Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Limited human autonomy

I am reading through the book of Daniel and it is striking how the theme of limited human autonomy (especially of the powerful) occurs. A key phrase is repeated several times (e.g., Daniel 4:25):
"know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will"
Indeed, both King Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar are severely humbled because they do not acknowledge their limited autonomy.
It is also striking that Daniel and his friends were promising young scholars (Daniel 1:17):
As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
This is all in the context of visions of the Son of Man to whom God gives all glory and honour and power and dominion (Daniel 7:14).

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