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No Ordinary Angel: Celestial Spirits and Christian Claims about Jesus (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) Hardcover – November 25, 2008
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So -- think about this book, first, for your own enjoyment and enlightenment. You'll learn a lot, essentially from a mainline Christian perspective. Susan is professor of New Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (and previously taught at Yale and Emory) so her major focus here is Christian and heavily involves the New Testament. Although angels are far broader than Christianity, she was smart to focus this book in her own area of expertise.
But, then, after you've enjoyed it -- think about using this book for two months of really lively discussion in a small group. Susan writes with authority. She not only knows her stuff; she also knows how to write about it in an engaging style.
What will surprise you is that, when exploring popular themes like "guardian angels" or "the angels of death" or "angelification" (whether we can turn into angels when we die) -- she finds that the 2,000-year record of Christian reflection is usually more complicated than we may have assumed. There's more openness, in other words, than many of us may have guessed.
Her overall theme is that, when we find ourselves drawn toward stories of angels, we're probably wrestling with deep needs in our lives. These may be spiritual needs. We may be encountering death. We may be anxious or hopeful or exploring new vocations in our lives.Read more ›