with idolatry (as witnessed in Daniel 5);
In chapter 6, Daniel refuses to obey the emperor’s edict banning prayer to all but himself. The protests are not quite the same, for if I understand it correctly chapter 1 involves refusal to compromise with idolatry by getting involved in any pagan ceremony.
The same issue also dominates Daniel 3; refusal to bow down to Nebuchadnezzars idolatrous image. However, at no state do we read that Nebuchadnezzar tries to stop Daniel and his friends practicing their own religion according to their conscience.
That step is taken by Darius in chapter 6. Here we have the first (but not the last) occasion recorded by Daniel where A PAGAN MONARCH BANS THE WORSHIP OF GOD.
The instrument that the jealous civil servants used to attack Daniel was the LAW OF THE MEDES AND PERSIANS.
This phrase occurs three times here, indication that the central topic of this chapter is the imposition of law to deny Daniel the right to practice his own faith and worship God ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSES.”

Once again John Lennox comments on this section:
“The plan itself was calculated to appeal to Darius’s self-esteem, as a way of consolidating his power. After all, he was the king and the official representative of the gods. Surely it was but a small step to focus the worship of the people on himself as a god. If it were only FOR A MAN, it would not lead to a religious backlash from the priests or the people. It was all for the good of the state and the unity of the nation. And so on and so forth… We should not fail to notice a progression here. Belshazzar, in his blasphemous act, had worshipped his gods of metal and wood. He had not quite set himself up as a god to be worshipped. Darius did. Although he did not insult God in the way Belshazzar had done, it represents a deterioration. It was part of a trend that has continued through history, and will be sustained in the future – the move towards the deification of man (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4).”

John Lennox once again comments:
“Undoubtedly there are many intriguing questions connected with these periods of time, and various answers have been given to them. Whatever those answers are, it is surely fair to say that when there is discrimination, oppression, and persecution, the uppermost question in the minds of those immediately affected is “How long will this last?” The very fact that the conspirators suggested a time limit of thirty days may indicate that they suspected it would not be long before Daniel disobeyed the edict, and then they would have got him. The lions would make a meal of Daniel long before the thirty days had run out.”
“Take for instance, this statement of Judge Samuel B. Kent of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas on his 1995 ruling that any student mentioning the name of Jesus in a graduation prayer would be given a jail sentence: “And make no mistake, the court is going to have a United States Marshal in attendance at the graduation. If any student offends this court, that student will be summarily arrested and will face up to six months incarceration in the Galveston County Jail for contempt of court……Anyone who violates these orders…….is going to wish that he or she had died as a child when this court gets through with it.”

MAN HAS DESCENDED TO THE ANIMAL

W.M. Christie published the book “THE BARREN FIGTREE”
“Now, the facts connected with the fig tree are these. Toward the end of March the leaves begin to appear, and in about a week the foliage coating is complete. Coincide with, and sometimes even before, there appears quite a crop of small knobs, not the real figs, but a kind of early forerunner. They grow to the size of green almonds in which condition they are eaten by peasants and others when hungry. When they come to their own indefinite maturity they drop off.
These precursors of the true fig are called TAQSH in Palestinian Arabic. Their appearance is a harbinger of the fully formed appearance of the true fig, some six weeks later. So, as Mark says, the time for figs had not yet come. But if the leaves appear without any TAQSH – HE KNEW THAT “it was an absolutely hopeless, fruitless fig tree’ and said as much. You don’t criticize a gardener, much less a farmer, for cutting down a tree like that.”

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” comments:
“Paul claims that rejection of God has a detrimental effect on reason.
Many atheists, who think that their position is an oasis of reason and clear-headedness, would loudly protest. It is important for me to say that I am not suggesting that atheist cannot think. Some, however, particularly those of the “New Atheist” brand, make a great fuss of what they think is the damage that belief in God does to the mind. Their descriptions of religious belief (like “virus of the mind”) are not uncommon. It does not seem to occur to them that the shoe could be on the other foot.
When it comes to thinking about God, why do some otherwise rational, intelligent people seem unaware that they become irrational?”

John Lennox
“There are gradations in that descent. When human beings reject God they die spiritually, and that death touches, spoils, distorts, twists and eventually destroys all that makes human life what it is – from the moral to the aesthetic, from family relationship to work.
We have only to think of some examples of what is accepted as art or entertainment nowadays to understand that rejection of God leads to the death of civilized culture. It leads to the inversion of values; where a pile of excrement is hailed as AVANT GUARDE ART, and blatant immorality is hailed as marvelous theatre.
The darkness is such that there is little or no understanding or appreciation of what has happened – man has descended to the animal.”

John Lennox
“Nebuchadnezzar’s system of values was flawed. Ours may be flawed too. I am sure we have noticed that when we give in to pride our behavior may rapidly descend into the kind of raw jousting for position that is evident in the animal kingdom. It is then that we risk being cut down.”

Francis Schaeffer published the book ‘THE GOD WHO IS THERE’
“The importance of understanding the chasm to which man’s thinking has brought him is not of intellectual value alone, but of spiritual value as well. The Christian is to resist the spirit of the world. But when we say this, we must understand that the world-spirit does not always take the same form. So the Christian must resist the spirit of the world IN THE FORM IT TAKES IN HIS OWN GENERATION. If he does not do this, he is not resisting the spirit of the world at all. This is especially so for our generation, as the forces at work against us are of such a total nature. It is our generation of Christians more than any other who need to heed these words attributed to Martin Luther;
‘If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.’

IT’S TESTING TIME

John Lennox “Against the Flow”
“In chapter 1 and 3 Daniel draws our attention to two parallel yet opposite trends that he had come to observe during his long life at the pinnacle of power. Even though there is a drive to relativize absolutes, men and women cannot live without them. So they eventually take something of relative value and absolutize it. That is, they regard it as the core value that determines their attitude to everything else. From time immemorial the obvious candidates have been the state, power, wealth, and sex. Daniel chooses here to record an incident regarding the first two of these issues that involves not himself but his three friends.”

John Lennox asks the question:
“Imagine being one of these men and having to explain the situation to your family and friends? It is easy to see how they might try to talk you out of opposing Nebuchadnezzar.”
“We all know that this idolatry is bogus – there is nothing real in it except the emperor wishing us to acknowledge his authority? What does it matter if we outwardly bow down to him? It doesn’t mean that he controls our heads and our hearts. And if good men like you three – men of proven ability and integrity – refuse to bow down and get killed, that will make the situation even worse. You are top people; if you are not there to continue your powerful influence for good at the very highest levels of the state, what hope is there for the rest of us? And think of your wife and your children. What are they going to do if you throw your life away like this – needlessly? No, you must take part in the ceremony like everyone else for our sakes. We need you there in the corridors of power.”

In 1995, Erwin Lutzer published the book “Hitler’s Cross”
“Dein Reich komme”, Hitler prayed publicly – “Thy Kingdom Come”. But to whose kingdom was he referring?
When Germany truly needed a savior, Adolf Hitler falsely stepped in. He directed his countrymen to a cross, but he bent and hammered the true cross into a horrific substitute; a swastika.
Where was the church through all of this? With a few exceptions, the German church looked away while Hitler inflicted his final solution upon the Jews.
It is a chilling historical account of what happens when evil meets a silent, shrinking church, and an intriguing and convicting expose of modern America’s own hidden crosses.”

Chuck Swindoll
“God is sovereign, whether the result is triumph or tragedy. Unfortunately, we have the idea that when we are protected or divinely delivered, then the sovereignty of God is upheld, but when we suffer incredible defeat or loss, then we have to hide our faces and hope nobody asks us what kind of God we serve. Well, the answer is that He is a sovereign God – even when we suffer.
Believing in a sovereign God does not mean that things always turn out our way, and though He tells us that He causes everything to work together for good (Romans 8:28), He doesn’t say that everything IS good. Yet He is sovereign, whether in triumph or tragedy, and we are called to remain His faithful people.

John Lennox comments on this text:
“In a statement of breathtaking courage and confidence in God, they told the emperor that they had taken into consideration the possibility that God might not deliver them. They were not prepared to prescribe what God would do. That was for God to decide. But, no matter whether God delivered them or not, they were not going to bow to the statue. THE ISSUE WAS ONE OF PRINCIPLED MORALTY.
Nebuchadnezzar had never in his life before encountered such studied defiance. As it began to dawn upon him that there was a very real sense in which he was powerless against these men, his anger knew no bounds. Of course he could kill them, but that was not the point. What he could not do was to force them to bow.
Up to now he had thought that human beings would do anything to save their lives. His whole scheme of getting his nobles to bow depended on the assumption that, for each person, life was of absolute value.
To his utter amazement he discovered that this was not always the case.
Even in his own very administration there were men, men of proven ability and high office, who regarded their lives as a relative value compared with the absolute value of God. Nebuchadnezzar’s reaction was a fury of impotent frustration.

Arthur Cochrane in his book “The Church’s Confession Under Hitler” quotes Albert Einstein:
“Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi revolution came I looked to the devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks.
Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.”

Are you willing to disobey the command to worship anyone or anything BUT GOD ALMIGHTY AND HIM ALONE?

NOT HUMAN BUT DIVINE REVELATION

Examples of Human Revelation:
• The Fourth Turning (William Strauss and Neil Howe)
• 1984 (George Orwell) a Novel published in 1949
I’ve quoted this author numerous times during the last two years.
You may remember some of the quotes:
“Who controls the past controls the future.”
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength.”

• Brave New World (Aldous Huxley wrote this novel in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s.) “Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order – all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls.”

Francis Schaeffer nailed it when he wrote the book titled:
“He is There and He is not Silent”

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” makes this observation:
“Daniel knew that Nebuchadnezzar was not prepared to reveal the content of the dream. But Daniel believed that there was a God who knew not only the content of the dream but its meaning. He also believed that, if he so desired, God could reveal that information to him. So now the story advances the concept of revelation one level deeper.
It is not Human Revelation now, BUT DIVINE.”
“When Daniel related the content of the dream to Nebuchadnezzar in all of its detail, Nebuchadnezzar had all the evidence he needed to believe in revelation. That belief was warranted, since there was no way, apart from divine revelation, that Daniel could have known what thoughts had gone through the king’s mind while he dreamed. Nebuchadnezzar now had strong reason to take seriously the claim that God had given Daniel the interpretation. But that did not mean that Nebuchadnezzar would be uncritical – he would also use his reason to see if the proffered interpretation made sense. And so can we, since the whole account lies before us.”

CAUGHT BETWEEN CULTURES

I will use primarily four major sources for our study.
• The Bible (ESV)
• “Against The Flow” by John Lennox (2015)
• “The Church in Babylon by Erwin Lutzer (2018)
• “Faith For Exiles” by David Kinnaman & Mark Matlock (2019)

David Kinnaman makes this observation:
“Empires subjugate weaker nations of the earth using a variety of tactics, not all of which are military. Yes, empires use violence and power to achieve dominance. But military means often go hand in hand with colonial strategies deployed to transform the language, economics, and cultural imagination of conquered peoples. The Jewish elite were captured after Babylonian’s military conquest of Judah, forcibly taken to the empires’ capital, and subjugated to a cultural conquest nearly as devastating as their martial defeat. (The Book of Daniel is a vivid account of Babylon’s culture-eradication campaign and how some exiles successfully resisted.)
If a literal Babylon were around today, the internet would certainly be in the imperial toolbox – and insofar as we thoughtlessly consume whatever content comes our way, we’d be cheerful participants in our own colonization. Even without a literal empire knocking on our door, many of us are willingly held captive. The idea of digital colonization may seem extreme, but here is the point: screens inform and connect, but they also distract and entertain. Through screen’s everywhere presence, Babylon’s pride, power, prestige, and pleasure colonize our hearts and minds.
Pop culture is a reality filter. Websites, apps, movies, TV, video games, music, social media, YouTube channels, and so on increasingly provide the grid against which we test what is true and what is real.
Screens demand our attention. Screens disciple.”

Tim Keller in his book “Exiles in a Foreign Land” (2006) writes:
“Christians should be humbled before the new pagan pluralistic situation. Just as with the exiles, the situation is due in large part to our own failings. The church did not lose its position of privilege simply because of evil enemies of the faith. We lost our position as part of God’s judgment on our pride, our hypocrisy, our love of power, our prejudice, our bigotry and failure to hold onto the truth. This is the way in which God get’s people’s attention.”

Erwin Lutzer makes this comment:
“Daniel’s conviction was rock solid. He had made compromises he could live with, but some matters were non-negotiable. “I can help the king, I can advise the king, but I will not compromise my faith in Jehovah. It is all a matter of resolve. I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I think we can imitate Daniel and his friends in being indoctrinated with an occult education.
My point is that we should never underestimate God’s commitment to keep us where He plants us.
There is much in pagan society that you can conscientiously be associated with; but there is much that we must stay away from. That line might not be drawn in the same place for everyone. May God give us the wisdom to know where it should be drawn for us.”