By Niels Christian Hvidt
Through the Hebrew Bible, God publications and saves his humans during the phrases of his prophets. whilst the prophets are silenced, the folks simply lose their approach. What occurred after the incarnation, loss of life and resurrection of Christ? Did God fall silent? The dominant place in Christian theology is that prophecy did certainly stop sooner or later some time past -if now not with the previous testomony prophets, then with John the Baptist, with Jesus, with the final apostle, or with the closure of the canon of the recent testomony. however, through the background of Christianity there have regularly been acclaimed saints and mystics -most of them women-who displayed prophetic qualities. in recent times, the charismatic revival in either Protestant and Catholic circles has once more raised the query of where and serve as of prophecy in Christianity. Scholarly theological attitudes towards Christian prophecy variety from modest attractiveness to contempt. Mainstream systematic theology, either Protestant and Catholic, has normally marginalized or neglected the present of prophecy. during this e-book, even though, Niels Christian Hvidt argues that prophecy has endured in Christianity as an inherent and non-stop characteristic within the lifetime of the church. Prophecy by no means died, he argues, yet quite proved its dynamism by way of mutating to satisfy new historic stipulations. He offers a entire background of prophecy from historic Israel to the current and heavily examines the improvement of the theological discourse that surrounds it. all through, even though, there's continuously an know-how of the serious discernment required while comparing the charism of prophecy. the controversy approximately prophecy, Hvidt exhibits, ends up in a few profound insights in regards to the very nature of Christianity and the church. for instance, a few have argued that Christianity is an ideal kingdom and that every one that's required for salvation is recognition of its doctrines. Others have emphasised how God keeps to interfere and consultant his humans onto the appropriate direction because the complete implementation of God's salvation in Christ remains to be distant. this is often the location that Hvidt forcefully and persuasively defends and develops during this formidable and demanding paintings.
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59 Inasmuch as prophecy itself continues to grow, and reports of prophetic messages proliferate through the mass media, the need for serious theological reﬂection increases as well. Since true prophecy always has been and will be accompanied by its false counterpart, the need for criteria to ‘‘test the spirits’’ is evident. It seems a norm that for every occurrence of prophecy the church deems positive there usually follow multiple related or associated false prophetic occurrences. This multiplies the need for careful discernment exponentially.
However, surprisingly little has been written on the penetrating understanding of spiritual realities that the Christian prophets experience and that form the basis for their evangelization. As we shall see, few theological issues have received such scarce attention as the problem of Christian prophecy, so that Rino Fisichella compares the theological elaboration of Christian prophecy to ‘‘wreckage after shipwreck’’ (see chapter 2 here). Therefore, both pastoral and academic interests motivate the debate on prophecy.
Mystical Theology Of all the different theological disciplines, mystical theology has treated prophecy most and has had the greatest inﬂuence on theology’s general approach to prophecy, and mystical theology’s surprisingly negative attitude toward prophecy is diffused in the other theological branches. Thus, it is necessary to study at length how mystical theology approaches prophecy. 1). Here it is enough to indicate an important tendency in mystical theology, namely that of being inclined toward a word-less infused mysticism rather than a kerygmatic, prophetic spirituality, and this seems to have inﬂuenced a negative theological perspective on Christian prophecy.