Dead Prophets(?)

Sounds like a bad garage band. What’s with the title?

The name is inspired by Dead Poet’s Society. In the movie, Robin Williams plays a John Keating, a teacher in an all-boys prep school. There is a lot to like in the movie and some things…well, not so much. One of the central themes is that truth is not found in the excrement (Keating’s words) common in the culture of the day but in the “dead poets”.

Faith is difficult these days and much of what the Christian subculture produces is excrement (my words). Truth is not found in the fashions and fads of the day but in the “dead prophets.”

The dead prophets are those who have stood the test of time, not just Old Testament types like Isaiah and Jeremiah but those of similar influence throughout history. What is considered a prophet here may not what most think of by the term. Prophet here is used in the Old Testament meaning of the term–not as a clairvoyant but as a cultural critic. More on this in a later post.

Some names may be familiar: Pascal, Solzhenitsyn. Others not so much: Jacque Ellul, Rene Girard. They can come from different disciplines: authors like C.S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy; sociologists like George Barna and Peter Berger, and journalists like Malcom Muggeridge. Neither are prophets necessarily Christian–Christopher Lasch and Neil Postman to name a few. The church does not have the corner on prophecy.

What is common to all in an uncanny insight into the hearts and minds of the cultural creatures around them–the good, the bad and the ugly–and the direction the those creatures were headed.

At the onset of the twenty-first century the culture is becoming more and more secular and the view here is that the Church does not do a very good job dealing with the modern, secular mind.