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The following excerpt is quoted from the book "99 Answers to Questions about Angels, Demons & Spiritual Warfare," by B.J. Oropeza.
Modernists often consider angels a fictional product of our superstitious past. In the nineteenth century, Friedrich Schleiermacher, often considered the father of liberal theology, questioned the purpose of having a doctrine of angels.
In the twentieth centry, New Testament critical scholar Rudolf Bultmann essential denied their existence altogether.
So what does it profit us … to study the archaic subject of angels?
Theologian Milliard Erickson lists five benefits for the spiritually minded:
- It comforts us to know that numerous powerful beings exist who are available to help us (2 Kings 6:17)
- Angelic worship shows us how to worship God (Rev. 4:8-11)
- That some angels fell away cautions us to watch out that we do not fall away from our faith (1 Cor. 10:12)
- The reality of fallen angels alerts us to the ways that we can be tempted (Mt. 4:1-11)
- As powerful as Satan and his minions are, it comforts us to know that they are limited in what they can do (Job 1-2)
The current fascination with angels takes less interest in deep question about angelic essence and nature and more interest in angelica activities. We "postmoderns" are more interested in what angels can do for us that in what they are.
But this focus can fail to distinguish the difference between good and evil angels. Before we study what angels do, we must understand who and what they are. And that is the focus of this chapter.
- Source: B.J. Oropeza, 99 Answers to Questions About Angels, Demons & Spiritual Warfare InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Il., 1997, p. 17-18.
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