In this prophetic collection of sermons, pastor, judge, and prophet Wendell L. Griffen challenges followers of Jesus, those social justice-minded pastors, congregational leaders, religious educators, grassroots activists and advocates, and other faithful persons, to ponder these questions:
What does it mean to be a “prophetic follower of Jesus”?
How will lessons in Scripture and across human history inform our action in the world?
How can we speak of hope in a time of deep division—a time too often defined by racism, misogyny, materialism, militarism, religious nationalism, and xenophobia?
“Wendell Griffen writes like one of the sons of Issachar, who understood the times and who knew what to do in them.” —Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr., author of Speak until Justice Wakes, pastor emeritus of Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, CA
“The Word of God warns the people of God of the many false prophets who, under the guise of divine authority and in exploitation of faithful hope, become no more than instruments of destruction. With uncompromised boldness, Wendell Griffen reminds clergy and lay persons of God’s call to prophetic witness and prophetic citizenship on the journey towards liberation and justice. The Fierce Urgency of PropheticHope is a special gift to those who seek answers and direction to God’s will in times of despair.” —Rev. Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
“Through lectures and sermons, this judge, pastor, and law professor applies the wisdom and analysis of the eighth-century Hebrew prophets, of the teachings of Jesus, and of liberation theology to white, conservative, evangelical Christians’ endorsement of and election of a populist who does not embody the Christian values they have said they and their churches stand for.” —Ray Higgins, PhD, Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas
“In this powerful new book, preacher and prophet Wendell L. Griffen calls things by their right names, including white racism. He reminds us that the prophets are voices of hope; he shows us hope for our dread circumstance. He knows what is going on in this dangerous and distressing time. This book is an act of bold courage and imagination, just what we need!” —Walter Brueggemann, author of The Prophetic Imagination (1978), God, Neighbor, Empire (2016), and many more; William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary
“The Fierce Urgency of Prophetic Hope is a gift those who need courage to speak about politics and faith worthy of the human spirit. The work and witness of Wendell Griffen expresses this hope and courage for justice-seekers who feel this fierce urgency in the public square.” —Forrest Harris, President, American Baptist College, Director, Black Church Studies, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
“Judge, pastor, and yes, prophet, Rev. Dr. Wendell L. Griffen offers a bracing vision for persons who long and work for the justice inscribed in Scripture. Deftly weaving biblical texts and current social challenges, he calls followers of Jesus to more encompassing views of redemption. He roundly rejects the privatization of faith, leaving the public square open to prejudice and xenophobia. His clear-eyed sense of how policies continue to make discrimination possible, even acceptable, is worthy of careful engagement. Reading his book kindles a renewed spirit in me for a justice-driven spirituality. I trust it will have the same impact for others.” —Molly T. Marshall, PhD, President and Professor of Theology and Spiritual Formation, Central Baptist Theological Seminary
“Judge Griffen has called us as white Christians to task, and rightly so, for our failures to understand, confess, and reconcile our complicit participation in America’s sins. He spells it out and calls us all to be the presence of Christ in the face of unjust, unChristian policies and actions by our dominant white culture. He has inspired me to be a better man and to be a Christian in the truest sense of the word.” —Patrick R. Anderson, PhD, Editor, Christian Ethics Today