In the Shadow of his Wings: The Pastoral Ministry of Angels: Yesterday, Today, and for Heaven

By Jonathan Macy

A scholarly study of the role of angels in the Bible and the Christian Church, showing how they can be understood in a context of ministry and pastoral care.

ISBN: 9780718892500


Historically, angels have been viewed as either disconnected objects of speculative investigation, or as mystifying beings mysteriously influencing our lives. However, this is not how the Bible describes them. Scripture, in sober and straightforward terms, simply describes what angels do. It is a practical depiction, a pastoral presentation. We see messages of encouragement, revelation, and guidance; we see judgment and correction; we see strengthening; we see journeying; we see prayer and worship.

The biblical focus concerning angels is on ministry to the people of God. Angels are one way that God intervenes in human affairs in response to pastoral concerns or problems. Created to minister, angels are best understood, not using speculative or detached theology, but through applied and pastoral lenses. Using only Scripture and a classic model of pastoral theology as the framework, this book shows practically how angels are employed by God to bless his church and people as his servant ministers who glorify him alone.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationLGENPOD

About the Author

Jonathan Macy is a minister in the Church of England. His first degree was in Theological & Pastoral Studies, followed by MThs in both Early Church History and Applied Theology. He did his PhD at Kings College London, on Angels in the Anglican Tradition (1547-1662). Prior to ordination he worked for fifteen years in care homes for the disabled, and the elderly.


Introduction: All Things Seen and Unseen

1. An Overview of Angelic Ministry in the Bible
2. From Biblical Times until Today: A History of Angelology
3. Why a Pastoral Theology of the Angels?
4. Angels in the Life of Jesus
5. Angels and Healing
6. Angels and Sustaining
7. Angels and Guiding
8. Angels and Reconciliation
9. In the Shadow of Their Wings

Scripture Index


Endorsements and Reviews

Angels are frequently overlooked in Protestant Christianity, despite their significant place in the Scriptures. Jonathan Macy addresses that oversight with clarity and conviction in this important book. He does so by stressing the pastoral importance of angels as ‘ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation’ (Heb 1:14). This is theology in service of the Church that pushes back against secular pressure to minimize the heavenly realm, and opens eyes more widely to God’s saving activity in the world he loves so much. I hope it will be widely read not only by Christians who are concerned to form a robustly biblical worldview, but also by others who wonder if the material world is all there is.
Justyn Terry, Dean and President, Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, Pennsylvania

We live at a time when not since the medieval period has there been such a keen interest in the existence and activity of angels. Much that is written, taught, and believed about angels is gnostic nonsense with disastrous consequences. Dr. Macy’s significant study on angels is compellingly written, biblically grounded, pastoral theology of the highest order. It is a thrilling read and will take its place as a standard reference work on the subject.
Simon Ponsonby, Pastor of Theology, St Aldates, Oxford

When modern theologians can be dismissive of the idea of angels and orthodox evangelicals be uninterested in them, outside the Church there is much post-modern fascination with them. Jonathan Macy helpfully explores the biblical material and the Church’s attitude to angels through the centuries with scholarly care. He also offers his own interpretation of that material, providing a stimulus to others to reassess their beliefs in the ministry of angels.
Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester

This book will awaken both your biblical academic knowledge and your deeper spiritual awareness to the role of angels in our lives today. Many books have been written about demons and the deliverance ministry but at last here is an in-depth study of angels and their gift to man. Enjoy!
Rachel Hickson, Director of Heartcry for Change

In the Shadow of His Wings … is written with a depth of understanding, an attention to detail and a creative approach to reading the biblical text … Readers from all Christian traditions will learn from this book.
Revd Canon Dr Jane Steen, in The Bridge – Anglican Diocese of Southwark Newspaper

Jonathan Macy cuts through centuries of bad doctrine and muddled theology, and clearly presents the biblical evidence for what angels are, what they do and how they can help us.
Christianity Magazine

The enduring value of this study, in addition to its help in the practice of pastoral ministry, will be its insistence on the transcendent mystery of him with whom we have to do, and also its opposition to two modern fashions: on the one hand a neglect of angels and, on the other, extravagant speculation about them.
Rt Revd Alec Graham, in The Church Times

Macy provides an excellent antidote to new age angel worship and some angelic excesses in some Christian traditions. This is a sane and level headed book.
Steve Bishop, PAIDEIA Centre for Public Theology, Canada

A masterly treatment of how the Bible portrays these rather mysterious and wonderful creatures … The author clearly knows his subject well and presents it convincingly from Scripture … I cannot commend this book highly enough. Go out and buy!
Rev Stephen Holland, in British Church Newspaper

Macy does not set out to prove that angels exist; rather he accepts the biblical testimony regarding their existence and then proceeds to argue that they continue to serve the church as God’s instruments for salvation … Yet any work that addresses the subject of angelic ministry must also address the question of human suffering, particularly that of the people of God. Macy succeeds in answering this question, leaving the reader with a great sense of hope.
Olive J. Hemmings, in Andrews University Seminary Studies, Vol 50, Autumn 2012

A book that may well becomes a genre-defining modern spiritual classic.
Steve Morris, in Church of England Newspaper, 2 December 2012

Using only Scripture and a classic model of pastoral theology as the framework, this book shows practically how angels are employed by God to bless His church and people as His servant ministers who glorify Him alone.
Theological Book Review , Vol 25, No 1