Conservative Christians have a tendency to freak out whenever something that goes against God's word is embraced by society. I had a boss like that once, and I dreaded going to staff meetings, as I was sure we were going to hear yet another reason why America was going to Hell in a handbasket. And it's true that a lot is happening in America—and around the world—that goes directly against the Bible. So how should we respond? Larry Osborne offers some suggestions in his new book, Thriving in Babylon. Meet a man forced to live in a fast changing and godless society. He faced fears about the future, concern for his safety, and the discouragement of world that seemed to be falling apart at warp speed. Sound familiar? His name was Daniel, and with the power of hope, humility, and wisdom, he not only thrived, he changed an empire while he was at it. Though he lived thousands of years ago, he has much to teach us today. Even in Babylon, God is in control. In Thriving in Babylon, Larry Osborne explores the "adult" story of Daniel to help us not only survive - but actually thrive in an increasingly godless culture. Here Pastor Osborne looks at: -Why panic and despair are never from God -What true optimism looks like -How humility disarms even our greatest of enemies -Why respect causes even those who will have nothing to do with God to listen -How wisdom can snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat For those who know Jesus and understand the full implications of the cross, the resurrection, and the promises of Jesus, everything changes---not only in us, but also in our world. Thriving in Babylon is full of advice for Christians living in America today. I especially appreciated sections on examining our faith, as well as the descriptions of how to live lives full of hope, humility, and wisdom.
While I didn't agree with everything Osborne said (I thought he was a little too quick to dismiss the lies certain Biblical figures told, saying God understands that sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils), he certainly gave me a lot to think about.
I really enjoyed Osborne's writing style—it's engaging, funny, and very easy to read and understand.
One of the things I've been thinking about recently is this question: Why would we expect people who don't know Jesus to live like they do? Legislating morality doesn't work, and neither do "in your face" debates. Jesus calls us to love others and share the gospel with them. At the end of the book's section on humility, Osborne addresses this, saying, "We are to proclaim the gospel to lost people in the hope they will repent and bow the knee. Our goal is to win them over, not wipe them out. But we'll never be able to persuade anybody if our knee-jerk response to those held captive to do the enemy's will remains one of anger, resentment, disrespect, and scorn" (p. 166). A lot of people on social media need to think that one over!
Osborne also addresses sin in the church, saying that's what we need to be concerned about. If unbelievers are living lives of sin, that's to be expected. If those who call themselves Christ followers are, that's a problem that needs to be addressed.
Overall, I'm very glad I read Thriving in Babylon. It's given me a lot to think about, that's for sure! 4 stars.
Dr. Larry Osborne has served as a senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church---one of the ten most influential churches in the country---since 1980. Dr. Osborne is the author of numerous books, includingAccidental Pharisees. He and his wife live in Oceanside, California. They have three grown children.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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