Subscribe now

Prophecy Today: A Further Word from God?

By Jim Thompson
October 2008 | Review by John Harris

Synopsis

What is the nature of prophecy? How can the true be distinguished from the false? What is the relation between the prophecy of the Old and New Testaments? And especially, should we expect that the prophetic gift that was given to the New Testament churches is still to be experienced by the churches of today?

  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-0852346730
  • Pages: 112
  • Price: £13.99
Buy this book »

Book Review

The Christian world moves from one bizarre scene to another – following manic laughter in Toronto, we now have angelic surgery in Florida. Against the background of the confusing times in which we live, there is a great need for a sober and soundly biblical treatment of one of the phenomena that is part of the charismatic mix – that of prophecy. Jim Thompson has provided us with a most helpful assessment in this short but solid book.

Some treatments of this perplexing subject have handled it by recounting anecdotes – a series of ‘horror’ stories of strange activities resulting from the words, ‘The Lord has told me…’ Thompson avoids that approach and confines himself exclusively to the scriptural material.

That surely is the safest method and we are grateful to him for his thoroughness and clarity.

He examines, firstly, prophecy in the Old Testament and its characteristics. Particularly valuable here is his elucidation of the ‘messenger formula’ – ‘Thus says the Lord’ is the introductory phrase to the majority of prophetic statements. They are truly proclamations from God delivered through the mouths of his called servants. The messenger ‘disappears behind his master’s words’.

The second section of the book then sets out to demonstrate that New Testament prophecy carries exactly the same hallmarks as that of the earlier dispensation. This is the point where there are differences of opinion, and not all will find Thompson entirely convincing.

What exactly did go on in the vibrant chaos that was Corinth? Plainly there were a goodly number of prophets and prophecies. Neither will all readers be persuaded of his conclusions concerning the meaning of ‘when that which is perfect is come’ (1 Corinthians 13:10). He is honest enough to admit that eminent worthies such as Calvin, Henry, Edwards, and Hodge arrived at a different position. Nevertheless, his treatment of a contentious subject is both accessible and helpful.

His final conclusion is generous to Bible-believing charismatics, but he feels they are wrong in this area, and many readers of this journal will share that conviction.

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…