Book Review: The Daniel Code

The Daniel Code:  Living Out Truth In A Culture That Is Losing Its Way, by O.S. Hawkins

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

I am rather slow at giving up on people, much to my annoyance and frustration sometimes, and that includes authors.  Having read some previous books by the author [1] and having found them a poor lot of books in general, it may be of some surprise that I gave the author yet another chance, even if the book has the same irritating title gimmick as some of the author’s previous books.  Yet somehow the contents of the first half of the book of Daniel [2] agree with the author, and this is a much better book than they were, largely because the author is able to write without focusing on himself or his own supposed expertise in dealing with businessmen or understanding scripture and instead focuses his attention on the alarming connection between Daniel’s times and its corrupt leadership and our own contemporary period, something that ought to be closely monitored and considered and reflected upon by this book’s readers, and given the inexplicable popularity of the author, since he is allowed to publish book after book despite his widely uneven quality as an author, that is likely to be many readers, who will likely gain something of great value here.

Rather than a superficial devotional or a vain appeal to businessmen in search of spiritual insight like the previous books I have read of this author, this book is a powerful commentary on the first half of the book of Daniel, focusing mainly (but not exclusively) in its narrative portions rather than its prophetic portions.  The author has not forsaken his love of gimmicky titles either for this book or for its chapters, which are organized in the following fashion: The first four chapters are focused on encouraging readers not to give up, give in, or give out but to be resistant, consistent, and persistent when dealing with our contemporary culture.  The author then shows how in Daniel God reveals the scope and the hope of human history through the statue of world empires and the hope of Jesus Christ.  The author then painfully reminds his readers that we have what we tolerate, and looks at how to live with pressure, live with principle, live with perspective, and live with protection, told through the story of Daniel’s friends in the fire.  The story of Nebuchadnezzar losing his sanity is told in three chapters about the way down is up and two parts of the way up is down.  Five chapters on our perverted culture are given through the vantage point of Belshazzar’s disastrous party, talking about who God is speaking to in our presumptuous, prideful, promiscuous, and perverted culture.  Finally, the story of Daniel and the lion’s den is given through five chapters on the four different worlds we live in:  a private world, a personal world, a professional world, and a public world, before the author encourages readers that they can survive culture shock and makes a plug for retired ministers in his Mission: Dignity project.  All in all, it is a very solid effort, and a commentary on Daniel I am happy to have and likely to make some use of.

In the end, despite my enjoyment of this book, which quite surprised me to be honest given his previous efforts, I feel rather mixed about this effort.  If Mr. Hawkins can write this well, why does he produce so many books that are simply puffed up and superficial garbage?  I wonder if it will ultimately be to the writer’s benefit that I found this book to be of such quality since it will likely only increase my expectations for the author in the future, and given his track record he is not likely to perform to increased expectations.  Clearly, though, the author’s excellence here is because he is writing from the point of view of a culture in the state of disaster–it is little wonder here that so many of the stories show either godly people or their ungodly governments faced with the threat of destruction–and that seriousness in the biblical material given brings out the best of the author in pointing to the seriousness of our own times.  This is not a lighthearted and superficial book that one can read as a nightly devotional. Instead, this is likely a book that you will turn to on a sleepless night or a book that one will read that will cost hours of sleep, as do the people in my own life I refuse to give up on like this author.  Whether that is ultimately a good thing or not will be up for the reader to judge for oneself.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American History, Bible, Biblical History, Book Reviews, Christianity, History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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