The fundamentalist reaction to contemporary theological discourse in South Africa expresses
the need for homiletics to give serious attention to the pre-understanding of our existential
situation in order to understand the Biblical text for preaching. Empirical research shows that
most preachers concentrate on exegesis in sermon preparation, but do not succeed in actualising
the message of the text in their own context. In homiletics, the question still remains whether the
own context of the reader of a Biblical text should be seen as an integral part of the hermeneuticalhomiletical
theory. This article argues that there is a creative tension between reader and Biblical
text in the hermeneutical process of sermon preparation, provided the two are treated equally.
Because either the text or the reader sometimes dominates the process of understanding, a choice
is made for an equal dialectical weight of reader and text in hermeneutical-homiletics, referring
to H-G. Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur as sources. This approach opens up the possibility of topical
preaching as a result of a creative tension between reader and text in sermon preparation.