Preaching a Christian worldview in a post-Christian culture
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abstract Preaching a christian worldview in a post-christian culture Robert Craig Thompson, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2016 Chair: Dr. Timothy K. Beougher This dissertation examines worldview preaching in a post-Christian culture. Chapter 1 introduces the concept of worldview preaching and its necessity for evangelism within the church of the twenty-first century. This chapter also defines terms used throughout and establishes the methodology for the research. Chapter 2 takes a more in-depth look at presuppositional “apologetical preaching” and its application to the study of worldview in evangelistic preaching. This chapter also shows the difference between apologetical preaching and expositional preaching and suggests apologetical preaching as a needed corrective. Chapter 3 argues that worldview preaching is a form of spiritual warfare. This chapter also outlines the ways that preaching is spiritual warfare in three areas: battle with the flesh, battle with the world, and battle with Satan. Chapter 4 introduces the concept of sermon-driven discipleship. It is argued in this chapter that evangelism cannot be separated from discipleship and that evangelistic preaching necessarily focuses on discipleship as well. This chapter also shows how worldview preaching can direct the discipleship ministries of the church. Chapter 5 investigates examples of worldview preaching. It is argued in this chapter that some preachers from the past and present practice the form of worldview preaching advocated in this dissertation without having applied the particular terms associated with this research project. This chapter critiques those who have adopted secular worldviews in their preaching as well as those who have adapted their message delivery to fit the secular world. Chapter 6 examines the deficiency of worldview emphasis in preaching literature. It commends John Stott’s approach, but also shows that bridging the two worlds doesn’t go far enough. This chapter then surveys a number of preaching texts for their emphasis on worldview and presuppositional apologetics in their treatment of preaching. Chapter 7 answers the question of how these findings can be applied to contemporary churches. It concludes by emphasizing the need for preachers to engage with the world around them and to challenge the worldview of their secular hearers and challenges church leaders and educators to adapt their approach to preaching and preaching education to include presuppositional apologetics as a necessary component.