D.T. Niles’ theory of preaching : a Reformation assessment
Karoon, David S. Thevendran
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The purpose of this thesis is to ascertain to what extent D.T. Niles’ theory of preaching is Reformed and Biblical and can help in the dialogue between Western and Non-Western Christianity. The study achieves this aim by employing the qualitative case-study research to meet four objectives. First, it describes Niles’ theory of preaching as found in his trilogy of lectures on preaching, explicating especially the double calling of the preacher, the double content and the pneumatological character and nature of preaching, the three-fold purpose and double consequences of preaching. Second, it interprets Niles’ theory of preaching in the light of his own cultural background and in dialogue with the works of key Reformation figures including Erasmus, Zwingli, Luther, Calvin and Bullinger’s Second Helvetic Confession. Based on this examination, the study determines that Niles’ homiletical theory is in concert with the theology of preaching of the Magisterial Reformers as summarised in Bullinger’s classic statement: ‘The preaching of the word of God is the word of God’ . Third, this study evaluates critically Niles’ theory of preaching within the normative context of the preaching of Jesus in the Synagogue in Nazareth and the wider New Testament teaching on preaching and finds that Niles’ homiletical theory is in agreement with Scriptural norm. Fourth, having found Niles’ theory of preaching to be broadly in concert with the understanding of the Reformers and the Biblical teaching on the nature of preaching, this study undertakes the pragmatic task of developing a global theology of preaching that would promote dialogue between Western and Non-Western Christianity. This study was undertaken because of the dearth of theologies of preaching written from a Non-Western perspective and the lack of dialogue between Western and Non-Western homiletical theories. The result of the investigation is the conclusion that the preaching of the word of God is the word of God since preaching is a pneumatological event where God is present in the act of human preaching so long as the preacher himself is lawfully called and the content of his preaching is Christological and soteriological.
- Theology 
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