Good news offered anew
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This project is designed to articulate a theory of communication for preaching and teaching which will take into account the formidable changes in communication which have occurred in the last thirty years. This is an exploration of the preaching and teaching event especially as it applies to passing on the doctrines of the church using the Heidelberg Catechism. Particular study is directed toward contemporary thought in business, homiletics, and education as they impact content and style of communication in preaching and teaching in the church.
Chapter One offers a rationale for this study. It points to the increasing role of technology and its impact on style in communication. It also notes the increasing concern and apathy and discussion surrounding the events of preaching and teaching in the church setting. The need for sermonic and pedagogical reshaping presents itself This reshaping seeks purpose and form in Scripture.
Chapter Two explores the Biblical foundation for this study. Arising out of the context of John 1:4: "The Word became flesh," the only true representation of reality, the Word in Jesus Christ, becomes reality for the entire world. Since the Book of Acts provides an account of how the gospel was disseminated through and beyond the religious community, the Biblically highlighted components of this communication event provide the basis for a theory of communication applicable for preaching and teaching.
Chapter Three summarizes the research and literature which served as background, perspective, and source material for the construction of the theory of communication. These readings draw not only from the homiletic and educational fields, but also from business and contemporary discussions of the changing style of communication. From these readings, ten components of a contemporary theory of communication are extrapolated to form the structure of the emerging theory of communication.
Chapter Four is simply a statement summarizing the theory of communication applicable for preaching and teaching in a contemporary society. This statement is supplemented by clarifying comments. It draws from the conclusions of Chapter Three: it seeks to integrate all of these components into a Biblical, pastoral, and practical approach to preaching and teaching that can be applied to contemporary society.
Chapter Five might usually be found in an appendix to a project. It provides a sample sermon and a Church School lesson applying the proffered theory of communication. Evaluative comments lead this chapter to reflect on whether, when such a theory finds particular application, it retains its biblical, pastoral, and practical approach to preaching and teaching.
The Bibliography is a grouping of selected works which served well in both informing and challenging me in my initial as well as my ongoing studies of communication theory applicable to preaching and teaching. The excitement of these authors influenced my pursuit so that the process of study and reflection was a pleasure and is still a beginning point for future thought and research.
This project demonstrates that technological changes in a post industrial society do not deter the Gospel from being preached and taught in reasoned passionate testimony apprehendable to all who will listen. This project also reveals that the Bible is not without resource for changes in style of communication, but rather continues to offer a message applicable and critical for both life and death in contemporary society.