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‘Fallen’ far from truth?

Thursday night, Fallen debuts as the first of three ABC Family TV movies (adapted from a series of teen novels) which delve into the world of angels walking among us—in particular, Aaron Corbett (Paul Wesley), who discovers on his 18th birthday that he’s really a Nephilim (half-human, half-angel) complete with a prophecy that predicts he’s the one who will redeem fallen angels to their former glory. Who informs him of his destiny? Zeke (Tom Skerritt), himself a fallen angel who also introduces Corbett to the fight between those angels who want to destroy Nephilims and those who are on his side.

Full of plenty of God-talk, but how does it stack up to what the Bible and Christian tradition reveal about angels? I wanted to know, so I did some digging—and here’s what I found out:

According to Catholic Online, “the program's pop-culture theology bears little in common with the Christian understanding of angels. Apart from the Judeo-Christian concept of a primal angelic rebellion (and the crossbreeding conceit culled from Chapter 6, Verses 1 and 2, of Genesis), the story makes no references to specific faith traditions, opting instead for a generalized spirituality epitomized by New Agey dialogue such as ‘God is such a limiting term.’” According to the Pittsburg Post Gazette, “executive producer Pete Donaldson said the goal was to make the story ‘more secular,’ so there's no explanation of where God stands on the battle between the angels.”

This blurry spirituality fits with what the novels’ author Tom Sniegoski has to say. Comicon reports that Sniegoski “always was interested in angels and exploring the myth and lore around those heavenly creatures. ‘Angels have shown up here and there in my comic work like Vengeance of Vampirella, but I've always been fascinated with these beautiful, yet very scary looking creatures,’ he said. ‘I think the germ of most of this stuff came from the statues at the old Polish Church I attended as a child. There was this one statue of Saint Michael, wings spread, wearing armor and standing on the head of Satan. Seeing that sort of stuff does a job on a five-year-old. . . . I think I drew my ideas from all kinds of sources, but my main source were from the tons of research books on angels and various mythologies that I'd collected over the years. It was really cool to read all this stuff and slowly build my own angelic mythology.’"

Well, that doesn't sound very biblical, heh. But I've always been fascinated with films that portray angels as beings that might leave a person less than warm-and-fuzzy (why is it their first words to many in Scripture are along the lines of "don't be afraid"?), so I’ve TiVo’d Fallen. I’ll let you know what I think. Stay tuned.

(Image: ABC Family) miscctgy