Persians and Greeks


I've just finished the book:

It ends, of course, with the Greeks stopping the Westward advance of the Persian Empire.  But what really struck me was that for the people living in Greece, it didn't seem to matter much whether they paid taxes to Sparta, Athens, or the Persians.  The Persians even charged lower taxes than the Greeks.  So, for the common person, it may not matter much what government you have--the Iraqi's may prefer a king or dictator, we may prefer a representative democracy, but what we really all prefer is for our lifestyle not to change and our taxes not to be too high.

Another book I have been reading challenges some of these same issues:

Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

ISBN: 0310278422
ISBN-13: 9780310278429

If a Christian, where is our allegiance and how does that work in our society, how does our culture influence us and where do our loyalties lie.  What does Jesus have to say about kingdom, war, community, money, possessions, holidays, etc. 

It also struck me how the U.S. looks like any other empire.  We have holdings (military bases) all over the known world. We seek to impose democracy on every other civilization we encounter.  We respond to violence (eg. 9/11) with greater violence to bring the perpetrators (and perhaps their whole civilization) under our control.  Note:  More than 100 times as many civilians have been killed in our war against Iraq than were killed on 9/11, no matter whose report you believe.

You might not agree with everything in this book, nor should you agree with everything his sources believe, but it's still a good book to get you thinking about the kind of kingdom we live in.

And all of this fits in well with the study I'm doing: 

Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy

ISBN: 1415825882
ISBN-13: 9781415825884

Note: videos from the study can be viewed here:  Daniel video

Daniel, too, had to fit into a civilization that violated his allegiance to God.  Check out the videos and if you like it, find a group or just get the workbook and do it on your own.

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