Title page for ETD etd-06172005-084808

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author De Kiewit, Charles
URN etd-06172005-084808
Document Title The transforming power of gospel preaching to an audience influenced by post modernism
Degree MA (Theology)
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof C J A Vos
  • Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ
  • induction
  • dialogical
  • engagement
  • communication
  • preaching
  • postmodern
  • expository
  • listener
Date 2004-10-09
Availability unrestricted
In an age where there seems to be a loss of confidence on the transforming power of gospel preaching this study addresses the following hypothesis: “The transforming power of gospel preaching to an audience influenced by post modernism”.

The following methodology was used in this study:

-- A Literature study

-- Practical-theological method

A Theological Model for Preaching

God has spoken, it is written and preach the word are identified as three essential theological foundations for preaching. Expository preaching is explored as a model that understands the seriousness of the task of accurately and relevantly proclaiming the revealed Word of God. Expository preaching is not a matter of style at all. In fact, the determinative step that decides whether a sermon is going to be expository or not takes place before a single word has been actually written or spoken. First and foremost, the adjective ‘expository’ describes the method by which the preacher decides what to say, not how to say it. The key principles of expository preaching are then discussed.

The Postmodern Audience

People from all walks of life are exposed, at least to some extent, to the trends and influences of their particular day. Those present in Church services week by week are not exempt from these new ideas, trends and pressures. The intention here is to understand the person influenced by postmodernity. Ten distinct features of postmodernism are explored to understand the impact that they may have on a postmodern influenced congregation. In addition to the distinctive features of postmodernism some of the common features of people from all cultures is explored.

Engaging the Postmodern Audience

Preaching the gospel may involve confrontation but there are ways to confront and effectively challenge both postmodern beliefs and biblical unbelief. Methods of effective engagement like building relationships, tuning into the secular world and a more apologetic approach are discussed. In addition to this, various practices of effective communicators like a dialogical approach, inductive preaching, storytelling, the use of media and humour are explored. The study recognizes the essential work of the Holy Spirit and an unavoidable focus of Jesus Christ in preaching.

An Adjusted Theory for Praxis

The thesis tested the transforming power of gospel preaching to an audience influenced by post modernism and confirmed the usefulness of preaching. In the light of the literature study and empirical research conducted at the Central Baptist Church Pretoria, some adjustments in preaching praxis and ministry needs to be prioritised:

One, Make more use of the inductive rather than deductive approach in preaching, particularly in the area of evangelism but not exclusively, thereby consciously developing clearer dialogue with the listeners participating in the process reaching conclusions together.

Two, In as much as there must be concentrated effort and hard work in the area of methodology and technique the preacher must perpetually cultivate a greater dependence on God the Holy Spirit who ultimately is the Sacred Communicator.

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