“For we are, alas, only too familiar with alluring prophets. We have seen them crumble into fragments.
We have seen them bring the Wholly Other into disrepute, by being themselves no more than ‘very strange.'” Karl Barth
Over on Pyromaniac a while back, there was s a discussion of the role of prophecy in the modern church, which began with Rubber Prophecies and a brief account of two of the “very strange” pseudo-prophets bouncing them. It’s amazing what a wide-ranging and informative overview you can get in the comments that followed.
Since then, we’ve had the Strange Fire brouhaha and the resulting fallout.
I am a continuationist, but I arrive at that view exegetically, from my understanding of the Scriptures. I’ve lived most of my Christian life navigating the stormy waters between the two poles on the issue: the cessationists on one end and the hyper-Pentecostals on the other. I think pneumatic utterances can be a welcome encouragement to the Body of Christ, but it seems as if the number of oddball oracles from the super-apostle camp outnumbers authentic prophets by about 20 to one (probably more). On the other side, I’ve seen or experienced some bona fide prophecy go unheeded or ignored and that presents a different sort of situation. I suppose it’s just one of those problems that will never go away.
I think Vance Havner was probably speaking of prophets in the sense of speaking forth the Word of God with boldness (the Bible), but he was not far off when he observed:
Prophets are almost extinct in the religious world today. The modern church is a “non-prophet” organization. Vance Havner