Living for God in a Pagan Society: What Daniel Can Teach Us

Do you ever feel confused or disappointed with what is going on in the world? Do you feel helpless before unwelcome trends in society? Do you feel pressured and isolated by what seems to be a pagan, God-defying culture all around you? Are you unsure of what you should do about it?

This is scarcely surprising. North American Christians are living in a society that is increasingly non-Christian and sometimes even anti-Christian. Accustomed to living in an at least nominally Christian society, many North American Christians are unprepared for the new reality. Where can they find a model for how to live for God in a God-defying culture?

My new book, Living for God in a Pagan Society: What Daniel Can Teach Us, argues that the early chapters of the Bible book called Daniel offer just such a model. Living at a time when the people of God had suffered a crushing and shocking defeat at the hands of the pagan Babylonians, Daniel and his friends were immersed in a society where the state, the education system, the culture and religion were all thoroughly pagan. In this situation, Daniel and his friends committed themselves to a course of action that North American Christians can use as a pattern to guide their own lives.

The book consists of an introduction and ten chapters. It concludes with study questions on each chapter and then a statement of commitment, which summarizes the teaching of the book and which the reader is invited to sign as an indication that he/she is committed to putting into practice the lessons of the book.

What Others Say

“If you want to understand the times, culture, message, and life of Daniel, James R. Coggins’s Living for God in a Pagan Society: What Daniel Can Teach Usis a must read. It is accessible (easy to read), informative (filled with history and explanatory notes) and applicable to our time. Looking at the early chapters of the book of Daniel, Coggins leads us into that world with an eye on how we, the people of God, can live in today’s pagan-bent world. This vital and important treatment of this critical moment in the ancient world will be helpful for study groups, pastoral preaching and personal reflection on the ways of God, then and today.”              

– Brian C. Stiller, Global Ambassador, The World Evangelical Alliance

“In his relatively concise look at the book of Daniel, James R. Coggins gives helpful insights into the background, meaning and application of this Old Testament prophet. While one will not find a detailed interpretation of the ‘prophetic’ elements of the book (this is not Coggins’s intent), this volume does provide the reader with a glimpse of the stories that run parallel to the prophecies and stimulates reflection on their meaning for life in the 21st century. Coggins does a good job of helping us understand the narratives and what we can learn from them. Recommended as an aid for Bible teachers and preachers who want to get some practical handles on an ancient text.”

– Ron Redekop, Senior Pastor, Richmond Alliance Church, Richmond, BC

Living for God in a Pagan Society: What Daniel Can Teach Us (ISBN: 978-0-9951983-8-8) is published by Mill Lake Books and is available through online retailers such as Amazon and through local bookstores.

About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins is a professional writer and editor based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He briefly served as a Christian magazine editor (for just over 20 years). He has written everything from scholarly and encyclopedia articles to jokes in Reader’s Digest (the jokes paid better). His six and a half published books include four John Smyth murder mysteries and one other, stand-alone novel. In his spare time, he operates Mill Lake Books, a small publishing imprint. His website is www.coggins.ca
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