Sunday, June 26, 2016

Angels by Jack Graham

This is a book about angels unlike any I've read before. Rather than merely facts about angels, although there are some, Graham has provided readers with spiritual concepts and practical lessons for life from biblical stories about angels.

From Isaiah's account of angels giving God glory, crying, “Holy, holy, holy,” we learn the importance of holiness and what it means to us. He includes an acronym for holy with four points to help us on our own journey of holiness. From the story of Jacob and the stairway to heaven we find that angels constantly live in the presence of God. “...[Angels] have determined that the only way to live out their true purpose is to obey God and accomplish his purposes. They have made it their sole aim in life to connect the glory of heaven with the realities of planet earth.” Graham includes practical ways for us to know the will of God and do it too. Other lessons include the coming judgment, angels as an example of spiritual fervor, how to combat temptation, that we are never alone, that God equips us for what He asks us to do, and a few more.

I appreciate that, in general, Graham does not speculate. He sticks to Scripture in describing what angels can and cannot do. He does tell some great stories about himself and contemporary people and their encounters with angels.

My only hesitancy with the book is Graham's use of Psalm 91 when writing about our guardian angels and our protection. While he tells some wonderful stories of angels protecting believers from harm, I couldn't help but think of cases where believers have been tortured and martyred. I still have plenty of questions about the promises in Psalm 91 and the reality of Christians being persecuted today.

I found the exploration of angels and their choices very interesting. Angels have (had) free will. We know this because some rebelled. The ones remaining in God's presence remain perfectly obedient to His will, Graham writes. “The evidence of angelic free will we find in God's Word shows up at their creation, but never again after that.” This is the first I've read about this “one time” free will for angels and I am still trying to think it through.

This book would be a good resource for a pastor or teacher preparing for a series on angels. It's good for all Christians as Graham is very personable in his writing. It is an encouragement to be made aware of all that angels do in our lives and what that means for our own spiritual walk.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jack Graham is pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, a thriving church with more than 31,000 members. He has served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention and is the author of numerous books. He was ordained to the ministry in 1970, having a master of divinity degree and a doctor of ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can find out more at www.jackgraham.org.

Bethany House Publishers, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Post a Comment