Although there are a lot of popular books available on the subject of hope I still believe that there is a need for another study on the phenomenon of hope. Especially where proper exegesis and a multidiscipline approach are taken into account. In this study I’ve researched the effect of a society in transition on hope. I suspect that the changes since 1994 have a significant influence on the attitude, thought and behaviour of the Afrikaner especially. To come to such a conclusion the study take theories of change in Sociology into account. Some information were gathered from papers. The reason for that is the influence papers have on the spirit of society, and in this case its influence on people’s hope. Unfortunately one of the conclusions is that a lack of hope can very well be one of the consequences of the changes in society since 1994. The contemporary study is followed by a study on hope in Paul’s letter to the Romans. The background of the author, the congregation and the theology of the letter were taken in consideration. In most of the cases I’ve used the verses in the letter where the word hope was used. Surprisingly there is quite a comparison between the letter of Romans and society today as far as the reasons that causes hopelessness. Therefore Romans can be of great value to give hope in a disorientated society. Until now we know that there is a lack of hope in society, and that Romans give us reason to hope, but what is the person looking like that we want to communicate with? The study on post modernity show us how this “new” paradigm looks like. Post modernity is very different to modernism. The latest paradigm is universal and no one and nothing can escape it. Social sciences, the arts, economy, science itself and the theology were largely influenced by post modernity. With its larger emphasis on spirituality it creates wonderful opportunities for preaching. On the other side though, one should also keep its threats in mind, especially the proneness to relativism and New Age. In the last chapter I use all the information and conclusions of the previous chapters to get to a homiletic strategy for a postmodern context. The most important part of this chapter is to conclude that confession is a suitable hermeneutical and homiletical tool for preaching in post modernity. There is no need to prove confession, it is about something that is believed. The Bible therefore is still as relevant as ever. Communication strategies are included to guide the preacher in the most effective way when preaching in a postmodern context. The chapter ends with certain specific homiletic contents from the Roman letter that can be used today. We can know for certain that hopelessness is part of our society today. However we’ve got the promise of Romans 15:13 that God stays our God of hope. Our tasks are to posision us homiletically, hermeneutically and strategically in such a way that we give our faith the best possible chance.
Dissertation (MTh (Practical Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2008.