Preaching with the congregation : appropriating John Mc Clure's homiletical theory for a Korean context

Heo, Chan (2015-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation deals with the appropriation of John S. McClure’s homiletics in view of the Korean context today. This study is to rediscover the role of the congregation, inclusive of the Presbyters, in preaching. John S. McClure’s homiletics is however far removed from the traditional Korean style of preaching. One of the aims of the study was to elaborate on this tension between the two types of homiletics. Traditionally, congregations in the Korean context listen to the sermon from the pulpit in a manner that could be described as mostly passive. Today’s ministers, in the Korean Confucian culture, have misunderstood the congregation as a preacher-centered system. The Preacher's cognition of the audience is that the laity should obey the authority of the preacher, who is an authoritative conveyor of the Word of God. The contention of this thesis is that, if preachers want to have a more direct approach to their audiences, they should have to do research on their congregations as participants in homiletics. This is the reason for the need to have a “conversational homiletics”. Therefore, the preacher needs to know the congregation’s life and their situation. From this perspective, John S. McClure’s homiletics means that the preacher, together with the listeners, should work in collaboration with each other. McClure aims to include the congregation in the sermon; the preacher as well as the hearers participates in the quest for Scripture interpretation. McClure asserted that sermon preparation as a conversation between preacher and congregation should be practiced specifically in the church community. Preachers of the local churches must be hosts and partners of the congregation. In this study, the question is posed: how can McClure’s homiletics be practiced in the Korean Church? In an effort to answer this question, McClure’s theory of preaching is compared with the Reformed/Presbyterian ecclesiology. The point of departure is that historical traditions need to enter into conversation with new theological trends, born from contextual needs. In this light, the study researched the differences between John McClure’s homiletics and the Ecclesiology of the traditional Reformed/Presbyterian Church, by means of a comparative study. On the one hand, it is accepted that the congregation is formed by their cultural traditions, memories, emotions and unique circumstances, while the congregational narrative is furthermore based on the general understanding of sermons by the sermon audiences. On the other hand it is also accepted that the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition has an inherent dialogical nature, also reflected in its historical creeds and catechisms that needs to be re-appropriated. Finally, some guidelines, fences, and boundaries of the collaborative style of preaching are pointed out, with the knowledge that a collaborative sermon will also only be possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the contention of the researcher that the Reformed Church in Korea should respond to the issues raised by McClure’s homiletics. Rapid changes in the Korean society, together with the still prevailing authoritarian and hierarchical structure of the church, and non-communicative preaching might result in a growing distance between the preacher and the contemporary congregation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif handel oor die aanwending van John S. McClure se homiletiek in die lig van die Koreaanse konteks van vandag. Die mikpunt was om die rol van die gemeente, insluitende die ouderlinge, in die prediking te herontdek. John S. McClure se homiletiek is egter baie ver verwyderd van die tradisionele Koreaanse styl van prediking. Een van die doelwitte van die studie was om uit te brei op hierdie spanning tussen die twee tipes Homiletiek. Die prediker moet die gemeente se lewe en situasies leer ken. Vanuit hierdie perspektief gesien, beteken McClure se homiletiek dat die prediker, tesame met die luisteraars, in kollaborasie moet saamwerk. McClure het ten doel om die gemeente in die preek in te sluit; die prediker sowel as die hoorders neem deel in die soeke na die interpretasie van die Skrif. McClure is oortuig daarvan dat preek-voorbereiding as 'n gesprek tussen prediker en gemeente spesifiek in die gemeenskap van die kerk beoefen moet word. Predikers van die plaaslike kerke moet daarom gashere en vennote van die gemeente wees. Die basiese vraag in hierdie studie was: hoe kan McClure se homiletiek in die Koreaanse Kerk aangewend en beoefen word? In 'n poging om hierdie vraag te beantwoord, is McClure se teorie van die prediking in vergelyking met die Gereformeerde/Presbiteriaanse ekklesiologie beskou. Die uitgangspunt was dat die historiese tradisies in gesprek moet tree met nuwe teologiese tendense, gebore uit kontekstuele behoeftes. In die lig hiervan het die studie die verskille tussen John McClure se homiletiek en die Ekklesiologie van die tradisionele Gereformeerde/Presbiteriaanse Kerk deur middel van 'n vergelykende studie nagevors. Aan die een kant word aanvaar dat die gemeente gevorm word deur hul kulturele tradisies, herinneringe, emosies en unieke omstandighede, terwyl die gemeentelike verhaal verder gebaseer word op die algemene begrip van preke wat deur gemeentes gehoor word. Aan die ander kant is dit ook aanvaar dat die Gereformeerde/Presbiteriaanse tradisie 'n inherente dialogiese aard het, soos ook weerspieel in sy historiese belydenisskrifte en kategismusse – ‘n dialogise aard wat herbesoek behoort te word. Ten slotte is 'n paar riglyne en grense van die kollaboratiewe styl van prediking uitgewys, met die wete dat sodanige prediking ook slegs moontlik is deur die werk van die Heilige Gees. Dit is die oortuiging van die navorser dat die Gereformeerde Kerk in Suid-Korea op die kwessies wat deur McClure se homiletiek na vore geroep word, moet reageer. Vinnige veranderinge in die Koreaanse samelewing, saam met die steeds heersende outoritere en hiërargiese struktuur van die kerk, asook nie- kommunikatiewe prediking kan lei tot 'n groeiende afstand tussen die prediker en die kontemporere gemeente.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96769
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