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Book Review – What The Bible Teaches About Angels

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Time magazine got it right, “For those who choke too easily on God and his rules…angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind, nonjudgemental. They are available to everyone, like aspirin. Only in the New Age would it be possible to invent an angel so mellow that it can be ignored.” My local newspaper contains constant advertisements for guides who can help any sufficiently gullible person to get in touch with angels. A Time poll found that 69 percent of respondants confirmed their belief in the existence of angels, 46 percent acknowledged their belief in a personal guardian angel and 32 percent claimed to have felt an angelic presence at some time in their lives. As the magazine says, many people who have no use for God and for His rules, have an obsession with angels, which they deem to be much more loving and gentle. But as Roger Ellsworth teaches in What The Bible Teaches About Angels (part of the “What The Bible Teaches About…” series), an interest in a biblical topic is of no value if we do not approach the topic biblically. And the vast majority of those who believe in angels have not approached the topic biblically.

What The Bible Teaches About Angels is a short book, weighing in at a mere 119 pages, and one that is easy to read. It is not a systematic theology of angels and spiritual beings, but a topical look at the biblical view of angels. The author covers topics such as what are the cherubim and seraphim, who is Satan, who are Michael and Gabriel, what are ministering spirits, and so on. The book is written in a style that is almost devotional. At the close of most of the chapters, Ellsworth asks how the truths presented apply to the reader. For example, at the close of a chapter dealing with angels as ministering spirits, he asks “what does the ministry of angels tell us about God and ourselves?” He goes on to suggest an answer that returns the focus from ourselves and from angels to God. He consistently points out that our knowledge of angels can easily become idolatrous and so we must always bring our thoughts back to God. And in so doing, we honor the angels who exist only and always to do the will of God and to bring glory to Him.

Ellsworth shows that any study of the Bible can be done in such a way that we learn truth and return all the glory to God. What The Bible Teaches About Angels is a wonderful introduction to the topic and one I recommend. It can be read and digested in only a couple of hours and is suitable for individuals or even for family reading.

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