Author Archives: jstevenharper

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church

Prophetic Task: Advent Time Out

Advent begins on December 3rd.  So that we can focus on the beginning of the Christian year, I am taking a “time out” from this ongoing series.  It will return on Tuesday, January 2nd. But I want to remind you … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Paradigm: Means

Vision and intention are expressed through means.  John Wesley called this ‘practical divinity’–the social holiness (works of mercy) which flows from personal holiness (works of piety).  The prophets turned their intentions into concrete practices, particularly through the  re-establishment of covenant, … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Paradigm: Intention

Vision ignites intention, it engages the will.  Intention is the second dimension of the prophetic paradigm.  It takes what we see in the heavens and moves it into action on the earth. Walter Brueggemann describes intention as a consciousness that … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Paradigm: Vision

The prophets did not pop up out of nowhere and then disappear.  They were part of something larger than themselves–larger than their location, their time, and their message.  They were threads in God’s larger tapestry of redemption.  I call this … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Person: Messenger

We can summarize the personhood of the prophet in a fourth characteristic.  The prophet is a messenger. Morality gives the messenger credibility.  Mysticism gives the messenger content.  And mediation gives the messenger commission.  All this comes together in the words, … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Person: Mediator

Prophets personify a third quality. They are mediators.  Just as morality and mysticism are linked, so too are mysticism and mediation.  Prophets are apostles, sent by God to tell what they have seen and heard.  Alan Watts noted this decades … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Person: Mystic

The morality of the prophet is connected to a second characteristic of prophetic personhood–the prophet is a mystic.  Mysticism is a necessary pre-requisite if the prophetic task is to occur. For some, the necessity of mysticism takes getting used to … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task