Rick Herrick, author of The Case Against Evangelical Christianity, published "I'm Sick of Pastors with Big Mouths," in the Houston Chronicle, March 30, 2008, pp. E1, 5, in which he says that Bible prophets were usually wrong, and preachers are "arrogant" to claim to speak for God.
My reply, which I sent to the Chronicle:
Rick Herrick has Bible problems. He only believes select parts of it, and does not understand Bible prophecy.
Take his hyperbolic conclusion that the Prophets "were wrong with most of their predictions." He adduces the example of Isaiah 19, in which Egypt is to be conquered, and "the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians" (v. 23). Indeed, Assyria was conquered and incorporated into Babylon, which later joined Persia, and eventually conquered Egypt. Then Alexander's conquests led to the founding of Alexandria, the size and splendor of which was second only to Rome, and in which the Jews prospered and multiplied.
Were that not fulfillment enough, the culmination of the submission of the Nations awaits the coming of the Messiah, to orthodox Christians his "Second Coming," to establish his Kingdom on Earth.
This Millennial Kingdom ought not be confused, as is Herrick, with the Kingdom of God (in Matthew, "heaven") foretold in the Gospels and Epistles. Jesus told his interrogators that the kingdom of which He spoke was "not of this world" (John 18:36). His kingdom was already unfolding, as in the parables of Matthew 13 (mustard seed, leaven, hidden treasure, pearl of great price), and was already "in the midst" (Luke 17:21) of those who believed.
Christ's kingdom came to fruition with the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus had said "dwells with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:17), and was inaugurated at Pentecost (Acts 2).
Bible prophecy is a glass half full -- not mostly empty, as Herrick purports. Given the supernatural, it can all come true; to deniers, it is all personal opinion.
The Old Testament prophet whose prophecies did not come true was to be killed. In this Age of Grace, thankfully, "all" who are spiritual "may prophesy one by one" and "let the others judge," while recognizing that "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (1 Corinthians 14:29, 31, 32).
One who errs may rightfully be corrected, if honestly mistaken, and censured if malicious -- but no one needs to die.
--Rev. Paul Hughes, M.Div., author of Christ in Us: the Exalted Christ and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit (2006).
Posted by hughes at 5:50 PM CDT