Evangelicals are excellent institution builders. We can look back at our history and point to risk-takers and claim them in our heritage. And there have been moments when we have truly moved our society into better places, particularly in the past 20 years. But this is probably less common than we like to admit. We have tended to shy away from the prophetic voice for reasons I have never understood. It's rare that we take risks that raise social concerns or justice issues or put our supporters in an uncomfortable place.
I walked from our "Canon White" chapel last week with a cluster of students. "Best chapel ever." "I love it when he comes." "I wonder if I could be his intern." "How far is Baghdad?!" This generation is eager to meet prophets. And follow them. It is our job to keep that voice alive within our ranks, to open our ministries to them, and to recognize the important role they play.
Gary M. Burge is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. He is the author of numerous books on the New Testament and the Middle East, and is a regular speaker at churches and conferences. Only his dean knows how he should be located on the custodial/prophetic continuum.