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9.19.2015

Much of Michael S. Heiser revealed in a footnote in Unseen Realm

Utopianism is a familiar theme in classic literary works of Western civilization. Plato’s Republic, Augustine’s City of God, and Thomas More’s Utopia are the more obvious examples . In the Christian context, utopian communities that sought to separate from the world or reform the culture according to Christian ideals include Calvin’s Geneva, the Shaker movement, and the Ephrata Cloister . The Transcendental movement and sociopolitical ideologies like Marxism are also well-known secular examples. All attempts at creating a perfect harmonious society are doomed because people are imperfect, and total conformity is contrary to human nature. [footnote 4 of chp. 11 in Unseen Realm]

Heiser, in all his writing, keeps his doctrinal beliefs close to his vest (or at least makes them not easy to find), but this note shows a lot. City of God utopian? Calvin's Geneva utopian? On par in some way with Marxism? That all is a combination of ignorance and angry bias.

Elsewhere he's shown sympathy with Open Theism (in Unseen Realm as well). I guess he's Arminian. He just doesn't come straight out with these things. What makes this all relevant is he makes noise here and there of being Reformed to some degree.

Mixed in with his take on the Divine Council is a typical liberal theologian's (or biblical scholar's) presuppositions regarding Scripture, ancient near east literature and its supposed influence on the Bible, but also an irreverent quality or tone when discussing the Triune God. For instance kind of making God one of the guys in the Divine Council. I suspect this is due to a lack of awareness of the reality of sin and the seriousness of God's wrath.

Though I would still recommend a reading of Unseen Realm due to it at least broaching subject matter Heiser admits biblical scholars avoid for the most part.

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