Thursday, 27 June 2019

Crucible 10, 1 (May 2019)

The latest issue of Crucible, published by the Australian Evangelical Alliance, is now available online here, with the below articles (abstracts included, where available). According to the Editorial, three of the articles ‘emerge from the Australasian Academy of Homiletics conference that was held in Sydney in April 2019’.

The Cauldron: peer reviewed articles

Teresa Parish
A Homiletic Investigation of Preaching with an Interpreter
Interpreted preaching embodies the Pentecost belief that all peoples should hear the good news in their heart language communicated through preachers empowered by the Holy Spirit. This paper argues that interpreted preaching is distinct from other forms of preaching. This paper is a summary of the author’s doctoral work that is the first in theology to explore the historically overlooked event of consecutive side-by-side preaching with an interpreter. Interpreters have been of historical importance to evangelism and the global church, and continue to be utilised in churches and religious contexts. The biblical foundation of this paper is that God desires to communicate with people in their heart languages. A case study of SOMA, a short-term mission organisation that regularly uses interpreted preaching was undertaken. Qualitative interviews of preachers, interpreters, and bilingual listeners were conducted to examine the homiletic process before, during, and after the interpreted preaching event. Analysis of results demonstrates that there are significant differences in interpreted preaching from other forms of preaching. Interpreted preaching requires preachers to approach the task with a particular emphasis on nonverbal communication, establish a preaching rapport with the interpreter, as well as different methodology and praxis in preparation, delivery, and reflection. Interpreted preaching also significantly affects power dynamics and roles within the preaching space, with the interpreter considered a gatekeeper and co-preacher due to their linguistic, cultural, and theological fluency. These results confirm the hypothesis that interpreted preaching is a discrete homiletic. 

Andrew J. Prince
Preaching to the Unseen: A Case Study
Brisbane School of Theology has separate English and Chinese theological programs, but runs a number of combined events including a weekly chapel service in English. The majority of attendees at this chapel are from the English program with the Chinese students representing 15%-20% of those present. The preaching is aimed primarily at the English program students with one faculty member admitting he does little to contextualise their sermons to take the Chinese students into account. While much of the contextualisation literature since its introduction as a neologism in 1972 has had a missiological focus, in more recent years a homiletical focus has developed. An evaluation of this faculty member’s homiletical approach of not taking the Chinese students sufficiently into account in light of this material revealed that it was unloving and that a more contextual approach to sermon preparation and delivery was warranted. Such an approach might include the faculty member developing deeper relationships with the Chinese students so as to better understand his audience along with his own cultural hermeneutical biases as a western, middle-aged male; using more Chinese people, places and news in illustrations; and take the collectivist and Confucianism-influenced heritage of the students into account when applying the biblical text.

The Test-tube: ministry resources

Marc Rader
Life Hacks – Studies in Proverbs

Tina Tebbutt
Local Church Ministry Around Food: An Exploration and Theological Reflection upon Current Communal Eating Practices
This article observes and outlines my personal church-based experience with communal food practices and reflects upon the wider contemporary situation. It undertakes to explain and make sense of why these practices occur by reflecting upon biblical, theological, historical and cultural influences and insights around food and eating. It acknowledges that it is not sufficient to merely observe and understand the present situation, the relevant contributing factors, and the current theological view. Instead, it sets out to consider what should ideally be taking place. This is undertaken through the use of a mutually critical correlation methodology within practical theology, which seeks to not only understand what is occurring but to change the situation if and where warranted. This article explores the current narrative around food which is shaped by secular influences such as dualism, commodification and consumerism. It reflects upon the original intention for food as a gift which honours both Creator and created. It proceeds to examine ramifications of the Fall upon the way food is understood, as well as redemptive, reconciling and restorative aspects of the food story. As this biblical narrative is explored, food begins to take on new meanings and symbols, and finally food comes to be seen not as a commodity but as communion--a gift of God for both physical and spiritual nourishment. The biblical narrative demonstrates food’s capacity to bring people together in celebration, enjoyment, connection, and unity. This ultimately signifies a powerful link between food and salvation, where fellowship with God and others is fulfilling in ways beyond the physical satisfaction gained through eating. This article proposes changes to current communal practices, attitudes and understandings around food.

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