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From an email, angels and Greek gods

I've been searching for and downloading the best formatted epubs and pdfs of Bullinger's Decades. It's a major historical work of doctrine from the 16th century.

In the Fourth Decade, Sermon Nine, on angels and evil spirits I found the first reference I think I've seen in a major Calvinist, Reformed source, connecting biblical angels with the gods of pagan poets, obviously Homer is what he is referencing here. Heathenish poets and philosophers -- that is ancient Greece:

"Let us therefore believe that there are angels. For the authority of the Son of God, and the irrevocable truth of the holy scriptures, ought worthily to win more credit with us than the toys of all Sadducees and wicked men. What, have not the heathenish poets and philosophers confessed that there are angels, whom they call gods? For they, feigning that gods in the likeness of men were lodged and entertained of righteous men, seemed to all learned men to have meant nothing else than that which the holy scriptures make mention of, how Abraham and Lot received angels into their houses resembling strangers. But howsoever the case standeth, most certain it is, both by the holy scripture and by manifold experience, that there are blessed spirits of God, that is to say, good angels."

This is why I like reading the older works. A modern Reformed theologian wouldn't have read or appreciated the Homeric epics, and would consider such a notion, that angels and the depictions of gods and goddesses of the ancients, had any connection. Whacky, they'd say. - C.


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