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:
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?
“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