This fall at Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, NC I will offer the following class:

Title: The Prophetic Imagination in the Bible and in American Culture

Synopsis: From Moses to Jesus, and from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Rev Dr William Barber, the ability to imagine a different future from the one that seems inevitable is central to the biblical notion of prophecy. Join us for a look at the roots of this tradition in the Bible. We will look at what it meant to be a prophet in ancient Israel and what that notion of prophecy has to do with today’s church. You will learn a lot about the contents of the Bible along the way.

Parallel Reading?

While it is not required that you read anything to attend the class, and each class will be clear and easy to follow even if you don’t, I will refer from time to time to Walter Brueggemann’s book, The Prophetic Imagination. Before each class session I will let you know which part of the book will be relevant for the following week.

I wrote a blog post today at that does not really require competence in Greek to read (though it does throw in a Greek word here and there), and it is relevant to the purpose of this website, so I’m sharing it here.

Yesterday Allen Davidson and I spoke briefly about the meaning of the Greek word ἄφετε in Luke 18:16—a verb often translated as forgive, but it clearly does not mean that in this text. If you are interested in the way our worldview shapes our ability to understand ancient texts, or more specifically how a notion like “forgiveness” had radically different implications in the ancient world from what we assume today, I invite you to read the post at

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