Josiah D. Boyd D.Min.
For the edification of God’s people, biblical preaching is essential (Eph 4:11–16), a divinely-mandated activity which assumes not only Scripture’s explanation but also its application. While much scholarly attention has been paid to the former facet (i.e., the move from text-to-theology), much less has been given to the latter (i.e., the move from theology-to-application). One homiletician, Abraham Kuruvilla, has recently attempted to fill this void by articulating and demonstrating a methodology through which a preacher can, with confidence and clarity, lead the people of God from the Bible to its intended, and thus binding, application. The aim of this research was to explore the effectiveness of his proposed theology and hermeneutic for the identification, development, communication, and reception of biblically-founded, theologically-valid, and hearer-relevant application.
Following the example of Kuruvilla, a theological commentary for preachers was developed for the book of Jonah and a subsequent four-week expository sermon series was preached. In order to assess the effectiveness of the proposed methodology for the developing, communicating, understanding, and applying of a biblical text, a selfadministered pretest and posttest survey was developed and distributed to volunteer participants which focused on both the content and applicational weight of the book. It was hypothesized that by the utilization of pericopal theology, a christiconic hermeneutic, and the subsequent preaching of an expository sermon series, there would be measurable growth in (1) knowledge of the biblical text, (2) understanding of the theology of the biblical text, and (3) discernment of the divine demand placed upon God’s people through the biblical text. The instrument provided quantitative data that was analyzed and evaluated and which, ultimately, verified all three hypotheses affirming that the utilization of pericopal theology and a christiconic hermeneutic demonstrates an associated and significant increase in biblical knowledge, theological understanding, and applicational discernment among the participants.