David Couchman
David Couchman is the Director of Focus and the producer of the 'God: new evidence,' 'God and the Big Bang,' 'After Life?' and 'Jesus Myths' video series. More...

Digital Evangelism blog

 

The Message of Ezekiel, by Christopher Wright

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.

Ezekiel ministered 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:

For 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:

It 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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