Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

Naming God’s presence in preaching

Gerrit Immink
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5453 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5453 | © 2019 F. Gerrit Immink | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2019 | Published: 29 November 2019

About the author(s)

Gerrit Immink, Practical Theology, Protestant Theological University, Groningen, the Netherlands; and, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Does preaching bring God on stage? Protestants assume an intimate relationship between the ‘Word of God’ and preaching. However, the principle that ‘preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God’ caused intense debates about the status of God language. The author highlights the classic disputes of the 19th and 20th centuries and argues that the old dilemma must be overcome. Sermons address the subjective-contextual conditions of the listeners, and this in no way precludes the attention for divine disclosure. On the contrary, there is a true reciprocity between personal spirituality and the sense of God as really other. The author defends the thesis that the renewed attention for the human condition in the theological debates of the last decades should also include a positive stand towards the believer’s spiritual awareness of God’s real existence and presence.


Keywords

preaching; pulpit eloquence; god-talk; sermonic discourse; religious experience; indwelling spirit; homiletics

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