Book Review: The Derision of Heaven

Daniel is, without question, one of the most difficult books of the Bible. Michael’s decision to move it to the top of the list of his companion guides to scripture will be a great relief to many Bible students who are struggling with the existing material on the book.

The book is like its predecessor: Epic of God. It isn’t a commentary or a quarterly. It’s a companion to help you as you work through the book. It excels in “keeping the main thing the main thing.” He deals with the familiar, tried-and-true Vacation Bible School stories in a way that is fresh. He encourages you to dig beyond the surface. In the latter sections of the book, Whitworth helps us approach apocalyptic literature with the sanity that’s so often missing from treatments of the text.

Derision is highly readable but not “light.” It’s heavily foot-noted and well-sourced. Whitworth interacts with a great number of scholars and shares some of their best pearls of wisdom. He is especially timely in his treatment of responding to persecution or times of God’s perceived silence. In difficult interpretive spots, Whitworth offers several options and suggests the most plausible. He reminds readers not to be unnecessarily dogmatic and to make sure that the forest doesn’t get lost in the trees.

I can absolutely recommend Derision to you as a high-quality guide to Daniel. I hope that it causes a much-neglected book to recapture a place in pulpits, classrooms, and homes. Thank you, Michael!