Expository preaching : a homiletical study in the light of Acts 2 and 17
This study is an attempt to investigate elements of expository preaching embedded in the Apostles’ sermons. Furthermore it is attempted to implement these elements in contemporary preaching. The sermons discussed are: Peter's Pentecost sermon (Acts 2) and Paul's Areopagus sermon (Acts 17). These sermons are focused on as models of expository preaching - messages that were effectively conveyed to their audiences. One sermon was preached to the Jews who already had knowledge of God and the Bible. The other sermon focused on the Gentiles who did not know God and the Bible. The research underlying this study was expanded in order to arrive at answers to two questions: Why are the sermons of the two mentioned apostles regarded as effective? How can a preacher develop his mastery of expository preaching in line with the methods applied by the mentioned apostles? In order to reach this aim Acts 2 and 17 are investigated to disclose possible basis-theoretical elements to be applied in expository preaching. Communicative aspects and applicable trends of postmodernism are investigated in order to extract meta-theoretical elements that can be utilised in expository preaching. A final conclusion is deduced after these elements have been scrutinised. In addition, two published sermons are analysed in order to evaluate the results of this study. Basis-theoretically, the research reveals the following guidelines: The introduction of an expository sermon should convey the theme of the text to the audience, or should win the attention of the audience. The theme of the chosen Biblical text should be explained and understood clearly, keeping in mind the level of the audience's horizon of understanding. The mystery of God's grace, the wonder of Jesus’ birth and resurrection should be preached emphatically to people living in a postmodern era. The conclusion of the sermon should be convincing and contain suggestions as to how the audience should apply the core elements of the sermon in their lives. Illustrative material, for example images, metaphors and narratives, should be used only in order to support the main theme of the sermon. Meta-theoretically, the necessity of understanding the nature and specific problems of the audience and their culture is highlighted. Ways of communicating these aspects effectively are also indicated. Guidelines that have been obtained as a result of the research include the following: A preacher should analyse both the biblical text and his audience. He should apply the theme of the Biblical text relevantly and line with the situation of his audience. 0 He should organise his sermon logically in order to hold his audience's attention, and in this process, also apply effective communicative skills. Expository preaching needs to implement the processes of exegesis, hermeneusis and homilesis. The results of this study suggest that the elements of these processes should function as guidelines for the praxis of preparing an expository sermon. In conclusion the following should be emphasised: to neglect these processes will almost always produce poor preaching.
- Theology