Nov 6, 2017
In both New Age spirituality and Christian fundamentalism, belief in angels is very high. However, in contemporary mainstream Christianity (including Catholicism), belief in angels has fallen on hard times. Many Christians no longer believe in angels and find the idea of such creatures no more than a lovely myth. Angels seem to be out of place in a rational, scientific world.
But, as John Macquarrie, the distinguished Anglican theologian, has pointed out, it is strange that modern people would close their minds to the possibility of angels. In a world of space exploration, we are learning more and more about the inconceivable vastness of space and the infinite proliferation of worlds beyond our own. At the scientific level, we are more and more open to the possibility of life on other planets.
Surely, modern people, then, should be open to the notion that God has created other orders of beings beyond those who live on earth.
In Macquarrie’s words, “The panorama of creation must be far more breathtaking than we can guess in our corner of the cosmos, for there must be many higher orders of beings whose service is joined with ours under God.” The doctrine of angels tell us that human beings live in a universe created by God that is infinitely more wondrous than we know.
In the Church’s liturgy, the Christian belief in angels finds its fullest expression. Early Christian commentators remind us that the Church’s liturgy is embraced by an invisible assembly of angels.