The period of preaching history I resonate with is the period after World War II. During this period many changes occurred in interpreting the meaning and practice of preaching. The changes were in line with the increasing pluralism of the western culture. The trends that characterized the era include the Biblical Theology Movement. This movement was initiated by Karl Barth who broke away from the conventional liberal theology taught in German universities on grounds that the teachings were inadequate in helping people recover from post war trauma. The teachings emphasized revelation and disregarded achievements of human reason. Under the dialectical theology platform, a common perspective about the bible made it possible to discuss theology of the whole bible with a common idea revolving around ‘the God who acts’ (Willtmon & Lischer, 1995).
The liturgical movement was characterized by use of vernacular rather than the Latin language in the Catholic Church. This arose since the church was so complacent in its society that the proclamation of its gospel actually sounded dull and boring. This was followed by use of the pulpit preaching style and a responsive congregation as proposed by Gueranger and Eucharist was adopted as the main service on Sundays in both catholic and protestant churches (Willtmon & Lischer, 1995). The practices of the time seem to have extended to todays modern church. The characteristics such as using preaching to find solace for traumatized souls and use of pulpit preaching models form a central part of teaching to date.
I think the history of preaching is headed for a total overhaul. There is to be a major shift from narrative or story telling model of preaching to practical preaching. The congregation will seek preaching accompanied by societal deeds. The trend is picking up with many churches taking up community projects such as helping destitute children, widows and the elderly as well as building schools.
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