Due to be released in March 2012 is the first book in the new Son of Angels series, Spirit Fighter, by North Carolina pastor Jerel Law. Aiming at a readership similar to that of the Harry Potter series – the highest-selling fiction series ever (just pipping the Left Behind series which claims second place) – Spirit Fighter tells the story of seventh-grader Jonah Stone, who discovers that he is one-quarter angel:

When his children began reading books by J.K. Rowling and Percy Jackson, Law wondered why there was not a similar series with a Christian foundation. “I wanted to write something for my kids and connect them with the Bible in a relevant way for them,” he said. His hook became the “Nephilim,” a race of giants mentioned in Genesis 6:4 that were created when “sons of God joined with the daughters of mankind.”

– Marty Minchin, “Writing Mirrors Tragedy, Hope”, Charlotte Observer, 26 February 2012

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Molly Hodgin, editorial director at Thomas Nelson, says that the publishers have received a deluge of book submissions involving Nephilim:

“We’ve received many submissions about Nephilim, but Jerel’s stood out because it was adventurous, fresh, and fun,” Hodgin said. “I loved that his protagonists encountered creatures and characters from the Bible and brought them to life in a modern way that kids could really visualize.”

– Marty Minchin, “Writing Mirrors Tragedy, Hope”, Charlotte Observer, 26 February 2012

Spirit FighterHere’s part of the scene in which Jonah finds out why he has got special powers:

“I thought that angels and all of that stuff were just a story,” Jonah said. “You know, like a fairy tale. I believe in Elohim and in the Bible, but I thought that angels were something people made up. Floating around on clouds and playing harps and stuff. Do they do that?”

His mom and dad laughed. “Not exactly,” his father said. “Angels are some of the most powerful creatures in the universe. Elohim created them to be in the service of His kingdom. But some of them – the Bible says about one-third – decided they didn’t want to serve under Elohim’s reign anymore. One of them even thought he could be better than Elohim.”

Eleanor continued gravely, “A great battle took place. Michael, the leader of the angelic army, brought his forces to battle against the great deceiver, the angel who led the rebellion. He has been known by many names – Satan, Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness – but among angels he is known as Abaddon, the accuser. After a violent struggle, Michael threw Abaddon down to the earth, along with those Abaddon had convinced to fight with him. They are known as the Fallen, and they roam this earth, doing their master’s bidding, still waging war against Elohim and His forces.”

“Your father was a fallen angel,” Jonah repeated, still not sure that he could bring himself to believe what he was hearing.

“Yes,” Eleanor said, slowly tracing the rim of her coffee mug. “One who wanted a child.”

“What would one of the Fallen want with a kid?”

Benjamin began to turn the pages of his Bible. “You are a quarterling, Jonah. What do you think that makes your mother?”

“I guess that means she is half angel,” Jonah said. Then he looked thoughtfully at his father. “Dad, are you…?”

His dad laughed. “Oh, I can assure you, I am entirely human. Your mom can vouch for this too. But you are right: she is half angel.” He gazed at her. “Although she’ll always be one hundred percent angel to me.”

Spirit Fighter fans

The idea that one-third of the angels fell from heaven with Abaddon comes from the Revelation of John 12.3-4a (cf. 9.11):

Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.

Stars were understood to be angels in many ancient Jewish and Christian works (Daniel 12.2-3; LXX Job 38.7; Book of Dreams 86; Epistle of Enoch 104.2-6), including Revelation (19.17). The observation that some “wandering stars” (planets) went in their own direction – compared to the great majority of stars in the night sky – was sometimes interpreted as evidence that some of these angels had rebelled against divine law (Book of Watchers 18.13-16; Astronomical Book 80.6-7; Irenaeus, Proof 16; Against Heresies 4.40.3; 5.24.4; Tertullian, On Patience 5; Gregory of Nyssa, Catechetical Oration 6).