Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Opus 2024-175: Book Review: Unseen Realm

Several months ago I stumbled across some podcasts by a man named Michael Heiser.  I had never heard of him before but that could just be a reflection of my limitations.  His doctoral studies were in Hebrew.  He had taught at the university level and I eventually found that he was employed by the Logos Bible Study Software people.  He mentioned it but I never saw him shilling the product.  He wrote book called The Unseen Realm which gives a feel for his focus.  I eventually bought that book and read through it.  He seems to have died in the last few years from pancreatic cancer.

A phrase that becomes a foundational concept for him is “the divine council”.  He gets the phrase from the ESV,

(Psa 82:1 ESV) A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
As far as I can tell from the translations on my software, the ESV is the only one that puts it that way and I cannot find the phrase anywhere else.  Compare,
(Psa 82:1 KJV)  A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
(Psa 82:1 NAS77) A Psalm of Asaph. God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers.
I picked this up from the podcast but it is peppered throughout his book.  I think a more literal rendering would be “congregation of gods,” but I don’t have a Ph.D. in Hebrew.

From that precarious perch he begins an interesting voyage of constructing a view of the spiritual world that at times seems insightful and other times sounds like heresy.  At first I was onboard with what he was teaching.  By the time I finished the book I had some serious doubts.  When I tried to work through it again, it raised too many questions.  I may get around to looking at some of them in the future.   

Heiser, Michael S.  The Unseen Realm.  Bellingham, WA:  Lexham Press, 2015.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.