Ethical preaching in contemporary Korean Protestantism : a critical reflection

Park, Sungwhan (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-12)

Thesis (DTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of our study was not merely to recount the ethical problems of the Korean Protestant Church and its members, but to suggest a new ethical preaching mode for resolving these problems. Thus, in order to research the subject of our study, we used two methodologies: Dingemans’s practical theological methodology and the Heidelberg method of sermon analysis. In chapter one, we stated the question why the Korean Protestant Church’s growth is declining, and described the current social situation in which the Korean people are starting to turn their backs on the Korean Protestant Church, and also mistrusting the morality of this Church as its members do not seem to act in accordance with their stated beliefs. Their ethical behaviour does not correspond with the content of their confession. In order to show exactly the practical and problematic phenomenon of the Korean Protestant Church and its members, we used the results of six surveys conducted recently by several institutes. Furthermore, in order to expose exactly the Korean Protestant Christian’s ethical problems in terms of homiletics, we suggested that our study focuses on the following three issues: political, triumphal and narrative, as these three sermon patterns flow like rivers into the Korean Protestant Church and its American theological connection. By doing so, our study hoped to contribute ultimately towards the rediscovery and revalidation of ethical preaching in contemporary Korea. From chapter two to chapter seven, we thus strived to explain the content of, and relationship between, the three preaching modes as described above (political, triumphal, and experiential), and we analysed the sermons of three representative Korean Protestant preachers in detail, by using the framework of the Heidelberg method. In chapter eight, we evaluated the ethical situation of the Korean Protestant Church and its members in contemporary Korea as follows: “Consequently, in contemporary Korea, the Koreans no longer believe and trust the Korean Protestant Church. Thus, since the 1990s, the present Korean Protestant Church is experiencing a decline in the attendance of its members because the present Korean Protestant Church has lost its dignity due to its ethical problems. In our opinion, it is true that the Korean Protestant Church needs to discover Christian ethics; thus, the Church must especially focus on its lack of social ethics and political responsibility in the Reformed theological views. In order to promote the public’s trust in the Korean Protestant Church and its members, it is inevitable that Korean Protestant ministers must focus more on Christian ethics than on the outward development of the Church in contemporary Korea. Thus, in order to establish Christian ethics in Korea, the Korean Protestant preachers must consider ethical preaching, through which naturally, Christians will try to follow Jesus’ life and teachings before God by faith in the world.” In chapter nine, we explained in detail what ethical preaching is, i.e. we introduced the necessity for ethical preaching, and defined it as well as components thereof. In particular, we emphasized that the world’s position and function are unique, as evil controls the world in terms of ethical preaching because human beings have been captured by the multiplicity of the powers or related them to contemporary social realities, and they cannot but produce Christian ethical problems in the world. Furthermore, we suggested the following: “We obviously need the harmony of Campbell and Long’s homiletical views in order to create the best framework for ethical preaching for contemporary Korea.” In chapter ten, we critically compared and reflected on the homiletical views of Campbell and Long in terms of ethical preaching. Furthermore, we created a new ethical preaching mode for contemporary Korea. In chapter eleven, we introduced some suggestions as regards the way ethical preaching could be done in contemporary Korea, i.e. we strived to compose a sermon’s synopsis of ethical preaching with the newly formed framework. Thus, with Luke 8:22-39, we dealt with “the division of Korea into North and South” and, with Luke 10:25-37, “racial prejudice toward coloured foreign workers” by using the newly formed ethical preaching mode. In chapter twelve, we summarized and concluded our dissertation. As regards the homiletical field of Korea, we introduced four benefits our study can offer. On the other hand, we pointed out the shortcomings of our study as follows: “Jesus Christ and ethical issues from the Old Testament” and “the relationship between our ethical preaching mode and Christian worship, especially liturgy.” In this chapter, thus, we emphasized the abovementioned points as suggestions for future research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van ons studie was nie ʼn blote weergee van die etiese probleme van die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk en sy lidmate nie, maar om ʼn nuwe metode van etiese prediking ter oplossing van hierdie probleme voor te stel. Gevolglik het ons, ten einde navorsing oor ons onderwerp te doen, twee metodologiee aangewend: Dingemans se prakties-teologiese metodologie en die Heidelbergse metode van prediking analise. In hoofstuk 1 het ons die vraag gestel waarom daar ʼn afname was in die groei van die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk en die huidige sosiale situasie waarin die Koreaanse bevolking die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk die rug keer en ook die moraliteit van die kerk aangesien sy lidmate nie handel volgens hul verklaarde oortuigings nie beskryf. Hul etiese gedrag stem nie ooreen met die inhoud van hul belydenis nie. Ten einde die praktiese en problematiese verskynsel van die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk en sy lidmate juis te beklemtoon, het ons die resultate van ses opnames wat onlangs deur verskeie institute gedoen is gebruik. Verder, om die etiese probleme van die Koreaanse Protestantse Christen in terme van homilitiek noukeurig bloot te le, het ons voorgestel dat ons studie op die volgende drie aspekte fokus: politiese, triomferende en narratiewe aangesien hierdie drie erediens patrone soos riviere in die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk en sy Amerikaanse teologiese verbintenis vloei. Sodoende hoop ons studie om uiteindelik ʼn bydrae te lewer tot die herontdekking en herbekragtiging van etiese prediking in hedendaagse Korea. Vanaf hoofstuk twee tot hoofstuk sewe het ons dus daarna gestreef om die inhoud van en die verhouding tussen die drie metodes van prediking, soos hierbo beskryf (politiese, triomferende en narratiewe), te verduidelik en het ons deur middel van die Heidelbergse metode die preke van drie verteenwoordigende Koreaanse Protestantse predikers breedvoerig geanaliseer. In hoofstuk ag (t) het ons die etiese situasie van die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk en sy lidmate soos volg geevalueer: “Gevolglik glo en vertrou die Koreane in hedendaagse Korea nie meer die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk nie. Dus, sedert die 1990’s beleef die huidige Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk ʼn afname in die bywoning van sy lidmate omdat die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk sy waardigheid verloor het as gevolg van sy etiese probleme. Volgens ons is dit waar dat die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk Christelike etiek moet ontdek; dus, die Kerk moet spesifiek fokus op sy gebrek aan sosiale etiek en politieke verantwoordelikheid in die gereformeerde teologiese gesigspunte. Ten einde die publiek se vertroue in die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk en sy lidmate te bevorder, is dit onvermydelik dat die predikante van die Koreaanse Protestantse Kerk meer moet fokus op Christelike etiek as op die uiterlike ontwikkeling van die kerk in hedendaagse Korea. Dus moet Koreaanse Protestantse predikers etiese prediking, waardeur Christene in die wereld sal probeer om Jesus se lewe en onderwysings voor God deur geloof te volg, oorweeg ten einde Christelike etiek in Korea te vestig.” In hoofstuk nege het ons breedvoerig verduidelik wat etiese prediking behels, d.w.s. ons het die noodsaaklikheid van etiese prediking ingelei en dit tesame met die komponente daarvan gedefinieer. Ons het in besonder die uniekheid van die wereld se posisie en funksie beklemtoon aangesien boosheid die wereld in terme van etiese prediking beheer omdat mense gevange geneem is deur die veelvoudige magte of eietydse, met hul verbonde sosiale werklikhede en hulle nie anders kan as om Christelike etiese probleme in die wereld voort te bring nie. Verder het ons die volgende voorgestel: “Ons het duidelik die harmonie van Campbell en Long se homiletiese standpunte nodig ten einde die beste raamwerk vir etiese prediking vir hedendaagse Korea te skep.” In hoofstuk tien het ons die kritiese vergelyking getref tussen en gereflekteer op die homiletiese uitgangspunte van Campbell en Long in terme van etiese prediking. Voorts het ons ʼn nuwe metode van etiese prediking vir hedendaagse Korea ontwikkel. In hoofstuk elf het ons sekere voorstelle betreffende die manier waarop etiese prediking in hedendaagse Korea gedoen sou kon word aangebied, d.w.s. ons het daarna gestrewe om ʼn prediking se oorsig van etiese prediking met ʼn nuutgevormde raamwerk saam te stel. Dus, met Lukas 8:22-39 het ons gefokus op “die verdeling van Korea in Noord en Suid” en met Lukas 10:25-37, “rassistiese vooroordeel teenoor gekleurde buitelandse arbeiders” deur van die nuutgevormde metode van etiese prediking gebruik te maak. In hoofstuk twaalf het ons die dissertasie saamgevat en afgesluit. Ons het, betrekking tot die homiletiese landskap in Korea, vier voordele wat ons studie kan bied voorgestel. Enersyds het ons sekere tekortkominge van ons studie soos volg uitgewys: “Jesus Christus en die etiese kwessies van die Ou Testament” en “die verhouding tussen ons etiese predikingswyse en Christelike aanbidding, veral liturgie”. In hierdie hoofstuk het ons dus die bogenoemde punte as voorstelle vir toekomstige navorsing voorgestel.

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