Thursday, 19 July 2007

Speaking of angels

“We don’t get to the end of being baffled and amazed [by the universe]. I sometimes think that this is the importance of talking about angels in Christian teaching. Odd as it may sound, thinking about these mysterious agents of God’s purpose, who belong to a different order of being, can be at least a powerful symbol for all those dimensions of the universe about which we have no real idea…. We’re so used to trivializing angels – they are often reduced to Christmas decorations, fairy godmothers almost…. But in the Bible angels are often rather terrifying beings occasionally sweeping across the field of our vision…. Now whether or not you feel inclined to believe literally in angels – and a lot of modern Christians have a few problems with them – it’s worth thinking of them as at the very least a sort of shorthand description of everything that’s ‘round the corner’ of our perception and understanding in the universe – including the universal song of praise that surrounds us always.”

—Rowan Williams, Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Louisville: WJKP, 2007), pp. 51-52.

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