Communicative preaching : a homiletical study in the light of Hebrews
Jang, Jae Young
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This study is an attempt to investigate communicative and effective preaching. It suggests some guidelines for the praxis of communicative preaching for contemporary preachers in the light of Hebrews. Hebrews was written in an elevated rhetorical style and contains one of the longest sustained lines of argumentation in the New Testament. The research is expanded in order to arrive at the answers to the question: • How can a preacher effectively communicate his/her message to his/her audience in their situation in the light of Hebrews? In order to reach this aim, Hebrews and the rhetorical strategies used in this book are investigated to disclose basis-theoretical principles for communicative preaching. Communication principles are investigated in order to extract meta-theoretical principles that can be utilised in communicative preaching. In addition, three published sermons are analysed in order to evaluate the results of this study. After having scrutinised these elements, a final conclusion is deduced. Basis-theoretically, the research reveals the following guidelines: • Communicative preaching should provide the opportunity for hearers to listen to the real speakers, God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, from the Scripture itself. • A preacher should have the ability to interpret and apply the Biblical texts in relation to people's situation and must testify his/her faith in Jesus Christ in his/her daily life. • A preacher should have the specific goal of his/her preaching in mind and use a literary style that is suitable for the level of his/her hearers' understanding. • A preacher must keep in touch with his/her hearers in their real-life situation in order to recognise their real problems and try to solve these in the course of preaching. • A sermon should be well structured by means of logical development. • A sermon should contain a transition or transitions that are created by digressions between two movements of sermon units in order to keep the hearers' attention. • A sermon should persuade the hearers not only by means of logos but also through the example of the preacher's own good character. • A sermon should employ the interplay of positive and negative feelings in order to establish emotional dynamics in the process of preaching. Meta-theoretically, the processes, forms of communication, and the principles of public speaking are investigated in order to understand the principles of communication. This research finds the following guidelines: • Communication is a transactional process in which source and receiver play interchangeable roles throughout the act of communication. • To communicate effectively, a sender has to understand his/her audience and adjust his/her message to the audience because public speaking is an audience-centred process. • A speaker's speech should suit his/her goal. Guidelines that were obtained as a result of the research include the following: • A preacher has to analyse both the Biblical text and his audience. • A preacher has to apply the goal and the theme of the text in relation to his/her audience's situation. • A preacher has to logically organise his/her sermon in order to win his/her audience's attention through the principles of effective communication. • A preacher should persuade his/her listeners not only by means of the logical development of the sermon, but also through the example of his/her own good character. • A preacher should employ emotional appeal to have an impact on his/her listeners.
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