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No Ordinary Angel: Celestial Spirits and Christian Claims about Jesus (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) Hardcover – November 25, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With this book on angels, the press launches its Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library. No matter what branch of Christianity you profess, it is likely that your belief system teaches that angels are at work in our lives. This thoughtful, though sometimes ponderous, study by Garrett, professor of New Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, brings forward the important place angels hold in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Angels, both good and evil, are seen as a major driving force in the divine-human encounter. They appear as helpers in time of need, or as tempters when we're prone to do evil. They affect our present and help determine our future. And while some may dismiss the whole issue as just so much imaginative nonsense, Garrett understands the ultimate goal of angelic intervention in our lives: "Jesus is no ordinary angel, but rather, the peerless example of God's stooping down to be present with us in our brokenness." This thrilling thought can be a comfort and a joy to all people of faith. (Nov.)
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Review

“At once magisterial and accessible, Garrett’s book moves with grace between ancient and modern depictions of angels—never dismissive of popular beliefs, yet showing their indebtedness to modern ideologies.”—Dale B. Martin, author of Pedagogy of the Bible
(Dale B. Martin)

“Susan Garrett has written no ordinary book about angels. A supposedly esoteric or other-worldly topic turns out to be a life and death matter when Garrett illumines it with the light of her learning.”—Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary
(Patrick D. Miller)

"This marvelously readable and informative book is an authoritative contribution to the scholarly literature on angelology. Those who minister to folks who have been—or desperately want to be—"touched by an angel" will benefit greatly from Garrett's insights. I am immensely grateful to my own guardian angel for leading me to this book!"—Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary
(Richard J. Mouw)

“Susan R. Garrett combines impeccable biblical scholarship with creative, profound theological reflection. No Ordinary Angel is far more than a book about angels. In the course of investigating ancient and modern angelologies, Garrett delves into such central matters as the nature and work of Christ and the presence and action of God in the world. Her prose is fluid, her forays into popular culture ring true, and her theology is nothing less than brilliant. This is an important book for scholars and lay persons alike. Exquisite theology born of rigorous bible-study—it doesn’t get any better than this!”—Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary
 
(Serene Jones)

"A wonderful new book about the enduring popularity of angels in American culture—and how these angel images in movies, TV shows and novels relate to the faith of the majority of Americans, which is Christianity. . . . Susan is exploring the blossoming of popular angel images in American media—and trying to connect the cultural dots for most Americans who look to Christianity as their faith."—David Crumm, Read the Spirit
(David Crumm Read the Spirit 2008-12-31)

". . . [T]akes a subject that scholars generally consider to be on the fluffy end of popular piety and integrates it into ecclesial and academic reflection. . . . exceptionally well structured . . . and very engagingly written . . ."—Sam Wells, Christian Century
(Sam Wells Christian Century)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (November 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300140959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300140958
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There's hardly a hotter spiritual topic than angels. Ask a group what they think about angels and hands shoot up with a host of things to say about personal hopes, favorite movies and books, beloved images and accounts about holidays, family stories -- on and on. I just did this with a mixed-age group of teens and adults (asking them about the ideas in Susan Garrett's new book) and I know what an energetic discussion arises.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. It is far more than a textbook review. Not dry and over informational at all! I will recommend it to all of my friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scholarly, yet spiritual and full of insight into the metaphysical world of the Bible. Very readable. Dr Garrett has given us a much needed treatment of a subject most scholars either do not take seriously or avoid altogether.
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I received the item promptly and just as described.
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Format: Hardcover
For my schoolwork.

About the book? Interesting but not the easiest english, for someone like me who is from sweden.
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