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  1. An article where Joel Rosenberg makes a quick appearance and Isaiah 17 is shown in context.

  2. Jim says:

    Oh Magog! 🙂

  3. Jim says:

    I think Burleson is correct.

  4. Jim,
    Not all that shocking anymore. I think at one point in my life I would have been, but not anymore.

  5. Have you ever noticed how powerful the pull is to speak in the opposite spirit no matter what someone asserts? It is wearying to carry and when you lay it down you discover how burdensome it is and yet others are happy to pick it up. We are so prone to oppose.

    A prophetic culture (which is an idea sure to stir opposition) is devoted to building up one another. It does not lack confrontation. It lacks the spirit of opposition. It lacks a judgmental spirit.

  6. Michael says:


    There is a book hiding in that comment…

  7. What do you mean by prophetic culture?

  8. The prophetic gift in the NT was for edification, exhortation and comfort. When we create an environment that bids us speak to one another in that fashion we will intentionally cultivate the best gifts and instincts in our interactions. It is an environment that intentionally avoids sarcastic humor intended to demean and cut people off. It is powerful and nourishing. It is a culture that takes moments as sacred, baptisms, firsts of all kinds, rites of passage and infuses them with Luke 1-3 voices. It is an environment for personal growth.

    It does not avoid confrontation, rather it insists upon it reserving those moments for face to face encounters that are also intended to restore. No one can confront who wants merely to rebuke. You must desire the heart of the one you are rebuking. You must go forth in tears.

    A prophetic culture listens to the heart of God over people and speaks it out in humble and poignant moments. A prophetic culture seeks the best of another remembering the instructions of the gift of prophecy as they are sandwiched about I Corin. 13. It is a very loving environment, and as strong as death.

  9. You said “lacks a judgmental spirit”.
    It is my understanding that we “in the church” are to judge each other, but not those “outside the church”
    The gift of prophecy is given for believers, not unbelievers.
    It would be my understanding that sometimes the Spirit might speak things that judge some, sort of like Ananias and Saphira but not quite as harsh always.
    This would all be towards exhortation.
    This is why we need prophets to judge the words other prophets to see if they are in accord with the Word of God, because sometimes it’s just the flesh talking.
    See to many examples in the bible of believers judging believers and even opposing them.
    Not quite all the way in agreement with your statements.

  10. Let’s just say, in principle your statements sound good.
    But don’t seem to accord with what actually happens. Even in the bible.

  11. But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. (Galatians 2:11, ESV)

    Opposition and Condemnation (judgement) all in one sentence.
    Brought by exhortation, and probably resulting in edification and comfort at some point.
    But, opposition and judgement were there.

  12. Some thoughts Derek and I have limited time right now…

    1. Ananias and Saphira are normative for exactly NOTHING that I know of and we call upon them too often.
    2. A judgmental spirit is different than making a moral or spiritual judgment. A prophetic culture must judge because prophecies themselves much be judged but it is not a critical or negative spirit it is more parental and caregiving.
    3. Confrontation such as what happened in Gal. 2 is welcome. This is a nuanced matter and I have tried to be clear. I sometimes think we capture the spirit of Paul in ways that assuage our flesh. Paul was not the bull in a china shop that we envisage. His presence would not carry that.

    But your feedback is helpful and necessary. I state it again. A prophetic culture is highly confrontational but not judgmental. You see in that culture we are not afraid of one another nor are we competing with one another. There is no one-upsmanship to poison the air. Each is respected, desired and honored in the interaction.

  13. I admit, I brought up the A and P thing without thinking much and so brought the Peter Paul thing to the discussion.
    Sorry, the whole thing doesn’t sound quite right to me. Something is off there.
    I think your argument hinges on not judging and while it sounds fine and what the culture at large thinks should happen, I don’t see that happening in the NT, at least not amongst believers.
    I think your argument leads some to think no judgement at all should occur.
    Lord knows, I don’t want ODM’s to rule the roost, but neither do I want anything goes to do so either.
    Maybe, I am seeing your position wrong though.

  14. Much of this depends upon how strongly we think about policing one another. You see my view of church is not heavy handed in that way. People make choices and pay consequences. Paul very seldom got heavy handed. With all the problems at Corinth he advocated church discipline only rarely and only in extreme cases. He was happy to act as a father doing moral persuasion to empower them to leave their bad behaviors. We treat the epistles of Paul too much like a kind of new torah to be parsed and adjudicated. I think it all worked out much more relationally and with great liberty.

    Paul’s fatherly letters were hardly meant to be used as sort of Christian legal documents to judge one another.

  15. When you have time explain what you mean by “judgmental spirit”?
    What are the judgments made by these people?
    How do we tell who has a judgmental spirit?

  16. Gotta get off for a while.

  17. The explanation is simple. A judgmental spirit is a spirit that condemns. It is always looking to catch people in a fault and blame them. We never respond well to such people. It is the kind of religious attitude that the pharisees carried. Pharisees were those who felt that if we would hold ourselves to stricter standards and of course others as well then we would please God. It is not the relational love of God that drives them but the fault-finding harshness that looks down on people. A judgment as to whether a thing is good or bad is necessary, condescension and blame casting is of the devil.

  18. Derek and BabyD, thank you for the conversation. There’s a lot to consider here.

  19. Got it.
    Thanks, BD.
    Going back to watching the movie “Mud”

  20. Rob Murphy says:

    #2 – hey, just last week I brought this up. I hope I do as well with my fantasy football picks as I do my Predicted Panics of People of Promise.

    Michael – I know you do fant. football, I had to brag that I had the keen foresight to pick up Julius Thomas, TE-Denver and he had a big night. Pretty impressive, eh?

    Of course I also had Eric Decker who had hands like the Venus DeMilo. So you know, still last name Murphy. On the upside I’m starting Andrew Luck against the Raiders…

  21. Bob says:

    Just passing through and reading the comments and this one caught my attention:

    “A prophetic culture listens to the heart of God over people and speaks it out in humble and poignant moments.”

    Now not having a “judgmental spirit” (ok if you say I do) I have a few of questions.

    1. What is a “prophetic culture?”
    2. How does this culture “listen to the heart of God” (I’m wondering if it isn’t god)?
    3. How does this culture know what “the heart of God” is?
    4. What are “humble and poignant” moments?

    BD you speak a lot of “buzz words” and I’ll bet I have know Idea what you’re talking about. Are you guys “Pharisees” hiding as “prophets?” (Yes I’m being sarcastic, but I find modern day “prophets” mostly way off and a bit wacky)

    Oh well you did catch my attention and maybe that’s part of a “prophet’s” calling.


  22. 1. I think I answered that already above but it is a culture that welcomes prophetic utterance as in speaking edification, exhortation and comfort as a way of being together. It is refusing to rehearse negativity over each other.
    2. First it means being saturated in the Word enough to know the heart of God as it is revealed in scripture. Second it means attempting to hear what the Spirit is saying and releasing it.
    3. Scripture reveals God’s heart.
    4. It is avoiding arrogance and showmanship. It is providing a place for the gifts of the Spirit to be released as we are taught in scripture. And it is at births, deaths, weddings, promotions, crossroad decisions and public gatherings of the saints.

    It is not infallible, it is not without the necessity of oversight, it is probably something you would chafe at from time to time. But for sure you would be blessed also.

  23. Ricky Bobby says:

    Hmmm, I don’t think that matches “prophetic” from what I read in “The Prophets” of the Old Testament. Seems they were pretty universally negative and always rebuking and calling down judgment etc.

    Doesn’t match up with what seems to be the biblical example of “prophet” and “prophetic”

  24. Ricky Bobby says:

    …but I think Dread’s version, though not necessarily the biblical example, is much more loving and fits the Law of Love narrative much better than the other contradictory narratives also contained in the bible.

  25. Precisely RB, we are part of a new covenant with better promises. I don’t give a fig if it matches up with the old but I do care if it is consistent with the new.

  26. The prophets of the torah were prosecuting attorneys of the nation that broke covenant with God. The prophetic people of the new covenant are ministers of the good things of God and of the blessing of Abraham poured forth on all flesh.

  27. Michael says:


    It sounds wonderful.
    I am so weary of conflict…

  28. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    As I’ve read the OT the role of the prophet was to field situations and patterns not addressed already by case law in the Torah. Normally case law would be enough to adjudicate problems and case law was general rather than exhaustive, inspiring lots of extrapolation within rabbinic tradition to situations the case law did not directly address. Deuteronomy 16-18 shows a pattern in which a case goes to a tribal chieftain or judge. If the case is too hard for them it goes to the priest or judge appointed and that’s the supreme court.

    But what if the chief priest or judge can’t figure it out? Divination is barred from them but, as Frank Crusemann and others have noted, methods of divination were explicitly forbidden the priests, who were supposed to teach the Law already given. Prophets were in a sense the ultimate ad hoc committee when Israel wanted to consult divine guidance in situations that were not already covered by the Torah. How this morphed into “prophets are preachers” is too long to even attempt to address in even a series of comments.

    The prophetic books introduce a shift in the prophetic role in response to pervasive disobedience. It’s also worth noting that pretty much every single prophet who wrote something failed to accomplish pretty much anything they were aiming for in their lifetimes. Jonah succeeded, so the story goes, but since he wanted the people of Ninevah to die that success was still failure as he saw things. In an OT framework the role of the prophet was a recipe for failure and often getting killed (“which of the prophets did your ancestors not kill?” comes to mind).

    So we should keep in mind a distinction between the prophets whose writings ended up in the canon and what was prescribed about prophets within the Torah itself. If we keep this in mind then the perceived gap between the prescribed function of the OT prophet and a NT prophetic activity is not nearly as large as previously imagined. This becomes particularly more apparent if we remember, as Crusemann pointed out in his monograph on the development of the Torah, that prophecy in the Deuteronomic practice didn’t even include eschatological elements as we’d currently identify them.

    A common refrain in the prophets is to rebuke every segment of the ruling class: priests get hammered for not teaching the law to the people, prophets get rebuked for prophecying whatever the nobles want, scribes get lambasted for falsifying texts to make them say what other people want them to say, kings are ripped into for idolatry and for levying taxes. The negativity of the prophets had a lot to do with reacting to systemic repression or failure to sustain social order. In the longer prophets we get a clearer sense of what they wanted to happen in place of the activities they were criticizing.

    There’s room for fine-tuning and debate and discussion but BD’s summary at least suggests having actually read the prophets in connection to the Torah. That’s certainly a start. 🙂

    With all this presented so far, the continuity between what OT and NT prophetic activity can do is to encourage and advise in settings where revealed canonical materials do not directly address a particular set of situations. For continuationists this may make “prophetic” seem too mundane and for “cessationists” this may make the canon seem less comprehensive than it “ought” to be but if we go back to the Torah it didn’t exactly claim to be exhaustive in its aims, either.

  29. Steve Wright says:

    I don’t read either the New or the Old Testament prophets in the blanket way described here. Isaiah is FILLED with wonderful promises – not all condemnation…meanwhile when the NT writers offer a prophetic word it often is quite negative indeed.

    In my opinion, it is selective reference that leads to a false dichotomy.

  30. Steve Wright says:

    An old joke I recall had to do with how come whenever some fortune teller says who you were in a former life, they pick people famous or otherwise well-off. Nobody is told they were a common drunkard who died of liver failure at 35.

    My point is that if there is 100% nothing but sweetness and light coming as prophecy, and the Lord NEVER has a corrective or difficult word to His people today, then I would be questionable. He sure has plenty of corrective things to say to me personally when I seek Him – mixed in with all the wonderful blessings.

    And Revelation chapters two and three include a few too.

    To be clear, I believe in a word of prophecy as a prophetic Spiritual gift. But God doesn’t stop being God just because a covenant change (to use the language here) has occurred.

  31. Andrew says:

    I think prophets should be tested. A lot of the vision casting I hear today in the church coming across a prophetic word if its tested with the Bible is in serious error. Prophets should not error when prophesying. These people when found to be in error should be exposed as the false prophets they are.

  32. Bob says:


    Thanks for the gracious response. I’m not sure I see your vision of prophet today in scripture I tend to think it’s something local rather than universal, as in your church.

    I always found a prophet’s role is calling people to return to God and I don’t see that as changed, even in a “New Covenant” setting. His people still wonder, sin and transgress and therefore need to hear the words of a God repeated again and again.

    Even though we are in the time of Christ and the New Covenant the church has not yet come to the point spoken of by the prophets of old where the need to not be taught the Torah any more. It is not written in our hearts completely yet and I know this because we don’t live it yet. Lots of sheep and goats.

  33. Bob says:

    Ps that’s wander but people do still wonder

  34. It sounds to me like Chuck Smith wants to do what is right and not what is expedient. Good for him for not tossing Brian and Cheryl overboard.

    However, if I was Brian, I would take the million and run. 🙂

  35. I agree with MLD. Good for him for not throwing them under the bus.

  36. I guess no thinks were thought thus far today.

  37. pam says:

    skip heitzig ….does he seem overly dramatic or is it just me?

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