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The Unseen Realm

[originally an email]

Michael Heiser's the Unseen Realm is a new book I've mentioned before. I feel I made a mistake in highlighting too strongly his liberal(ish) theology, because what he offers is so unique and valuable you can look beyond the weak doctrine.

His chapter 32 is epic and causes many dots to be connected regarding spiritual warfare realities, individual, political, world level, etc.

A big theme in his book is how the Bible describes spiritual or cosmic geography and how that explains so many events. The general scene-setting is God gave up the nations to individual gods, or angels, and kept Israel as His portion. Part of what Jesus was doing was taking back all the geography from the gods of the darkness. Which is a spiritual battle.

You can see this play out in history. Jews *reclaimed* the land of Israel in 1948. Islam, whose dark god is Allah, had taken possession of that land and had it for centuries. Its meaning now is more symbolic, but it IS the original land of God's portion. The hatred towards Jews and Israel is based on this. Spiritual battle and dominion over geography. 

The dark gods' - ultimately Satan's - hatred of Western Europe and the United States is different. These lands have been strongholds for followers of Jesus. God's people. We see now these evil hordes flowing into these heretofore off-limits lands.

I also had the thought reading the book that classical music in a real way does battle with dark forces within us. Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, for instance, is a warlike rush of force that goes through us and reclaims parts of our soul perhaps being occupied by dark spirits. This is why we can actually feel healthier and more clear and awake when we are making the effort to hear such higher music rather than the easier to hear lower forms of music that trigger lower thoughts and fantasy and lower emotions and so on. 

Of recent books this one by Heiser - Unseen Realm - is standing out as unique and special. He has a presence on the internet with material that adds to the book as well. His Divine Council material at the early parts of the book can be overstated and even make it seem like he is bringing God down to the level of the creation, in various ways, but getting through that and then seeing the overall themes he is uniquely bringing to light make it all more than worth the time and effort. Talk about the mysteries playing out within us and around us, it is obviously worth the time and effort. - C.


Blogger Gary said...

Okay, now I'm intrigued... I had Michael Heiser pegged as a bit of a crackpot (he writes lowbrow genre novels, he has an interest in UFO geekdom, his brand of Christianity appears light years away from the puritan path) but you're recommending his new book as "unique" and "special". Is it really trustworthy material? Should I actually buy and read the thing? If you have the time, could you please post about The Unseen Realm again and state in a little more detail where Heiser is on solid ground and where he is a space cadet. I, for one, would appreciate your thoughts.

Keep up the good work.

Gary (Devon, England)

March 24, 2016 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

OK, I will. Just let me say this: if you have an interest in spiritual warfare then Heiser's Unseen Realm is unique and special. His doctrine otherwise is the kind of sloppy mix of a liberalish academic with the usual presuppositions you see in those types (Moses and Paul wrote thus and thus, but there's no sense that the Holy Spirit had anything to do with it...that kind of thing).

But when spiritual warfare is the subject it's easier to dismiss a writers doctrine. For instance, Heiser does this by getting insights from theologians he doesn't agree with overall like Meredith Kline.

So what Heiser brings to the subject of spiritual warfare in the Bible is a sort of tracing of the 'parts in relation to the whole' regarding the large cosmic battle and how seeing that in scripture explains things that have really not been brought out heretofore by biblical or systematic theologians.

Like, for instance, what was really going on when Jesus took two of His disciples to that high mountain and was transfigured. Heiser identifies the mountain and shows how it was Jesus saying to the unseen world of dark forces I am here, and I take you on right here at this central site of your spiritual power, as it were.

The cosmic, or spiritual geography elements of the book alone are valuable.

I don't agree with the late Meredith Kline on everything, but I know I can get insights from him that can't be found elsewhere. I see Heiser similarly on the subject of spiritual warfare, though his overall doctrine (Arminian? a little open theism? etc., etc.) is no where near even Kline. Not that Kline was as hederodox as his critics claimed...

March 24, 2016 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Thank you for replying. I think that I actually am going to shell out for the book, despite my reservations about the polytheistic tone of Heiser's description of the Divine Council (I spent this evening listening to him on youtube). I am only a common or garden Christian and I lack the sufficient theological smarts to navigate through much of this stuff, but spiritual warfare is a subject that I have neglected for far too long and I am keen to devour anything that will help me to get to grips with it (including relevant articles on your blog).


March 25, 2016 at 5:03 PM  

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