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Ernest Gentile: Your Sons and Daughters Shall Prophesy

 

Ernest B. Gentile, Your Sons & Daughters Shall Prophesy: Prophetic Gifts in Ministry Today (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 1999), 432 pages.

In the foreword to Your Sons & Daughters Shall Prophesy, C. Peter Wagner says that this book could qualify as a textbook on the subject of prophecy. I wholeheartedly agree. There are a number of good books available today about the gift of prophecy. One of these books is Wayne Grudem’s The Gift of Prophecy In The New Testament And Today. Grudem’s book is a theological work that seeks to supply the biblical basis for belief in the contemporary existence and exercise of the gift of prophecy. Another good book is Graham Cooke’s Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, which focuses on giving instruction regarding the practical exercise of prophetic gifts. Both of these books are excellent in their respective approaches. Gentile’s book brings together both theology and practice; in this book he cites both scholars and those who are involved in prophetic ministry. Gentile is uniquely qualified to write this book since he has a M.A. in biblical theology and has himself been involved in prophetic ministry.

The biblical information in this volume is quite extensive. Gentile examines the prophetic ministry from the Old Testament through the New Testament. Among the topics addressed, with reference to Old Testament prophecy, are the definition of a prophet, the traits or characteristics of a prophet, how prophecy came to prophets, and ways that prophecy was expressed. Among the topics covered with reference to the New Testament gift of prophecy are the definition of Christian prophecy, the difference between Old Testament prophecy and New Testament prophecy, the different levels of prophetic gifting that can be found in the body of Christ and channels of prophetic expression in the church.

In moving on to support the continuation of the gift of prophecy beyond the apostolic period Gentile addresses the cessationist argument. He examines five biblical texts that are sometimes used by cessationists to support their belief that the gift of prophecy has ceased. After addressing each text Gentile says that if one properly understands the function of the gift of prophecy in the church then they will not see prophecy as compromising the unique authority of the Bible.

While a strong advocate for the continuing exercise of the gift of prophecy in the church, Gentile does acknowledge that historically there have been problems associated with the gift. He cites three different prophetic movements in church history and highlights some lessons that we can learn from each of them. The three movements that he mentions are: Edward Irving and his followers, the Apostolic Church of Great Britain and the Latter Rain Movement.

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Category: Spirit, Spring 2007

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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