Darrow Miller and Friends

Understanding the Times and Seasons

  1. Understanding the Times and Seasons
  2. Gothic Images from Today’s Culture
  3. The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism
  4. The Need for Symbols
  5. The Wilderness

In his classic fantasy novel The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien pens a conversation between unlikely hero, Frodo and wise master guide, Gandalf. As Gandalf reports on the rise of darkness in their world, Frodo laments that he must live in the times when darkness is on the rise.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”[1]

We live at a time when many nations are spiraling down into lawlessness, chaos and darkness. How are we as the church of Jesus Christ to respond? Are we to be passive in the face of evil? Are we to merely pray and wait for God to do something? Or are we to be proactive and fight against mounting evil?

We don’t get to decide the times in which we live. We only get to decide what to do with the times we are given.

As humans, it’s easy to look back at previous generations and see the consequences, whether good or bad, of their choices. It’s also a temptation to look ahead and dream about a better day when the complexities particular to our generation will be no more. But how do we accurately assess the times in which we live? It would not be an exaggeration to say that the fate of entire nations rest in the church’s answer to this question.

When David became king of Israel, the various tribes and clans joined his army. The men of Issachar brought a particular gift with them to David’s new kingdom. 1 Chronicles 12:32 talks of the men of Isaachar as “men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (ESV).

This verse begs the following questions:

  • What did the sons of Issachar see and understand?
  • Are there any such sons living on the earth today?
  • And how do we as the people of God know what to do to fulfill His purposes in our generation?

The purpose of this series of blogs is to help us understand the times we are living in. We will ask and answer some basic questions:

  • Where have these times come from?
  • Where are they going?
  • Are we, as the church, content with where we see things going?
  • How are we to respond to our best assessment of these times?

Throughout this series I will draw wisdom from three different guides: Nathan Stone, whose article challenged my own thinking and prompted me to write these articles, Aaron M. Renn who provided a broader context for where we are today, and G. K. Chesterton who helped me solve a very thorny question.

My hope is that if you are struggling to make sense of all that is going on in our world today, these reflections will be helpful. My prayer is that as you find clarity, you will also be empowered by the Spirit of Christ to know what you ought to do.


[1] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 56.

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).