Presentation on theme: "Presenter: Alfonza W. Fullwood Professor of Preaching & Hermeneutics Pastor Riley Hill Baptist Church Wendell, NC 27591 919-365-5277"— Presentation transcript:
Presenter: Alfonza W. Fullwood Professor of Preaching & Hermeneutics Pastor Riley Hill Baptist Church Wendell, NC EXPOSITORY PREACHING IN SOCIOCULTURAL CONTEXT October 16,2006 APEX SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY 11TH ANNIVERSARY DR. HERBERT O. EDWARDS MEMORIAL MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE THE POWER OF EXPOSITORY PREACHING: BRINGING THE WORD OF GOD TO THE COMMUNITY
Preaching presupposes that the calling is not an unpremeditated event but rather the sovereign initiative of God in the life and experience of one predestined in the annals of time to sacred proclamation." In the thoughts of Paul, It pleased God, who separated me from my mother s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me that I might preach Him among the gentile. (Gal. 1:15-16) BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL UNDERPINING FOR THE CALLING AS PRIMARY FACTOR IN EXPOSITORY PREACHING
Paul infers that the preacher s calling is validated by the authority of God. For he/she is not asked but rather sent that one is authorized, commissioned, approved, sanctioned, confirmed and giving leave.... and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they are sent? As it is written how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bringing glad tidings of good things ! Rom. 10:14-15 BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL UNDERPINING FOR THE CALLING AS PRIMARY FACTOR IN EXPOSITORY PREACHING
Jeremiah s calling was preconceived in the mind of God previous to his being conceived in his mother s womb; bring his conception under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit. Before the Lord formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jer.1:5). BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL UNDERPINING FOR THE CALLING AS PRIMARY FACTOR IN EXPOSITORY PREACHING
SOCIOLOGICAL CONTEXT SHAPING A DISTINCTIVE AND UNIQUE PREACHING QUALITY
Important Sociocultural Terms and Definitions Bearing upon the Preacher s unique Identity Culture is a learned and shared social heritage that is transmitted from one generation to the next. It includes attitudes, possessions and certain characteristics informing how one sees the world. We see and interpret the world through our cultural lenses. Subculture is a distinctive culture shared by a particular group within a larger culture. Members of subcultures bear commonality with the larger culture, but carry uniqueness owing to their own subgroup. We see and interpret the larger culture through our sub-cultural lenses.
Important Sociocultural Terms and Definitions Bearing upon the Preacher s unique Identity Norms are beliefs about what constitutes proper behavior; and ideal behavior patterns held important and essential in community. Personality is the sum total of everything a person is and does. It is an individual s distinctive patterns of thoughts, feelings and actions informed by his/her sociocultural condition.
Thoughts of Homileticians Regarding Sociocultural Factors The key to understanding the different styles of preaching is in the word culture: Preaching is carried out in the idiom, imagery, and style and world view of a particular people. Henry Mitchell in Black Preaching: The Recovery of a Powerful Art, pg 11. Inside African American culture a new ferment is growing, not only for intercultural dialogue, but also for self- understanding within the culture. The tradition has to be recorded, analyzed, and reflected on before it can be shared... Henry Mitchell in Celebration and Experience in Preaching, pg. 12.
Thoughts of Homileticians Regarding Sociocultural Factors In similar ways to the community, the preacher s life is embedded in a context, he/she has a history, and he/she has relations and interaction with external influences. The preacher is affected, just as a local forest has been, by specific local conditions. Beverly A. Asbury in The Silviculture of Homiletics: Preaching Embedded in a Context, Religion and Intellectual Life 3 (1986): Understanding of the content of the black sociocultural context is a critical component in the search for distinctiveness in black preaching. Black preachers approach the Scripture with a social hermeneutic and their use of it to address their sociocultural conditions. Cleophus J. LaRue in The Heart of Black Preaching, Pg. 14.
Thoughts of Homileticians Regarding Sociocultural Factors The Personality-Type Theories Personality involves complex human behaviors including emotions, actions and cognitive (thought processes). Psychologists have an interest in what makes each individual different from each other. Swiss psychologist Carl G. Jung studied psychological characteristics, classifying people as introverts or extroverts. Those Slaves, strangely enough, saw though it was not intended, that God was indeed the God of the outcast. And so in a strong theism and theodicy, they identified their own circumstance with the great deliverance acts of the Bible....So the deliverance acts became master themes of black preaching. Gardner C. Taylor in The Words of Gardner Taylor vol.5, pg
Thoughts of Homileticians Regarding Sociocultural Factors The Personality of the Preacher Every preacher has a distinctive personality given by God and shaped by eternal factors. When God calls the preacher it is not absent of his/her personality. Style of the preacher is colored by his personality. Preaching is the communication of truth through personality. Neither of those can it spare and still be preaching. Phillip Brook in the Joy of Preaching, pg. 25. Preacher must be in his/her preaching. The absence of his/her personality is evident if the sermon contains an overage of a secondary personality source.
Seven Influences Framing the Preacher s Hermeneutics and Homiletics Superintendence of the Holy Spirit Biblical Literature Family Church Experience Institution Community Current sociopolitical Issues
Seven Influences Framing the Preacher s Hermeneutics and Homiletics Preaching in many ways, like music, is a universal language but indigenous to its own culture out of which it emerges, shaped and conditioned by the experience of that culture. Preaching, like clothes, music and dancing, rises out of culture and in many ways is unique to its cultural context.
The Preacher Context, Affects Sermon Application and Relevance There are different contexts within the same culture or subculture. it is in this sense that the two terms have different meanings. Culture is more general, context is more particular. Context as opposed to culture suggests that every particular context calls for application peculiar to its circumstance and needs of each context. Just as the preacher carries a unique contextual uniqueness the community also is contextual. Stephen Farris notes that we live in a culture of subcultures, each bearing its patterns, customs, idioms, images and ideas... Preaching That Matter, pg
Relationship Between Application And Relevance Application and relevance are not necessarily the same. Application is everything without it the sermon has no aim. It is an exercise in futility to be exegetically sound (with the preaching text), but unconnected and unrelated in content and substance in term of the congregation. Application without relevance is meaningless. Application can be general not specific, falling into abstraction and irrelevance. Applying the text is not sufficient in itself; one must seek to be specific about what is real and practical to the congregation.
Relevance is Concerned with Particular Contexts Relevance seeks to discern the claims of the preaching text and the concerns of the audience are inextricably related. Relevance answers the questions what does the preaching text, in its ancient context, has to say to the contemporary believing and non believing communities? Relevance is not deployed in the text but discerned in the preaching text.
Relevance is Concerned with Particular Contexts Great preaching can present Jesus to the modern mind, transposing him from a world of goats camels, teenage gun fights, child abuse, stealing in high places, and education without values, keeping alive his transforming and saving power generation after generation. Preaching can see the work of the Holy Spirit in ancient Asia Minor and be open to seeing the same Spirit in a university, a board room, or congregational debate in a setting two thousand years ago. Samuel D. Proctor in The Certain Sound of the Trumpet: Crafting a Sermon of Authority, pg.13.
Six Foundational Points Pertaining to Relevance The preacher, in his/her search to discern relevance must begin with the preaching text. The preacher, in his/her search to discern relevance must come into an understanding of the preaching text as a starting point. The preacher, in his/her search to discerned relevance of the preaching text should not only understand the text before applying it, but he/she should gain an understanding of the congregation as well. The preacher, in his/her search for relevance must condition his/her ears and heart to listen to the text vicariously on the congregation s behalf. The preacher, in his/her search to discern relevance of the preaching text must listen on his/her own account encountering what God is saying to him/her as representative agent. The preacher, in his/her search to discern relevance of the preaching text must have a world view and an immediate awareness of life s issues.