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Critique of the New Homiletic

Examining the link between the New Homiletic and the New Hermeneutic

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The new homiletic is new in that it turns away from traditional preaching and the kerygmatic preaching of Karl Barth. The first concentrated on the transmission of an idea, while the second focused on mediation.1

The new homiletic has its roots in the hermeneutical work of Gerhard Ebeling and Ernst Fuchs. For them, the alleged separation between the theology of the pulpit and the people in the pews was a threat to preaching. Both writers insisted on practical relevance in today's world.2 How does language, particularly the language of the Bible, hit home to the modern listener? How may its words reach through the preacher's own understanding so that when they are repeated they will be the listener's words? How may the Word of God become a living word which is heard anew?3

The emphasis on practical application as opposed to a biblical proposition has connection with the work of Rudolf Bultmann, who asserted that the risen Christ comes to listeners in the words of preaching and calls men and ...

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