Friday, November 9, 2012

Lifted by Angels

This book is not at all what I expected, and that is not a bad thing. The subtitle of the books is “The Presence and Power of our Heavenly Guides and Guardians,” which led me to believe that the book would use the Bible to teach on angels. Going in, I thought I would be reading a handbook on the occurrences of angels in the Bible.

Instead, Joel Miller admits that the Bible gives us little insight in regards to angels. The author does use some Bible verses, but his primary sources are early church writings and iconographers. If a person is looking for a good, thorough manual about what the church fathers thought about angels, than this is a good book.

Drawing from the iconographers, Miller also includes several pictures, or “icons,” of angels carrying on their work.

It is important to point out that when we are dealing with people, there is always room for error (compared to when we use Scripture alone). So some of the duties of angels as laid out by the ancients may not be accurate—such as when they are described as speaking to us through our thoughts, carrying our prayers to the throne of God, leaving our side if we are prideful, and personally escorting us to heaven when we die. There is no concrete Scriptural support given for these actions, so the reader must be cautioned in that regard.

One area where I would disagree with Miller is over the Angel of the Lord. I believe the Angel in the Old Testament to be a reference to Christ, where Miller uses it to refer to angels, such as wrestling with Jacob. He also speaks often of the archangel Raphael as mentioned in the book Tobit, which is a deuterocanonical book in the Catholic Apocrypha, which was written almost 350 after the resurrection.    

All in all, I enjoyed this book for its historical merit. It is a wonderful collection of quotes and ideas from our early church fathers and historians. 

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