The divine presence in preaching : a homiletical analysis of contemporary Korean sermons

Lee, Seung-Jin (2002-12)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2002

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The presence of God in preaching is one of the most important Reformed homiletical themes. However, contemporary homiletics and preaching ministry do not pay due attention to this theme. More specifically speaking, contemporary Korean preaching also asks for a more comprehensive homiletical foundation for the homiletically appropriate witness of the divine presence in preaching. Based upon Dingeman's practical theological methodology, this study thus aims to describe and examine the practical realities of the witness of the divine presence in contemporary Korean preaching, and to make further some comprehensive normative and strategic suggestions on this homiletical theme. In chapter 1, in order to prepare to analyze and explain the practical reality of the witness of the divine presence in Korean preaching, we constructed an appropriate sermon analysis frame that consists of the following three components: analysis norms (God, the preacher, the Scriptures, and the audience), analysis targets (the five representative Korean preachers and their sermons - Yune-Sun Park, Yong-Gi Cho, Sun-Hee Kwak, Han-Hum Oak, and Dong-Won Lee), and analysis variables (the religio-sociological background of the Korean corporate personality in relation to the four indigenous Korean religions - Shamanism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Neo-Confucianism). Based upon this analytical frame, from chapter two till six, this study analyzed in detail five sermons of representative Korean preachers with the guidance of the analytical questions: Yune-Sun Park (ch. 2), Yong-Gi Cho (ch. 3), Sun-Hee Kwak (ch. 4), Han-Hum Oak (ch. 5), and Dong-Won Lee (ch. 6), and observed several homiletical aspects of the witness of the divine presence in contemporary Korean preaching. Through this detailed analysis of the five representative Korean preachers' sermons, we noted the fact that God-images implemented by the preacher cannot help being confined by the specific pastoral interests or theological emphasis that the preacher has in mind, as raised from the existential experience of the preacher, the theological emphasis, or pastoral context. However, without an appropriate consideration of the four components of preaching, the witness of the divine presence cannot achieve the desirable sermonic results. With this homiletical necessity in mind, we discussed the normative foundation of the witness of the divine presence in relation to the four components of preaching: God (ch. 8), the Scriptures (ch. 9), the preacher (ch. 10), and the audience (ch. 11). After establishing a normative understanding of how each component is to be involved in the witness of the divine presence, we have also made several strategic suggestions in relation to Korean preaching. In chapter 8, based upon the pneumatological dimension of preaching, we confirmed that the witness of the divine presence should be rendered in a linguistic and ecclesial frame, and suggested that God-images should be used based upon Christian narrative that brings about a linguistic and ecclesial collision between the identity narrative of the Christian community and the individual's narrative in preaching. In chapter 9, in connection with the question of how the voice of the Bible can be involved in the witness of the divine presence, we discussed the sacramental character of the Bible to mediate the divine presence to the Christian reader, and suggested that the reading of the Bible should make the transformative encounter with God happen to the reader. In chapter 10, we examined the question of how the voice of the preacher can be harmoniously involved in the witness of the divine presence, and paid attention to the three factors which the preacher is aware of in preaching: God (spirituality), the audience (integrity), and self (subjectivity and conviction). In chapter 11, we tackled the question of how the audience can be involved in the witness of the divine presence. Here we firstly defined the audience in relation to the other three components of preaching: in relation to God (theological, pneumatological, and eschatological being), to the Bible (hermeneutical being), and the preacher (communicative being). In addition to these definitions, we also defined the audience according to the reception axis of the Word: as an individual being (human heart and paradigmatic imagination), ecclesial and communal being (the divine presence through the pastoral ministry), and as one who is engaged in the world (socio-political responsibility to reflect the divine presence to the world). Based upon these definitions, we further suggested an appropriate communicative strategy for the witness of the divine presence, which consists of the image of God who is present in suffering, the communicative frame of the poor in spirit, and the four linguistic dimensions of confessional, evocative, hermeneutic, and imaginative witness. Through these normative and strategic suggestions, we confirmed and suggested that the witness of the divine presence should involve comprehensively all four components of preaching: God, the Scripture, the preacher, and the audience so as to sound like a sermonic symphony in which all four voices harmoniously take part in the witness of the divine presence, while retaining their own homiletical value.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die teenwoordigheid van God in die prediking is 'n belangrike Refonnatoriese tema. Hedendaagse homiletiek skenk egter nie genoeg aandag daaraan nie. Veral eietydse Koreaanse prediking kort 'n meer omvangryke homiletiese basis vir hierdie aangeleentheid. Hierdie studie is gebaseer op Dingeman se praktiese teologiese metodologie en dit beoog om die praktiese realiteite van die prediking van die goddelike teenwoordigheid in Koreaanse prediking te ondersoek en te beskryf en om verdere omvattende nonnatiewe en strategiese voorstelle ten opsigte van hierdie homiletiese tema te maak. In hoofstuk 1 ontwerp ons 'n toepaslike raamwerk vir preekanalise wat bestaan uit die volgende drie komponente: nonne vir analise (God, die prediker, die Skrif en die gehoor); teikens vir analise (vyf verteenwoordigende Koreaanse predikers en hulle preke - Yune-Sun Park, Yong-Gi Cho, Sun-Hee Kwak, Han-Hum Oak en Dong-Won Lee); en die analitiese veranderlikes (die godsdienstig-sosiologiese agtergrond van die Koreaanse samelewing met betrekking tot die vier inheemse Koreaanse godsdienste (Shamanisme, Taoisme, Buddhisme en Neo-Confucianisme). Gebaseer op hierdie analitiese raamwerk, analiseer hierdie studie vanaf Hoofstuk 2 tot 6 in besonderhede vyf preke van verteenwoordigende predikers na gelang van bepaalde analitiese vrae: Yune-Sun Park (Hf. 2), Yong-Gi Cho (Hf. 3), Sun-Hee Kwak (Hf. 4), Han-Hum Oak (Hf. 5) en Dong-Won Lee (Hf. 6), en let ons op sekere homiletiese aspekte van die getuienis van die goddelike teenwoordigheid in Koreaanse prediking. Deur middel van hierdie gedetaileerde analise merk ons dat die voorstellings van God soos getuig deur hierdie predikers beinvloed word deur spesifieke pastorale belange en teologiese beklemtoninge van die prediker self of deur die pastorale konteks. In die daaropvolgende hoofstukke bespreek ons die nonnatiewe onderbou vir die getuienis van die goddelike teenwoordigheid: God (Hf. 8), die Skrif (Hf. 9), die prediker (Hf. 10), en die gehoor (Hf. 11). Nadat die rol van elkeen van hierdie komponente bespreek is, maak ons strategiese voorstelle i.v.m Koreaanse prediking. In Hf. 8, gebaseer op die pneumatologiese dimensie van prediking, bevestig ons dat die getuienis van die goddelike teenwoordigheid plaasvind in 'n linguistiese en ekklesiologiese raamwerk, en suggereer ons dat voorstellings van God voortspruit uit die Christelike narratief. In Hf. 9 bespreek ons hoe die stem van die Bybel betrokke kan wees in die getuienis van die goddelike teenwoordigheid, Ons wys veral op die sakramentele karakter van die Bybel as bemiddelaar tussen die goddelike teenwoordigheid en die Christelike leser. In Hf. 10 gaan ons in op die vraag hoe die stem van die prediker betrokke kan wees in die getuienis van die goddelike teenwoordigheid en gee ons aandag aan drie aspekte waarvan die prediker bewus moet wees: die relasie tot God (spiritualiteit), die gehoor (integriteit), en die self (subjektiwiteit en oortuiging). In Hf. 11 bespreek ons die vraag hoe die gehoor (gemeente) betrokke kan wees in die getuienis van die goddelike aanwesigheid. Eers beskou ons die gehoor in sy betrokkenheid by die ander drie komponente: sy verhouding tot God (teologiese, pneumatologiese en eskatologiese wese), tot die Bybel (hermeneutiese komponent) en tot die prediker (kommunikatiewe komponent). Ter aanvulling van hierdie beskouinge definieer ons die gehoor as die ontvanger van die Woord, en weI as: 'n individuele wese (mens like hart en paradigmatiese verbeelding), kerklike en gemeentelike wese (die goddelike teenwoordigheid d.m.v. die pastorale bediening), en as mense wat betrokke is by die wereld (wat sosio-politieke verantwoordelikheid het om die goddelike teenwoordigheid in die wereld weer te gee). Gebaseer op hierdie definisies het ons 'n toepaslike kommunikatiewe strategie vir die getuienis van die goddelike teenwoordigheid voorgestel, bestaande uit 'n voorstelling van God wat teenwoordig is by lyding, die kommunikatiewe raamwerk van die armes in gees, en die vier linguistiese dimensies van die belydende, evokatiewe, hermeneutiese en verbeeldingryke getuienis. Met hierdie normatiewe en strategiese voorstelle bevestig ons dat die getuienis van die goddelike teenwoordigheid al vier die komponente van prediking behoort in te sluit: God, die Skrif, die prediker en die gehoor, ten einde 'n homiletiese simfonie te orkestreer.

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