Faith

THE NECESSITY OF GOSPEL-CENTERED PREACHING IN KOREAN CHURCHES: THE PROBLEM OF CONFUCIANISM AMONG KOREAN CHRISTIANS

Author
Samuel No Cheol Park D.Min.
Abstract
The Korean Church is experiencing a very sudden and serious collapse. There can be many sound reasons for its collapse, however, the most critical problem is Confucianism that is deeply rooted in the Korean Church from the beginning to today. All the power that the church needs comes from the true gospel, but Confucianism in the Korean Church hindered the true Gospel to be the Gospel. Therefore, this major project defines the biblical meaning of the true gospel and danger of changing gospel to other gospel just like what happened in the Galatian Church in Paul’s day. To identify the validity of the assertion of the project, the author chose three influential preachers in the Korean Church and received their answers for the five questions that the author carefully made up; and also received one sermon from each preacher to present criteria about the gospel-centered sermon along with author’s three sermons. As a result, it is true that Confucianism has been infiltrated into the Korean Church from the beginning of its history and created a legalistic atmosphere and brought the absence of the power of the true gospel. All three preachers agreed with the author that Confucianism must be eradicated from the Korean Church, and Korean preachers must start to preach the true gospel to bring the life of Christ abundant in the Korean Church.

PERCEPTIONS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH AMONG HOLY LAND TOUR PARTICIPANTS

Author
Scott Fouts D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to discover in what ways did spiritual growth occur in a congregational based Holy Land tour. The research also sought to determine to what extent spiritual growth occurred. The tour visited the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Jordan Valley.

The intent was to capture the participants feelings, perceptions, and actions about the tour experiences. They were surveyed, observed and interviewed to assess their perceptions of the encounters they were experiencing.

There were twelve themes which emerged. The participants expressed being touched by observing the spiritual growth of others and wanting more experiences in the Holy Land at a noteworthy level of intensity. They experienced the Holy Land encounter with a substantial level of spiritual growth throughout, seeing what they perceived Jesus saw, walking where they perceived Jesus walked, experiencing the ancient world coming alive, the impact of previous tours and worship through singing. The participants encountered geographic relationship, praying, the sacrament of baptism, the sacrament of communion, the self-perception of spiritual change and the hope of sharing their own experiences with others major spiritual ways. These themes caused the participants to grow in their faith at different levels.

DETERMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DIFFERING DEGREES OF SPECIFICITY IN SERMON APPLICATION

Author
Roger Chen D.Min.
Abstract
"So what?" This is the question every believer should ask at the end of any sermon because the Word of God should be applied to the Christian's life. If the sermon's goal is to effect change in the lives of the congregation, then the preacher has the obligation to not only explain the text but explain what the text means in a practical outworking of daily living. The balance that must be struck is the role of the preacher combined with the role of the Holy Spirit to guide the listener in how to apply the sermon.
This project shows the importance of application in preaching God's Word and seeks to determine the extent to which a pastor should provide this application in preaching. With many different examples from Scripture combined with varying views of application from extra-biblical sources available to the preacher, navigating the nuances of homiletics can be overwhelming and confusing. This project endeavors to provide some clarity to the matter as it pertains to application.
This project involves the preaching of nine sermons after which volunteers complete two surveys for each sermon which ask the volunteers what they believed to be the application in the sermon as well as how they plan to apply that application; the second survey asks if and how the sermon was applied. The surveys, including the interaction with the volunteers, are handled anonymously through the aid of an administrator.
This project shows the importance of the partnership between the human preacher's provision of application in the sermon with the Holy Spirit working in the believer to apply the Word. Additionally, the support for varying methods of application across the preacher's body of work is explained.

REMEMBERING FAITH EXPERIENCES IN THE OSTFRISIAN COMMUNITY AND IMPLICATION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Author
Jay Allen Johnson D.Min.
Abstract
All spiritual growth is contingent upon remembering the past. Insight has value only
when shared with others. A series of mnemonic devices found in Scripture are keys to maintaining a successful spiritual walk. These methods, proven throughout church history, require diligent retention and dispersal of information in the context of relational support. Ethnographic research in rural Ostfrisian communities indicates that when routinely practiced, these methods form broad spiritual patterns that reflect a deepening commitment to faith issues. This project reveals indicators that assist eidetic recall of spiritual events. Within individual groups, spiritual maturity across the generations can be traced to the consistent practice of these mnemonic devices.

The Crucible of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy: Examining the Intersections of Social Justice, Moral Development and Theology

Author
Eydie Ann Dyke-Shypulski
Abstract
An apparent disconnect exists regarding how people of faith apply personal morals and theological perspectives when positioning themselves with regard to public policy and social justice issues. Through an exploratory quantitative design, the researcher sought to extract information that would have implications for professional social practice, social work ethical and practice pedagogy, and for faith-based institutions of higher learning. A theological reflection included a brief examination of Aristotle, St. Thomas, Newburg and non-violent atonement theology. The literature review included Kohlberg, Freud and Skinner's views on moral development. The researcher employed and exploratory quantitative study design with two survey instruments.

The mind of the maker: creativity and narrative as means for spiritual and theological exploration

Author
Jeffrey A Jamos
Abstract
Human beings employ narrative for meaning making, and to connect personal histories to the story of faith. This project examines three ways a congregation used narrative to explore personal faith. The author created story salons as a means to connect personal narratives with biblical and other narratives. Second the author describes a class he created to use creative writing as a spiritual discipline. Finally the author wrote a novel, Galleotto, which explores doubt as a means toward reintegrated faith. Its themes form a theological chapter focusing on eros as an aspect of faith, and Paul Ricoeur's concept of "second naïveté."

The role of emotion at the point of persuasion in preaching

Author
Mark C Roath
Abstract
Emotion's role at the point of persuasion is to provide presence, understanding, dissonance and movement. The point of persuasion is designated as those events that occur between considerations and belief. When a new premise is contradictory to previously held beliefs, there is a dissonance created. This dissonance creates the need for a decision. The activity of making a decision that is counter to currently held beliefs requires faith. This faith decision is the point of persuasion. The incredible dynamic which is added during the preaching event is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Dusting off the doctrine

Author
Catherine Faith MacLean
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to enliven the understanding of doctrine in preaching. It is intended for preachers in denominations with no strict dogmatic requirements. Written from within the United Church of Canada, it refers to our doctrine and polity. Engaging the homiletical theory of faith seeking understanding, it warns of the danger of default doctrine and establishes a discipline to ensure that homiletical preparation involves more than simple grace and engages hard questions. The pleasures of theology merit reflection not only for the pastoral and intellectual lives of our parishioners but also for the fullness of our practice.

Tolerance and lordship: faith experienced in a pluralistic community

Author
Paul H Moessner
Abstract
Christian theology tries to balance two biblical claims: God's will to save all; salvation only through Jesus Christ. Today Christians encounter different religions and spiritual practices. Death draws boundaries creating a great unknown. American Christianity has emphasized that eternal life comes only by believing in Jesus Christ. Interviews asked congregational members about this belief. Responses indicate a theology emphasizing universal grace. The specific role of Jesus becomes unclear. A theological framework and perspectives from sociology and developmental psychology help understand the experience of faith commitment in a pluralistic community.

Doers of the word: creating space to practice faith

Author
Kerri Peterson-Davis
Abstract
Faith is more than an intellectual exercise. This project will explore ways in which preaching can encourage listeners to actively respond to the Word proclaimed so that they might be "doers of the word, and not merely hearers." (James 1:22) Utilizing the work of Parker J. Palmer an understanding of what creates space is identified, examined and then translated for the preaching task. Data based upon thirty respondents is then used to identify specific ways preachers can engage congregants in the preaching event and encourage them in practicing their faith.
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