The Message of Ezekiel
by Christopher J H Wright
in the Bible Speaks Today Old Testament series, edited by Alec Motyer
There are more and more books, web sites, and other resources to help
followers of Christ engage with contemporary culture. There are many
Biblical commentaries and expositions. But there are not many Biblical
resources that help us to connect the Bible directly with our times.
One book that is
very helpful in this area is 'The Message of Ezekiel' by Christopher
J H Wright. This is part of the 'Bible Speaks Today' Old Testament
series, general editor Alec Motyer.
to the Jewish captives who had been deported to Babylon. Before the
fall of Jerusalem, they were still confident that 'God is on our side'
in spite of their sins and failures: Ezekiel delivered a message of
judgment, and foretold the destruction of the city. After Jerusalem
had been finally sacked, in 586 BC, the Jewish exiles were demoralized
and discouraged: Ezekiel delivered a message of hope for future restoration.
Chris Wright unpacks the message of Ezekiel in its own day, as well
as its in contemporary relevance for us. A couple of quotations will
give a flavor of the book. Think about this from page 68-69:
us such a task [warning of judgment to come] is made even more
uncomfortable in our own day with the dominant cultural atmosphere
of postmodern relativism, in which people are not to be deemed
right or wrong, still less righteous or wicked, but rather to
be coming from different 'perspectives', all of which must somehow
be affirmed lest we diminish people or threaten their personal
and cultural identities. However, in real life there is still
a recognized place for fire-alarms, early-warning systems, smoke
detectors, night security guards, motorway hazard signs and anti-virus
software. The task of the evangelist and pastor is founded on
the conviction that there are dangers equally real and potentially
more fatal in the moral and spiritual realm. The watchman's duty
to give warning is based on the reality of the danger, not on
the mood of those he has to warn.
Or consider this from page 198:
becomes increasingly difficult to insist that there are some choices
in life that matter in an ultimate sense. Evangelists were once
accustomed to calling people to 'choose Christ' - meaning the
call to make a life-time commitment that rejected all alternatives
and affected our eternal destiny. Today such a call, within our
consumerist cultures, may be understood to mean little more than
'Give Christ a try for a while and see if he works for you; you
can always try something else later if you aren't satisfied.
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