Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pieper, 1968. Section F "Angelology"

Section F “Angelology”

This portion of the book consists of seven brief chapters. Again, I think it is short enough to treat all the chapters together. Pieper observes that liberalism debates the existence of angels simply because they are spiritual in nature and not always apparent to our observation. The doctrines of angels are not primary, as they are not required for salvation, yet are clearly laid out in the Bible.

Chapter 1, “The Existence of Angels and the Time of Their Creation”

Based on Scripture, since angels are created beings, they came about after the creation of the universe. They were in existence by the end of the sixth day, as they were present in time for the temptation.

Chapter 2, “The Name ‘Angel’”

The term “angel” is used in Scripture also for messengers or ambassadors. It is an office, or title, not a description of the essence.

Chapter 3, “The Nature and the Properties of the Angels”

Angels are identified as spirits, without any sort of body, tough able to influence physical items. Unlike humans, they are complete without bodily form. Unlike God they are not omniscient, but must be informed of events. They do not take up space, but can sometimes be identified as present in a certain place.

Chapter 4 “Number and Ranks of the Angels”

The Bible portrays the number of angels as very large. They are mentioned as cherubim, seraphim, and archangels. Likewise, the devil seems to have his ranks of lesser angels.

Chapter 5, “Good and Evil Angels”

In the creation, all angels were good. The proclamation “very good” of Genesis 1:31 would apply to them. We do not know precisely when they fell, but do know it was before the events of Genesis 3.

Chapter 6, “The Good Angels and Their Activity”

The Bible does not picture the good angels as able to sin or the bad angels as able to be redeemed. The good angels exist to praise God and accomplish his will. God does not need assistance but has chosen to use servants.

Chapter 7, “The Evil Angels, Their Activities, and Their Eternal Punishment”

We do not know why the evil angels cannot be redeemed, yet God has proclaimed that to be the case. The evil ones work only for the harm of this world. We sometimes consider some people to be held by demonic forces. The Scripture views all unbelievers as being in the same condition but it is clear that some people are more obviously tormented than others.

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