This past week in Senior Seminar we had to present and discuss Angelology. Honestly, I wasn't terribly thrilled about the prospect, largely due to the fact that it is such a speculative endeavor. Why argue about things we ultimately can't substantiate anyway? James Varner presented his section on Satan and in his introduction brought out a fantastic quote from Erickson's Theology:
"We have noted the difficulty of the subject. One reason is that while there are abundant references to angels in the Bible, they are not very helpful for developing an understanding of angels. Every reference to angels is incidental to some other topic. They are not treated in themselves. When they are mentioned, it is always in order to inform us further about God, what he does and how he does it. Since details about angels are not significant for that purpose, they tend to be omitted.
- Millard Erickson, Systematic Theology (2nd ed.) pg 459
Now to be fair, Erickson still treats angelology and thinks that we are not "faithful students of the Bible" unless we "speak of these things." I'm inclined to disagree. If the scriptures omit details since they are not significant for informing us further about God, what are we trying to prove? I'm not implying that it is sin to study angelology, but making it one of the ten main topics germane to Systematic Theology? I mean, come on. Ultimately I came up with an 8 page single spaced outline (more than half of which was block quoted scripture); however, if I had come across this quote any earlier, I would have been inclined to cite Erickson and call it quits.