Saturday, November 8, 2008

Response regarding prophecy

I rarely respond to a comment as a new entry.

But in this case I think it will be helpful to understand some of the perspective from which I'm writing.

In the following post a couple days ago (click here), I made a reference to Piper's comments on the election as "prophetic." The anonymous writer objected to my use of that word in that context.

First of all, I appreciate all comments, especially those that force me to think about what I'm saying. I love it that this person took the time to write a thoughtful objection. The point is taken, the word "prophetic" can get easily thrown around, as it may have been in this context.

But here's why I think I'd still use the word in that post...

1. I'm a continuationist.

In other words, I don't believe the spiritual gifts ceased with the close of the canon or the death of the apostles. I pray regularly for the gift of prophecy (1 Cor. 14) and try not to despise prophetic utterances (1 Thess. 5:20). I've never spoken in tongues, but I affirm those who do. I would describe myself as part of a growing number of young church leaders who have reformed and charismatic tendencies. I'm heavily influenced by Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Dallas Willard, J.P. Moreland, Sam Storms, Jack Deere, C.J. Mahaney, and Mark Driscoll to name a few. Oh yeah, and a caveman approach to the Bible (click here for more on that).

All that to say, from my perspective, "prophetic" is in bounds. It's not weird and your name doesn't have to be "Isaiah" or "Daniel" to prophecy. As far as I'm concerned, it's less "trendy" and more "ancient." The anonymous writer asked for a definition of "prophecy." Read Grudem's Systematic Theology, or The Gift of Prophecy in the NT and Today for a more in depth treatment.

2. From my perspective, Piper's words were prophetic

Call it wisdom. Call it a compelling take on the biblical worldview. Call it application of the Scriptures...those all work. But I've heard enough evangelicals moaning about the election- it makes me sick. I'm tired of Christians who mockingly quote Matthew 24 as "the Obama-nation that causes desolation." I think we need someone to call us back to what we're supposed to be about.

In my opinion, Piper's words were timely, forceful, and full of conviction and warning to God's people.

Using "prophetic" takes nothing away from the careful thought, study, application of the Proverbs, effort, and even preparation on Piper's behalf that led him to speak those words. It just makes them all the more trustworthy. And remember, his words were not flawless. Typical of N.T. prophecy- subjective and needing discernment.

I've posted several other entries on this topic- I think most are labeled "Theology" or "Spiritual Encounter" to the right. And I'm sure there will be more to come.


J and J Masson said...

mark-we've both said, "who knew mark was so funny?" now we say, "who knew mark was so smart?" p.s. loved the piper video. i stole it and put it on our blog. we know people who are convinced with the new election we're in end times. so i loved the video.

Molly said...


Enjoy reading your blog and the thoughts that you throw out. What excatly is the Piper video about, I mean, what is he saying. The bad thing about videos on the internet is that they have yet to have all the videos closed captioning for deaf people. I am curious though.



Metropuritan Mark said...

Molly: It's great to see your comments on the blog. I hope you're doing well. It's a bummer there aren't closed captioning. Check out the following for a part of what he said:

Here's a basic outline of the video:
1. Womanhood- Should Palin rather have stayed home with her handicapped son? Should a woman be commander in chief?
2. Race- What a beautiful thought that are country may be getting over the racial divide.
3. Abortion- an unspeakable horror that happens by the millions. Pray for Obama that he will change his mind on this issue.
4. Prophetic perspective- politics should not consume us (see the above link)
5. Sovereignty of God- Will God judge us for gay marriage, abortion, etc? Those are the judgment for sin.
6. Gospel- We should be focused on the work of the kingdom.

Anonymous said...

'Reformed' historically is not what most label as reformed today. What unites the men you mention (whom I am quite familiar with) is bye and large absent from evangelical churches. I would question whether you mean 'reformed tendencies' in a real 'Reformational' sense.

I am also quite concerned with what is called the 'caveman' approach. I don't recommend that method for the study of scripture. I wonder how many cults and false religions have sprung up this way?

The Pelhams said...

Boy anonymous really wants to give you a run for your money Mark!! I actually had that video on my blog and then saw it on yours too! A friend shared it with me on Facebook. We too, truly enjoyed it and Andy and I both agree, Piper is a modern day prophet, and we both were snapped back into reality by his words, which were and are SSOOOO TRUE!! We let ourselves get wrapped up in the world and our focus is not on Christ! We are going throw James in small group right now, and this would be a trial for Christians of America, and we need to not doubt what God can do for this president!

Anna said...

I wish "anonymous" wasn't so.... anonymous.