Not Living on Bread Alone: Theological Education as Prophetism
Professor of Old Testament Greek Bible College, Athens, Greece
Title: Not Living on Bread Alone: Theological Education as Prophetism
Recently I asked my friend Rene Futi Luemba, a minister from Kinshasa, Congo, to tell me what he thinks evangelical theological education should look like. He said: “The aim of theological education must be to produce prophets.” His reply was profound and demanded to be unpacked. Theological colleges should be “schools of prophets”, “bands of prophets” or “sons of prophets”—characterizations taken from the earliest stages of prophecy in Israel during Samuel’s, Elijah’s and Elisha’s times.
However, prophecy in the Old Testament was not static. Throughout Israel’s history the voice of the prophets accompanied God’s people in the best of times and the worst of times. It critiqued, challenged, condemned but also empowered, comforted and healed. Prophets took God’s revelation seriously; they took God’s people seriously; but they took their ever-changing context and how God worked in the unfamiliar, hostile surrounding world just as seriously. Today it is their writings, a rich and varied legacy of prophetic tradition contained in the whole of Scripture, which continue to be our theological educators. If our institutions are to train prophets, what are some of the areas these prophets are to be trained for (and by prophets I do not just mean preachers but also counsellors, youth pastors and Sunday school teachers)?
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