Paul Williams – What Does it Mean to Hear and Obey? (2022)

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In the first chapter of the book of Daniel, we find a believer in the living God who struggles to make sense of the disorienting culture and practices of the city he lives in. Yet despite that, he becomes rooted in God through hearing and obeying. In fact, Daniel’s experience hearing from God and obeying in response leads even to Nebuchadnezzar hearing and obeying God within his understanding because of Daniel’s practice of faithful prayer and obedience. What we discover modelled in Daniel are essential practices for today’s believers in the West.

Important: for the video version of this plenary session, please make sure to download it to a device that has at least 640 MB of free storage, on an internet connection that doesn't have strict data transfer restrictions.


Paul S Williams is Chief Executive of the British and Foreign Bible Society and Research Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. He previously held senior roles in finance and consulting and has helped pioneer new entrepreneurial start-ups—in the marketplace, church and the academy. Paul is passionate about helping the Church read the Bible in the marketplace and engage missionally in contemporary culture and has sought to centralise Bible engagement in his work as a professional economist and theological educator. He is the visionary behind ReFrame, a video-based course that helps connect the big story of Scripture to daily life and work. His book, Exiles on Mission: How Christians Can Thrive in a Post-Christian World, explores the experience of living as Christians in the 21st century and provides a truly missional understanding of post-Christendom Christianity, alongside constructive tools to help readers understand their cultural environment and form a missional response through deeper Bible engagement and prayer. Paul is married to Sarah and they have two adult daughters.