House Group Questions on Daniel 3

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(Some questions to get you started – you’ll probably want to focus on just a few of them. A report of Duncan’s sermon is on-line here, and there is a reflection on the theme from John here.)

Some members of the group may wish to share experiences of facing difficult moral or ethical issues whether at home, school, work, or in the community.

How easy, or difficult, do the members of the group feel it is to share their spiritual beliefs with other people in everyday conversations?

Does the description of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walking in the furnace with the mysterious ‘Other’ resonate with anyone in the group?

Do you find it easy, or difficult to define the ‘lines in the sand’ which you will not cross?

Do you think it is easy, or difficult to reach agreement among Christians about where the ‘lines in the sand’ should be drawn?

Do you think it is becoming harder to live with integrity as a Christian in 21st century Scotland?

Drawing lines on the sand seems to suggest defining ourselves as opposed to ‘them’ – those who don’t see things as we do. Is it possible, and desirable, to have our lines at the sand, but at the same time as to view the Scottish community as ‘us’ – people on a journey, people whom God loves, and whom God is calling?

What lesson did Duncan draw from comparing the style of kingship seen in Nebuchadnezzar with that modelled by Jesus?  How does this comparison encourage us as we seek to bring light and life into society?

Would it ever be right for a Christian to pay lip-service to another belief, while seeking to remain faithful to Christ in their heart? (For example, a Christian held captive by radical Islamists, and threatened with death of she doesn’t convert.)

Would voting for a Christian party be a feasible way of bringing a Christian influence to bear in Scotland?

Duncan said that there was no assurance of a ‘happy ending’ – the three men were open to the possibility that God would not rescue them, but entrusted themselves to God no matter what.  Do you find Duncan’s realistic note in pointing out that there are no guarantees that our lives will be trauma-free discouraging, or encouraging?

Duncan pointed out that there is almost a pantomime quality to Daniel 3, with its long, repeated lists of government officials and musical instruments, and its reference to the 7-times-hotter furnace. What would you say to someone who said ‘I think it’s wrong to deploy humour in this way. It makes light of something very serious, and it’s just not a gracious way of speaking.’

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