Communicating the gospel through narrative preaching to the Japanese congregation
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In light of the history of traditional storytelling arts in Japan, narrative preaching communicates the gospel effectively to the common people in Japan, so that they may respond to the message and their lives may be transformed.
In chapter 1, I will research on the three traditional popular narrative arts of Japan, among which I will focus on rakugo, a comic storytelling monologue, because it is close to preaching in terms of communication style. It is interesting that classic rakugo originates in Buddhist preaching.
In chapter 2, I will argue that it is significant and even imperative for a preacher to contextualize his/her preaching to the congregation's culture. I also want to demonstrate that the Japanese are a story-loving people, about which the preachers must take note.
In chapter 3, I will introduce narrative theology as a theological basis for narrative preaching. Here I will argue that the gospel is expressed in narrative forms in the Bible and the congregation is invited to participate in the larger gospel story through our sermons.
In chapter 4, I will introduce the premise that currently there is a trend of narrative preaching in the North American churches. I will address its characteristics under three categories: narrative preaching as storytelling, narrative as a pattern of development of the sermon, and biblical narratives as the major framework for preaching.
In chapter 5, after discussing the power of the story and the limitations of narrative preaching in Japan, I will propose several sermon patterns which I believe are effective in communicating the gospel to the Japanese congregation. After that I will put a brief conclusion.
Finally in appendix, I will put my sermons which correspond to the proposals mentioned in the previous chapter.