Original Research

Homiletical perspectives on preaching the truth to post-pandemic postmodernist listeners with reference to the emotional appeal of the text

Ferdi P. Kruger, Ben J. de Klerk
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 1 | a2737 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i1.2737 | © 2021 Ferdi P. Kruger, Ben J. de Klerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2021 | Published: 23 June 2021

About the author(s)

Ferdi P. Kruger, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Ben J. de Klerk, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

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When it comes to debating the background of this article, the matter of preaching to people in a post-pandemic postmodernist world is standing central. One should always acknowledge that listeners do not listen with their ears only. In their quest of listening to sermons, people are looking for meaningfulness. In the act of listening, listeners’ senses are optimally utilised because, in the active listening process, they start to listen along with seeing and feeling, as they are being introduced to the feelings or emotions that emanate from a particular message. It is the authors’ objective to pay attention to listeners that are seeking to embrace the truth. Therefore, the sacramental essence of transform people’s lives, and for them to look in the right direction for answers in their search, and that cannot be underestimated. This article delineates the idea that preaching the gospel amounts to more than a mere stirring up of emotions. In fact, in a post-pandemic postmodernist world where listeners yearn for answers amid afflictions, profound preaching requires a renewed interest in the feelings emanating from the text itself. Our research question phrases the matter as follows: Does preaching to post-pandemic postmodernist people centre on an emotional tone of speaking, or does it, instead, centre on the feelings evoked by the text itself? This question is addressed by adhering to Dingemans’ visualisation of a research project that reckons with descriptive, normative and strategic perspectives. We, as the authors, aim to indicate the result of this investigation in the following manner: Although emotional manipulation may be a pitfall, one cannot ignore that persuasive preaching is intentional and aims to move listeners to find delight in the emotional appeal made by the passage in the gospel. Viewed from a Reformational viewpoint, this research could better illuminate the challenges preachers face in communicating to listeners in a postmodern post-pandemic world.

Contribution: This article contributes by offering homiletical perspectives to two waves that have an interplay, namely postmodernism and reality within a post-pandemic world. Preaching the gospel that deals with the feelings in the text could provide an impetus to this kind of praxis.


preaching; postmodernity; remembrance; feelings; emotions; text.


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