Participation Type

Paper

About the Presenter

Seidel Abel BoanergesFollow

Presentation #1 Title

Holistic Apologetic Preaching for the 21st Century Indian Context

Presentation #1 Abstract

The paper argues that a holistic approach to apologetic preaching is more effective, creative, and relevant in equipping Indian Christians to defend, share and practise their Christian faith in the 21st Century Indian context of religious pluralism.

Indian Christians practise their Christian faith in the context of multi-faiths and religious pluralism. Today, apologetics is dominated by the modernistic overemphasis on the rational, intellectual and verbal forms of defence of the Christian faith. This understanding of apologetics is seen in the practice of preaching commonly known as ‘apologetic preaching’. Apologetic sermons often tend to focus on topics such as ‘Is Jesus the only way to God?’, ‘How does a loving God send people to hell?’, ‘Is the Bible historically reliable?’, ‘Do all religions lead to God?’ etc. This approach often caused more harm and hostility towards Christians. Moreover, the sermons are delivered in a topical, three-point sermon structure in a lecture-style discourse. This modernistic understanding of apologetics and apologetic preaching must change if we are to be relevant and meaningful.

This paper develops a ‘Holistic Apologetic Preaching Framework’ (HAPF), which employs a holistic understanding of apologetics which encourages other forms, such as drama, music, literature, compassion, healing, justice, solidarity and spiritual gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy etc. alongside the traditional forms of apologetics. This framework helps the preacher to faithfully exegete the biblical text and the culture and contexts of the local congregation and encourage the practice of holistic apologetics in the Indian context of multi-faiths and religious pluralism.

At-A-Glance Bios- Presenter #1

Seidel Abel Boanerges was born and raised in India. He is currently pursuing a professional doctorate (DMin) in homiletics and apologetics from the University of Chester via Spurgeon’s College.

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Holistic Apologetic Preaching for the 21st Century Indian Context

The paper argues that a holistic approach to apologetic preaching is more effective, creative, and relevant in equipping Indian Christians to defend, share and practise their Christian faith in the 21st Century Indian context of religious pluralism.

Indian Christians practise their Christian faith in the context of multi-faiths and religious pluralism. Today, apologetics is dominated by the modernistic overemphasis on the rational, intellectual and verbal forms of defence of the Christian faith. This understanding of apologetics is seen in the practice of preaching commonly known as ‘apologetic preaching’. Apologetic sermons often tend to focus on topics such as ‘Is Jesus the only way to God?’, ‘How does a loving God send people to hell?’, ‘Is the Bible historically reliable?’, ‘Do all religions lead to God?’ etc. This approach often caused more harm and hostility towards Christians. Moreover, the sermons are delivered in a topical, three-point sermon structure in a lecture-style discourse. This modernistic understanding of apologetics and apologetic preaching must change if we are to be relevant and meaningful.

This paper develops a ‘Holistic Apologetic Preaching Framework’ (HAPF), which employs a holistic understanding of apologetics which encourages other forms, such as drama, music, literature, compassion, healing, justice, solidarity and spiritual gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy etc. alongside the traditional forms of apologetics. This framework helps the preacher to faithfully exegete the biblical text and the culture and contexts of the local congregation and encourage the practice of holistic apologetics in the Indian context of multi-faiths and religious pluralism.