This essay consolidates, organizes, and contributes to the reflections of theologians throughout the history of the church concerning the inestimable benefits received by the un-fallen angels from Christ’s atoning death and resurrection, that we might better understand how the blood of Christ reconciles all things in heaven to God (Col. 1:20). Specifically, I explore five different ways in which the un-fallen angels are affected by the saving work of Christ, both in terms of salvation from the effects of sin, and salvation as the fulfillment of their being, while briefly considering the implications thereof for the church.
Jonathan Edwards, “The Wisdom of God Displayed in the Way of Salvation,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, ed. Henry Rogers, Sereno Edwards Dwight, and Edward Hickman (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1998), 147.
Augustine, Augustine Catechism, 60–61. As Dante puts it: “Count up to twenty; thou wilt be too slow—/ Even faster did one Angel band rebel / And bring convulsion to earth below … / These other Angels humbly did admit / The Goodness whence they have their provenance / And understanding, for this joy made fit. / Merit and grace their vision so enhance / That now their will, steadfast and perfect grown, / From its objective knows no severance.” Alighieri Dante, The Divine Comedy, trans. Dorothy L. Sayers (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1955), 310–311.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, “Atonement in Postmodernity: Guilt, Goats and Gifts,” in The Glory of the Atonement: Biblical, Historical and Practical Perspectives, ed. Charles E. Hill and Frank A. James, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 398–399.