“I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.” — Daniel 7:15-16
Daniel’s visions were predictions of future events, events that are very important to the Kingdom of God breaking into this world in new way. There are conflicting approaches to understanding Daniel’s prophecies (and Revelation), so there must be a good deal of error floating around. I’m devoting the next several blog posts to suggest some principles (or caution lights) for how Daniel’s visions should be interpreted and applied today. (Full Disclosure: The blog series is based on the work of John Calvin, Iain M. Duguid, Tremper Longman, R.C. Sproul)
Daniel’s visions of the future are always relevant to Christians. However, disturbing world events make it easy for the church to become obsessed with the images of Daniel and Revelation. And I’m not just talking about Harold Camping.
The turbulent 60’s created a strong market for Hal Lindsay’s The Late Great Planet Earth. The Gulf War did the same for John Walvoord’s Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisis. Tim LaHaye has done the same with his Left Behind series. This obsession is nothing new. The Pope, the French Revolution, dictatorships of every generation have been linked to Daniel’s visions.
Suffice it to say I have serious reservations about books like these, and I would urge anyone who reads Daniel 7-12 (and Revelation) to do so without using them as study guides. In other words, read Daniel and Revelation with caution and humility, and resist sensationalism.