11.14.2012

Review: The Forgotten Heavens: Six Essays on Cosmology


The Forgotten Heavens: Six Essays on Cosmology
The Forgotten Heavens: Six Essays on Cosmology by Douglas Wilson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



An intriguing book.
A mixture of insightful and strained interpretation of Scripture.

Strengths
- lots of Biblical texts cited
- main thesis is sound: angels and spirits are real and our modernism leads us to distort the text, ruling out the possibility of actual activity and intervention on their part in our world and lives.

Weaknesses
- the essays seemed scattered and not very coherent. Maybe because of the partial and fleeting knowledge we are given.
- there is some reliance on extra-Biblical sources for context. I can tolerate that as long as there isn't...
- speculation beyond Scripture. It isn't too heavy or frequent, but it's there at a couple points.

1. Doug Wilson looks at stars (as beings?), Hades, Sheol, and Hell, and how the last 3 relate, especially to Jesus' time between death and resurrection.

2. Cherubim and Seraphim, and beasts around them

3. gods and lords ruling the nations (Deut 32:8; Ps 82; 1 Cor 8:5-6; Dan 10; Eph 6:12). Some of them as idols found in the Bible (Baal, Molech, etc.)

4. Divination and witchcraft. Demons worked real wonders to mislead many. Oracles, the witch of Endor, the girl in Acts 16, etc.

5. Angels - Bible uses the word for human messengers and appearances of God Himself, but there are also real angels with some hierarchy and responsibilities (Ps 91:11; Matt 18:10; Luke 2: 2 Sam 24). They help us in spiritual warfare (Dan 10:20-23). This was one of the more helpful, clear and unspeculative essays.

6. Satyrs in Isa 13:21; 34:13-14; Lev 17:7; 2 Chr 11:15; 2 Kings 23:8. Translation is the obstacle, here, with most translations going with a known animal instead of "satyr." They are demons depicted as part man/boy part goat legs (Mr. Tumnus?!) Lilith was a female night demon of Babylon. Isaiah is prophesying against Babylon: she will rest, not wreak havoc. Also a good treatment of those with epilepsy, or "moonstruck" in Matt 4:24; 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-42.

A good book if you're wondering about these Scriptures specifically. If you're interested in the worldview more abstractly I'd recommend CS Lewis' "The Discarded Image."



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