25/04/2014

Angels (by Billy Graham)

This is the second time I've read this interesting and well-researched book by the well-known (and now very elderly) American evangelist Billy Graham. The book was published in 1975; in the introduction it's stated that there was an increasing interest in the occult and evil spirits in that era, but almost nothing about angels. So Billy Graham set out to fill the gap.

The full title of the book is 'Angels: God's Secret Agent'. Graham essentially considers what we can know about angels from the Bible; and it's a surprisingly large amount. He reminds us regularly that they are messengers - God's agents, sent by him to guide or communicate. He describes in some detail what is known about angels and their hierarchies, and talks about those few who are mentioned by name in Scripture.

The author also recounts many anecdotes about angels in more recent times. These are not just individual visitations, which might be taken by some as wishful thinking or good imagination. However, most of these anecdotes are from times when people - who had no reason to believe in anything beyond the material world - were nonetheless stopped from doing something terrible, or guided in ways that really can't be explained any other way than that angels were present.

It's not a particularly long book, and I read it in just a week, a couple of chapters per day. The writing is good, if a bit dry in places, and I felt that the anecdotes as a whole make up a very good case for angels being all around us constantly, quite apart from what is said in the Bible.

All in all, this book was quite thought-provoking. I don't know that I would recommend it in general, but it's a useful volume for anyone wanting to know more about angels. Still in print on both side of the Atlantic.

Review by copyright 2014 Sue's Book Reviews

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