Are preachers “prophets”?

Should preachers today be considered “prophets”? Dr. Bill Barrick of The Master’s Seminary argues that “foretelling” and “forthtelling” is a popular yet misleading distinction. He writes:

“Lest the reader misunderstand, let me make something clear: I am not talking about the confusion of the charismatic preachers and theologians. No, I am talking about non-charismatic, evangelical preachers, teachers, and theologians who are either confused or are creating confusion.”

See the full article here.


8 responses to this post.

  1. “it is illogical to identify the gift of pastor-teacher and today’s preaching with the NT gift of prophecy.”

    I agree with Dr. Barrick, but isn’t this MacArthur’s position (and Phil’s)?

  2. I know you do and you know it is. You’re just trying to start a fight.

  3. Paul, I appreciate you bringing up this issue. It seems small to the average Christian, but theologically this little terminology issue opens the door to much confusion. When I get some time I wish to explore this further and will link to this post. I think issues like sola scriptura are at the heart of this matter, as well as the charismatic chaos developed in the past century.

  4. I think Ephesians 4:11 makes it clear there is a distinction.

    Christendom has married the gifts of Pastor and Teacher and have let these “Pastor/Teachers” take over the church. It started shortly before Constantine as a natural reaction to Gnostic heracies.

    In light of Eph. 4:11, doesn’t it seem like a significantly flatter leadership structure consisting of people gifted in each of the areas listed would make a healthy community of believers?

    Where in the Scriptures does it lay out the CEO-down-to-layperson model we have today?

    I talk about this on my blog here:

  5. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Dr. Barrick and Phil debate this issue over at TMS Alumni?

    Oh, and I’m trying to start a fight?!

  6. he important thing to remember here is to never start a land war in China but that’s not important right now. Phil and Dr. B. are two of the busiest guys I know so I’m sure they would love to take this up at TMS alumni in their free time(lol).

    I know this is the death blow to any debate but I really believe at the end of the day this one is over semantics. Although I don’t have MacArthur’s specific statements on this in front of me, I believe he is simply saying that part of the role of preachers today is “forthtelling.” He’s exactly right and I don’t think he’s saying that preachers are prophets in any OT or NT sense.

    Now some who lurk here might say I’m just trying to protect my sacred cow expositor, MacArhtur. Well here’s the shocker, I actually agree with what Dr. Barrick said 100%, I just want to represent what I think others are saying as well. Since I do believe this is probably over semantics, I don’t want this to degenerate into a postmodern deconstructionpalooza like everything else around blogdom.

    Now I’m going back to my Saturday afternoon nap. As McGee use to say in his thick Texas tongue, “May God richly bless you my dear beloved.”

  7. Paul, I honestly cannot remember MacArthur’s exact position either. I thought he went beyond what you are saying, but I could be wrong.

    P.S.- are you answering email these days?

  8. JDM,

    He (MacArthur) could be; I will try to look it up when I get a free moment.

    I don’t answer emails from Moorheads, seriously I’ve been in and out of town recently and have not caught-up to everything in my inbox. As for the email you sent concerning “that issue”; I would suggest in the meantime that you put some ointment on it and then we can discuss it later.

    Your Pastor in HSV,

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