Welcher Art sollen die Predigten sein? Aus meinem Interesse an der Bewegung des Dutch Calvinism las ich die beiden Artikel von Cornelis Pronk “Preaching In The Dutch Calvinist Tradition” (hier und hier). Um was ging es?
In the nineteen thirties the Dutch Reformed community went through a prolonged controversy between those advocating “exemplary” or moralistic preaching and those insisting on a strictly “redemptive-historical” approach.
… Defenders of the “exemplary” method were quick to point out that their opponents with their “redemptive-historical” approach reduced sermons to dry lectures on Bible history with no relevant application for the hearers. While the advocates of the “redemptive-historical” method have raised some very legitimate questions regarding the proper exegesis of Scripture, they went much too far in their rejection of the “exemplary” approach.
Auch wenn die theologischen Hintergründe uns nicht so nahe und geläufig sind: Stecken wir nicht in derselben Herausforderung? Eine sorgfältige heilsgeschichtliche Auslegung des Bibeltextes (ohne trocken und intellektualistisch zu werden) sollte verknüpft sein mit präzisen, aus dem Bibeltext hergeleiteten Anwendungen (ohne in Lieblingsthemen und Verallgemeinerungen zu fallen). Pronk nennt es das “objektiv-subjektive” Predigen:
Characteristic of Dutch Puritan preaching is that it was objective-subjective. Calvinists of the Old School believed, and still believe that true, biblical preaching ought to be explication and application of God’s Word. By application they do not just mean relevant preaching, in the sense that the preacher should apply his text to everyday life. That, to be sure, has to be done also. But by application they mean rather the subjective appropriation on the part of the hearers of that which is preached. Against the objection of the Neo-Calvinists that such application is the work of the Holy Spirit and should therefore he left to Him, Old Calvinists insist that while it is indeed the Spirit Who applies the Word, preachers must so divide the Word as to give the Spirit something to apply.