In a free church the liberty of prophesying must make room for dissent,

especially by reason of the tyranny that can be imposed by an arrogant majority. “By the bowels of Christ,” warned Oliver Cromwell, “remember that you may be mistaken.”
James Luther Adams, “Radical Laicism,” The Prophethood of All Believers
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The liberty of prophesying about social and institutional evils certainly belongs to the minister.

 But in radical laicism the trained minister should as it were take the congregation along into the pulpit. That congregation brings with it its experience from its various occupations and perspectives and from its associations with others in the church and in the world .
James Luther Adams, “Radical Laicism,” The Prophethood of All Believers

The prophethood of believers

entails the obligation to share in the analysis, criticism, and transformation of institutions, including the analysis and transformation of the church. It requires the capacity to discern and define the actual world about us and in a timely way to envisage the potentialities latent in it and in the creative and transforming powers, the ultimate resource. Here again worship, prayer, meditation can be crucial. Here we reject the assigning of the liberty of prophesying only to the appointed minister.
James Luther Adams, “Radical Laicism,” The Prophethood of All Believers

God’s Wager

The Jewish philosopher Hans Jonas, an exile from Nazi Germany , in his Ingersoll Lecture at Harvard Divinity School ( 1962), has suggested that in making unlimited freedom possible for the human being, God has taken a great risk , has made a wager. Therefore, it is for us to accept the challenge of attempting to vindicate God’s wager. In a sense he is betting on us.
James Luther Adams, “A Theological Interpretation of the Holocaust,” The Prophethood of All Believers

…The ubiquitous presence of racism,

of demonic nationalism, of the brutal tyrannies of communism and of what today in some quarters calls itself “Christian capitalism” are darkness visible to those who have eyes to see, particularly to see the herd quality of callous collective behavior.
James Luther Adams, “A Theological Interpretation of the Holocaust,” The Prophethood of All Believers

Enforced goodness is itself evil,

as in every authoritarianism…Moreover, a person obsessed is no longer free, whether one be a Inquisitor or a Communist-or a Nazi . Self-will here becomes compulsion and tyranny . In this view the abuse of freedom is the tragic destiny of humankind-and of God.
James Luther Adams, “A Theological Interpretation of the Holocaust,” The Prophethood of All Believers

“The religion of the successful”

In this situation we of the middle class are tempted, indeed almost fated, to adopt the religion of the successful. This religion of the successful amounts to a systematic concealment of, and separation from, reality-a hiding of the plight of those who in one sense or another live across the tracks. In the end this concealment comes from a failure to identify and to enter into combat with what St. Paul called the principalities and powers of evil. The religion of the successful turns out, then, to be a sham spirituality, a cultivated blindness, for it tends to reduce itself to personal kindliness and philanthropy costing little. Thus it betrays the world with a kiss.
James Luther Adams, “Hidden Evils and Hidden Resources,” The Prophethood of All Believers

A vocation of the church and the minister

 is to point to what we would prefer to ignore; to use a cliche, it is to point to what we would like to sweep under the rug. In our concern for our day-to-day interests and obligations, we find ways to ignore the plight of those who are deprived of full participation in the common life, the plight of those who live in poverty of body or of spirit.
James Luther Adams, “Hidden Evils and Hidden Resources,” The Prophethood of All Believers