Book Review: The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible

Book CoverMichael Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (Bellingham: Lexham Press, 2015), 368 pp.

Reviewed by Justin Pratt (Kirkland Lake, ON)

The flyleaf of this book claims that after reading it “you may never read your Bible in the same way again.” This is an audacious claim, but it is true. This book provides a framework through which to consider the interplay between rebellious divine beings and their impact on human history, and God’s work to accomplish His ultimate purpose with a fallen humanity. This is a well-researched book by a Hebrew scholar, and it interacts with what is known from Ugarit archaeology and Baal worship in areas that are relevant to the Old Testament. He takes the reference to “sons of God” to always be a reference to members of God’s divine council – thus the sons of God in Genesis 6 are divine beings who intermarry with humanity. This is carried through to the New Testament where adoption of believers as sons is seen ultimately as an elevation to seats on God’s divine council. The author succeeds in impressing the reader with the reality of the influence and effect of divine beings in our world today. This is a book with many interesting insights, and although you may not agree with all that is presented, it is the kind of book where the next point is anticipated. The genius of the book is how the concept presented unifies many disparate references to the unseen realm in both Testaments.