Meet the Real Angels, Hollywood

By Joel Miller

cherubsHollywood is going back to the Bible. Major releases covering the stories of Noah, Moses, and even Cain and Pontius Pilate are in the works. But if producers are looking for a real opportunity within the pages of Holy Writ, they should look to angels.

Let’s admit the obvious. Hollywood usually blows it when it comes to angels. Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life may be endearing, but he’s nothing like the angels we find in the pages of scripture.

Ditto for Christopher Lloyd in Angels in the Outfield or Denzel Washington in The Preacher’s Wife. And if John Travolta had played Gabriel instead of Michael, Mary would have called off the Annunciation.

Perhaps all this newfound interest in biblical stories and characters offers Hollywood a chance to do it right for a change. Forget sappy, romantic, and cute. In researching my new book, Lifted by Angels, I was struck by how overwhelmingly powerful and even frightening angels are.

The first angel we encounter in scripture is an armed cherub with a whirling blade of fire. And lest we think about Valentines and greeting cards when seeing the word cherub — the Bible presents cherubim with four faces and eyes in their wings. It might be better to call them monsters.

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Though scripture has several instances of angels disguised as regular humans, angels are spirits, and volatile ones at that. The psalmist, for instance, speaks of angels as winds and flames. The prophet Ezekiel describes an angel in the form of a man but adorned with flames and lightning and gleaming like polished metal. And the thirteenth chapter of Judges shows us an angel ascending to Heaven in the updraft of a blazing sacrifice.

It’s no wonder that people are typically terrified by angelic encounters. When the archangel Gabriel appears to help the prophet Daniel, he stuns the man. “I was frightened and fell upon my face,” reported Daniel…

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