Worldview Preaching in the Church: The Preaching Ministries of J. Gresham Machen and Timothy J. Keller
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ABSTRACT WORLDVIEW PREACHING IN THE CHURCH: THE PREACHING MINISTRIES OF J. GRESHAM MACHAN AND TIMOTHY J. KELLER Michael Raymond Galdamez, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2012 Chair: Dr. Robert A. Vogel The thesis of this dissertation is that J. Gresham Machen and Timothy J. Keller provide contemporary pulpits with two examples of preachers who present a consistent worldview. This thesis is demonstrated through a description and evaluation of their preaching based on four elements of a worldview in James Sire's book The Universe Next Door. By presenting Machen and Keller as examples of worldview preaching, this dissertation provides a study on the use of the worldview concept in evangelical preaching, in order to discover what these two preachers consistently do in their preaching so as to be categorized as worldview preachers. Thus the study provides homiletic students with two examples of how the worldview concept might be applied to contemporary preaching. Chapter 2 presents a brief biographical sketch of Machen and Keller in order to set their writings and preaching in their distinct historical and cultural contexts. Specific focus is upon Machen's battle with theological modernism and Keller's ministry to skeptical New Yorkers through Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Chapter 3 provides descriptions of Machen's and Keller's worldviews. These descriptions are organized around Sire's four worldview elements. A number of their popular writings are examined and summarized in order to construct their worldviews from Sire's paradigm. This chapter provides the basis for the evaluation of their preaching in chapter 4. Chapter 4 evaluates Machen's and Keller's preaching based on their consistency with their constructed worldviews of chapter 3. This evaluation provides enough description to demonstrate the level of consistency between their stated worldviews and what they in fact preach in the pulpit. Chapter 5 compares and contrasts Machen's and Keller's worldview preaching in order to specify areas of strengths and weaknesses in their worldview preaching. This comparison of their preaching also provides some reflection on the application of Machen's and Keller's approach for contemporary preachers. Chapter 6 provides a summary and conclusion of this dissertation. Worldview preaching is essential in the preaching ministry of the evangelical church. Machen's and Keller's preaching provides a clear understanding of the application of the worldview concept to preaching.