What does it mean to call someone a prophet?

Rembrandt, Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, c. 1630
Rembrandt van Rijn, Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, c. 1630

Our class this coming Sunday (September 10, 2017) will focus on two things.

  • First we will do some housekeeping, getting contact information, giving out information about the class and about online resources to help with our study.
  • Second, we will begin to discuss the question of what it means to call someone a prophet. If we refer to someone like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a prophet, do we mean the same thing we mean by calling Isaiah a prophet? If not, what is different? Is so, what are we asserting about Dr. King? This discussion will include some examples from the biblical prophets to give us context.

I look forward to a great first class and to seeing you there.

For directions, click here.

Added September 16:

I’ve uploaded the presentation I used to teach this class. You can view it here.

Coming this Fall: The Prophetic Imagination in the Bible and in American Culture

This fall at Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, NC I will offer the following class:

Title: The Prophetic Imagination in the Bible and in American Culture

Synopsis: From Moses to Jesus, and from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Rev Dr William Barber, the ability to imagine a different future from the one that seems inevitable is central to the biblical notion of prophecy. Join us for a look at the roots of this tradition in the Bible. We will look at what it meant to be a prophet in ancient Israel and what that notion of prophecy has to do with today’s church. You will learn a lot about the contents of the Bible along the way.

Parallel Reading?

While it is not required that you read anything to attend the class, and each class will be clear and easy to follow even if you don’t, I will refer from time to time to Walter Brueggemann’s book, The Prophetic Imagination. Before each class session I will let you know which part of the book will be relevant for the following week.

Email from Παύλος Ταρσεύς?!

PaulRembrandtOn launch Sunday (Feb. 3), I gave a humorous appeal for our upcoming class on Paul. Announcing that technology appears to have reached the other side, I read an email from the apostle urging people to not take me too seriously, but to read the letters and learn with us.

There was plenty of laughter. If you would like a copy of “Paul’s email” I’ll be glad to share it with you on Sunday. I’ll hope to see you then.