Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Angels vs. Super Heros

Reading some of the Christmas passages in the Bible this season (Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2) I was reminded how awesome angels are. God created these beautiful and powerful creatures to be his messengers (angel means messenger) among other things. 
Thinking about how awesome angels are, I thought, "Hey, they're kind of like super heroes." My girls enjoy super hero movies and we often have conversations about what makes someone a super hero. 

So, with this in mind, I decided to list many of the things angels can do and then note any super hero that can do that as well. This was just a fun little exercise to make the point: *Smack!* Angels are amazing, powerful and beautiful. Don't mess with them. *Bam!* They are holy super heroes who serve God. *Pow!*

So some of these attributes of angels don't match up with a super hero. Perhaps you can add some to the list as well. Let me hear from you!


...Are super-intelligent (like Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic 4)
...Exercise moral judgment and therefore are able to sin
...Are warriors (like Thing, Hulk, & Captain America)
...Are worshippers 
...Are spiritual beings and therefore able to be invisible (like Violet Incredible)
...Are created beings
...Can appear in bodily form
...Are protectors / guardians for people
...Can fly (like Superman)
...Are messengers
...Are extremely fast (like Flash, Dash)
...Serve God and people
...Are holy 
...Fight for good over evil
...Have authority and rank
...Some are on fire (ex. Isaiah 6, Seraphs = burning ones) (like Human Torch)
...Stand in the presence of god
...Appear god-like to people who see them (Thor)
...Have evil enemies they fight
...Don't marry

Note: I got this list from Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology

Saturday, December 03, 2011

"The Silent Years" Not Sinless Years (book review)

The Silent Years, by Alan W. C. Green, is a novel where he imagines what the early years of Jesus Christ (called Yeshua in the book) were like. They are called the silent years because there is very little written in scripture about Jesus in these years. So he takes what there is and fills in the gaps with a story that gives some possible explanations for what we do read in the Bible.

Overall, I enjoyed this creative story. I felt like he stretched my perspective and increased my knowledge of the holy land and several characters in the New Testament during that time period.

I chose to review this book (it was given to me for this purpose) because I hoped it would help me see the Christmas story anew this December. As a pastor, I am always looking for new perspectives on the old story. Mission accomplished!

I have one reservation, however, and I'm afraid it is significant. I may have misunderstood the author's intent here but it seemed pretty clear to me that he had Yeshua sin in his story.

For example, on page 82 of 154 (ebook), Yeshua confesses his sin to his uncle of wanting to murder Roman soldiers raping a woman in front of him. Clearly, if you believe that Jesus was the sinless Son of God, this would be problematic. Therefore, I cannot recommend this book without a warning label regarding this. I don't suggest banning this book. However, this should be considered before recommending it to young readers (physically or spiritually) as it's heretical if I've read it correctly. I realize that this is a strong charge, but I do not know how else to respond.

So while I can tell you that I enjoyed most of the other parts of the book (there were what appeared to me other minor deviations from scripture), I strongly caution the reader to read with great discernment.