The word supernatural itself brings with it some serious and creepy connotations, doesn’t it? There is a world, an entire realm, that people like to brush under the rug — and this goes for believers and non-believers alike. It is no wonder that we surround ourselves with things that make us feel good. Things that make us forget that our lives are temporary. Things that make us only worry and focus on the here and now. But what if the here and now was more than what we can see and feel? What if there is more going on than we realize? And what if the Bible didn’t want us to brush it all under the rug, but would rather have it at the forefront of our minds? In Supernatural, Dr. Michael Heiser explores that serious (and sometimes creepy) world of Scripture.
“Intelligent evil—Satan, demons, the lesser gods who rule the nations—do not know everything. They do not have the mind of God, nor can they penetrate it. We tend to presume that because they are supernatural they are all-knowing. Not true. There is only one omniscient being—God. And he happens to be on our side.” page 103-104
Having had the opportunity to sit down and interview Dr. Heiser about The Unseen Realm, what is really the first installment of this discussion, I admittedly approached Supernatural with optimistic eyes. Dr. Heiser is learned, insightful, a joy to talk with and listen to, and has a reputation for producing material on exciting, often overlooked, topics.
I’ll leave you to dig into the topics themselves (check out the table of contents below for the main ideas but you’re welcome to comment below to ask more specifics), but it is the format of the book that I think is worth commenting on. It most certainly is written for readers who are both (1) new to the world of interpreting Scripture in the setting that it was written in and (2) not thrilled to be engulfed with footnote-packed pages of boring, irrelevant research. Heiser approaches passages that have been around for ages with light-hearted and Gospel-centered art. I would be lying if I said that communicating these topics as a simpler level is Dr. Heiser’s forté (To me, he’s a rockstar on the academic court and that’s where he shines), but both Dr. Heiser and his team understand that this message needs to be heard no matter where you are at in your walk with the Lord. That is why they literally put a “Why This Matters” at the close of each chapter.
What I learned the most from this text is that the supernatural stuff doesn’t have to be super scary. A number of spiritual “beings” or “gods” (however interpreted), an eternal place to call home, where we fit in the grand scheme of things (both seen and unseen) — these are all wonderful news. God is even larger than we give Him credit for, I think. “Embracing the supernatural reality of the spiritual world of the Bible is essential for understanding the Bible.” p. 164
Table of Contents
- Chapter One Believing the Bible
- Chapter Two The Unseen Realm: God and the Gods
- Chapter Three Once and Future Kings
- Chapter Four Divine Rebellions
- Chapter Five Cosmic Geography
- Chapter Six The Word, the Name, and the Angel
- Chapter Seven Rules of Engagement
- Chapter Eight Sacred Space
- Chapter Nine Holy War
- Chapter Ten Hidden in Plain Sight
- Chapter Eleven Supernatural Intent
- Chapter Twelve The Cloud Rider
- Chapter Thirteen The Great Reversal
- Chapter Fourteen Not of This World
- Chapter Fifteen Partakers of the Divine Nature
- Chapter Sixteen Ruling over Angels
Dr. Michael S. Heiser, a Scholar-in-Residence at Faithlife Corporation, presents fifteen years of research on what the Bible really says about the unseen world of the supernatural unfiltered by tradition or by theological presuppositions. People shouldn’t be protected from the Bible, Dr. Michael S. Heiser says, but theological systems often do just that, by explaining away difficult or troublesome passages of Scripture because their literal meaning doesn’t fit into our tidy systems.
Who were the sons of God ? Who were the Nephilim? Where do angels fit into the supernatural hierarchy? Why did God find it necessary to have the Israelites destroy the populations of entire cities man, woman, and child? What relation does Jesus bear to the rest of the supernatural world? Dr. Michael S. Heiser tackles these questions and many more in his books Supernatural and The Unseen Realm.
In both books, Dr. Michael S. Heiser shines a light on the supernatural world not a new light, but rather the same light the original, ancient readers and writers of Scripture would have seen it in.
After reading these books, you won’t be able to read the Bible in the same way again.
Supernatural, What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World and Why it Matters presents this approach to reading and understanding scripture for the person in the pew. The Unseen Realm covers the same material but at a deeper, complex, and highly documented way, for pastors, the seminarian, or serious students of the Bible.
Learn more about Dr. Heiser and Lexham Press
Michael Heiser Pages
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/michaelsheiser
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/msheiser
- Blog: http://drmsh.com/
Lexham Press Pages
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/lexhampress
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/lexhampress
- Blog: http://www.lexhampress.com/blog