Monday, February 1, 2010

Book Review: Angels

book cover

by Dr. David Jeremiah

Trade Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah
First Released: 1996, 2006

Book Info Page on Publisher Website

Source: Review copy from the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Back Cover Description:
People have long been fascinated by stories of angel sightings, yet many contemporary beliefs about angels are based on misconception and myth rather than solid, biblical truth.

As he's done so brilliantly for decades, respected Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah uses Scripture to unveil the remarkable truth about these agents of heaven and their role in our world and our lives.

What are angels? What is their role in God's plan? Are they present? Do they appear? Do they give us personal insight about our work and our worship?

In this broad and thorough survey of Scripture, Dr. Jeremiah clearly and simply separates fact from fiction as it relates to angels. His enlightening findings are supported with illustrations and insights from prominent teachers, such as Billy Graham, Corrie ten Boom, C. S. Lewis, and more.

Dr. Jeremiah's down-to-earth style guides readers around the hype about angels and directly into the "substance of things unseen!"

This book explored what the Bible says about angels. It was written in an easy-to-follow, somewhat casual writing style. However, the font was small and light, making the book difficult to read.

When Dr. Jeremiah concentrated on what Scripture had to say about angels, the book was excellent...though he did identify a few beings in the Bible as angels that I'm not convinced are angels (like he assumed that "the elders" in Revelations were angels, which not everyone agrees with).

Apparently that wasn't enough material to fill up the book, so he included a lot of speculation about angels. I was rarely convinced by his ideas (especially in chapter 12 and parts of chapters 6, 7, and 13), though usually there wasn't anything I could point to in the Bible that directly disproved it. I appreciated that Dr. Jeremiah was careful to point out when he was speculating versus what came directly from the Bible.

When Dr. Jeremiah was paraphrasing a passage from the Bible about an angel encounter, he would often change the wording of what happened to something I didn't think was quite accurate. The shorter passages stayed pretty true to the Scripture, but I'd highly recommend that you look up the longer passages or ones you don't recognize to see what the Bible really said.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is fascinated by angels but who isn't familiar with what the Bible says on the subject or who wants to know everything the Bible has to say about angels.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter Four
In the Bible, our English word "angel" translates the Hebrew word mal'ak in the Old Testament and the Greek word angelos in the New. The core meaning of both those words is messenger. That's the essence of who and what angels are. They are couriers for Someone other than themselves. They're Someone else's ambassadors, Someone else's agents. They represent only him, and never themselves. They are channels to carry only his information. They speak and act according to his instructions and they bear his authority.

The next time you read a Scripture passage about them, try substituting the word messenger for angel to get a good feel for this crucial aspect of their essence. Apart from God, angels can do nothing and are nothing. Their very food and drink is to do his will and accomplish his work. And God's will and work for angels is to communicate his messages, both by what they say and what they do.

They are his messengers. When they give us strength or enlightenment, it is God's strength or enlightenment that they impart. Their encouragement is God's encouragement. Their guidance is God's guidance. Their protection is God's protection. When they bring comfort, it is God's comfort they offer. And when they bring wrath, it is God's wrath they inflict.

That's why the right understanding of angels must go back to God's character. God himself is a communicator. Word is one of his right and proper names: "In the beginning was the Word...and the Word was God" (John 1:1). God "reveals his thoughts to man," the prophet Amos says (Amos 4:13). God makes himself known.

Read chapter one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

would like to learn about angels,,thx for contest,,