Preaching to Provoke a Worldview Change: Tim Keller's Use of Presuppositional Apologetics in Preaching
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ABSTRACT PREACHING TO PROVOKE A WORLDVIEW CHANGE: TIM KELLER'S USE OF PRESUPPOSITIONAL APPOLOGETICS IN PREACHING Travis Allen Freeman Doctorate of Philosophy The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 2011 Hershael W. York This dissertation examines the preaching methodology of Tim Keller. It argues that a decline has taken place in the biblical worldview in America, and that preachers need to rethink how they communicate the gospel to their congregations. It contains four primary chapters which defend this argument. In the chapter titled "The Decline of the Biblical Worldview" the argument for the decline of Christianity in America is set forth. It examines several statistical studies and articles which point to the reality of this decline. It also sets forth scientific naturalism as the religion that has replaced Christianity as the driving worldview in America. The next chapter then begins to set forth the preaching methodology of Tim Keller. Keller preaches in such a way that he engages the secular, naturalistic worldview common in America. This chapter explains Keller's basic sermon structure, and the several elements of his preaching. It builds the framework within which Keller can then do worldview deconstruction. The chapter also shows how Keller seeks to lead people to worship God through stirring their affections for Christ. After building this framework, the dissertation then shows how Keller utilizes presuppositional apologetics in preaching to attack unbelieving worldviews. This chapter provides a brief overview of presuppositional apologetics, and then explains how Keller incorporates it in his preaching. The final content chapter of this dissertation Summarizes and critiques several sermons preached by Keller. This chapter examines several strengths and weaknesses of his approach, encouraging preachers to apply his principles to their own preaching ministries.