Professional Dissertations DMin
The Cultural Shape of Preaching: A Rationale for a Course in Biblical Preaching Emphasizing Culturally Contextualized Proclamation in East Africa
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Russell L. Staples
Arnold A. Kurtz
This project seeks to set out a rationale for culturally contextualized preaching in East Africa, with a specific focus on Kenya, and on this basis develops a syllabus for a college course in Biblical preaching. A survey of contemporary East African culture shows it to be still largely based on traditional African patterns but modified by many outside influences. When compared with the cultural context of the Bible or with Western society, East African culture shows significant differences. An understanding of this is necessary in order to preach effectively in Kenya.
Many preachers, both missionaries and East Africans 2 3 educated in a Western tradition, have in the past failed adequately to contextualize thedr preaching. Today there is' consensus that contextualization is needed but disagreement as to how it is to be carried out. This study supports the approach which grants Scripture authority over culture. Legitimate contextualization, therefore, is a process of taking the authoritative Biblical message and communicating it in terms relevant to people's cultural context. Preaching is the medium of choice for communicating the Gospel and is particularly well suited to adapt the communication to different situations as the Gospel enters a given culture. The Bible provides the justification for contextualization and the basic guidelines for its accomplishment. Jesus set the basic pattern in the incarnation. His preaching reveals how sensitive he was to his hearers' world and how he adapted his approach to meet them within their frame of reference. However, he was not bound by culture and often pronounced judgment on traditional ways and values. The apostle Paul followed a similar pattern.
Preachers today should follow the Biblical model. This involves personally becoming a part of the context of the respondents and preaching a message that is relevant to people's felt and real needs. The methods of communication must be those that are effective in East Africa. These include expressing the message with reference to the hearers' world view, using proverbs, aphorisms, folk tales, local history and literature, concrete forms of expression, dynamic equivalents, rhythm, ritual, and song, dialogue, and group-oriented appeals for decision.
Preaching--Africa, East; Seventh-day Adventists--Africa, East
Naesheim, Per W., "The Cultural Shape of Preaching: A Rationale for a Course in Biblical Preaching Emphasizing Culturally Contextualized Proclamation in East Africa" (1983). Professional Dissertations DMin. 504.
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