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Review of Luke Timothy Johnson’s Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church

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Menzies acknowledges Johnson’s ability to creatively organize and summarize Luke’s powerful message. He also affirms Johnson’s overall emphasis: Luke does call the church to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet-like-Moses. However, Menzies argues that Johnson’s vision for the contemporary church as a prophetic community is too restricted, too quiet, and too rational. It is too restricted in that Johnson suggests that only a select group are called to take up the prophetic mantle. Menzies maintains that for Luke, the church is not simply a prophetic community; rather, it is to be a community of prophets. Johnson’s vision is too quiet in that he tends to stress the ethical teaching of Jesus and downplays the call to bear verbal witness. But, for Luke, bold witness is the key manifestation of the Spirit’s inspiration and this theme dominates his narrative. Finally, Johnson’s vision is too rational in that he fails to take seriously the narrative of Acts as a model for the contemporary church. Thus, his prophetic vision for the contemporary church largely ignores ‘visions and dreams’, ‘inspired witness’, and ‘signs and wonders’, three key elements of Joel’s prophecy as quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2.17-21).

Affiliations: 1: Synergy. Kunming, China,


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