What is the difference between 'The Unseen Realm' and 'Supernatural' by Michael Heiser?

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Posts 145
Darcy S. Van Horn | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Dec 19 2015 1:59 PM

Can anyone tell me what the difference is in focus, content, and purpose of Dr. Heiser's two books, The Unseen Realm, and Supernatural?  Which one should be read first, or does one include most of the material in the other?  Trying to decide which to buy first (would like to buy both now, but will probably wait, as I need to watch my budget Smile).  Thanks!


Posts 3173
Whyndell Gizzard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 19 2015 2:16 PM

Supernatural is a condensed version of Unseen realm- UR is much more in depth of his view regarding the Divine Council, which is more based in a ANE background of the ancient religions of the Middle East.

Some reviews do not dispute his finding , but say he relys to much on nonbiblical resources to develope a "biblical" teaching.

I am still working through it- there is a lot of reference material that is not available in Logos, and hard to get from outside resources without spending a fortune.

Posts 145
Darcy S. Van Horn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 19 2015 2:44 PM

Thanks for the clarification.  I'll probably buy Unseen Realm now, and hold off on Supernatural.  Blessings!

Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 17 2016 10:02 PM

I am listening to Unseen Realm through an audible copy I purchased.  Perhaps it would make more sense if I had bought it in Logos to follow along with.  It is dense and takes a very long time to slog through....and I am still waiting for the gist of it all.

For example, is the author suggesting that God has a family (in a type of pantheon)  and are we as humans were meant originally to be in it?

As for what the author says about "The Divine Council" and his seeming discounting that it has anything to do with The Trinity - made me wonder if I should even continue listening.

The fact that I can even write this (its late sorry) and I am  questioning what the book is even all about...makes me think I should have gotten the Supernatural book instead (or some other title...maybe by Paul Copan instead)

As of right now, I do not recommend this book...it is taking a very long time to make any real point well imho.

Posts 493
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 17 2016 11:04 PM

.it is taking a very long time to make any real point

When purchasing both UR and Supernatural, I had already listened to Dr. Heiser's podcast and read his blog material.  Going into it I was familiar going into the books and I had a fine time navigating with that understanding.  I think diving into the content cold, Unseen Realm is gonna be a slow and dense read, and Supernatural is brief and to the point.  Specifically hitting the question "what's this point of knowing this" by putting application recaps after each chapter.  I personally enjoyed both.

So, Supernatural is a good starting point IMO, and then if you find his ideas and interpretation intriguing, Unseen Realm will vastly expand on the content.

FWIW, coming from a Charismatic background, the supernatural theme of the book was not very revelatory, just better hashed out in an academic sense.  Actually, some of the alternate or "mainstream" understanding sof certain passages was new to me (IE the Adamic interpretation of the Ez 28, as opposed to Satan sticks out from memory) and it was helpful to broaden my understanding of interpretations that differed from my own. I found that several ideas he presents, like the Divine Council, can be found in numerous commentaries and dictionary articles. But, that conversation may be better suited for a Christian Discourse post.

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 18 2016 1:06 AM

I also found Douglas VanDorn's companion book helpful (I think if you own UR you might get it for $.99--no promises). The book in Q/A format addresses many questions and supplies lists of Scripture references.  

I wavered and came and went on the UR book, but am very glad I read it.  The book took some hunkering down and focus. I think there is a lot of important material there, even if you choose to spit out what you think are bones (I spit a few times). 

Supernatural  is the easy read, but I think might leave more questions than answers for serious thinkers.  Hands down, I recommend UR full version.  

On the other hand, the novels The Portent and The Facade, also by Heiser, might throw you for another loop. Just don't mix those in at the same time.  I am still unmixing.

After all that, I highly recommend UR to discerning readers. If you don't want to chew hard for a long time, maybe pick something lighter?  Supernatural might do. If you follow Heiser all the way through, I think you will see that he has a unique way of presenting something very plausible. Just be careful not to isolate passages out of the full context (as in the whole book) or you may be shaking your head awhile.  I think critics of the book by and large perhaps just didn't get the intent or writing style of Heiser. And then again, a lot of the material is q-u-i-t-e  a  s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

I am glad I read it and highlighted good stuff all through it.


Posts 396
Robert Neely | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 20 2016 6:02 AM

I would highly recommend you start with Dr Heiser's videos on the Divine Council at his website drmsh.com or on YouTube.  After you have absorbed these, then you can tackle Unseen Realm.  The Q&A podcasts at his site are also very informative in the Divine Council worldview.  The bibliography at the site moreunseenrealm.com is also very helpful.  

Posts 396
Robert Neely | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 21 2016 2:19 AM

Check out his Divine Council 101 Lessons 1 - 4 videos here:





(apparently videos 5, 6 and 7 are still in production)

or check out the videos here


Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 25 2016 5:48 PM

I abandoned this book.  Respectfully - I do not believe God has or consults a Divine Council - sorry.  I attempted these books and none of them expanded my knowledge of the unseen realm.  I consider this momentary diversion in my free time reading a mistake. I asked Audible for a refund and got it.

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