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Publication Date

6-2018

Abstract

This paper is aimed to assist people who have been influenced by New Age ideologies to become acquainted with the essential message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the primary theological medium of preaching. This thesis was implemented and tested at the Goleta Presbyterian Church in Goleta, California.

This study uses the homiletical models of Karl Barth to explore a significant inroad for individuals who have been influenced by Buddhism. One of Buddhism’s primary paradigms is that all people who seek transcendence do so from the starting point of “no-self” (Anatman). Christianity teaches that the first step of salvation begins with confession. A parallel between the two concepts is examined. To test this hypothesis the Goleta Presbyterian congregation was offered a four-month preaching regimen. A baseline Christological survey was conducted which demonstrated the otherwise unconventional belief systems found in the church. Follow-up interviews and empirical evidence was collected and analyzed for signs of personal transformation.

This study concludes that people who have been influenced by New Age Ideologies can experience significant spiritual transformation through the primary theological medium of preaching. Because of this study, members of Goleta Presbyterian Church showed a slightly higher appreciation of the essentials of the Christian gospel. While it is impossible to determine whether there was a definitive causal connection between preaching and these measurable outcomes, it does point to a strong correlative connection. Because around thirty-seven percent of the congregation did not take part in the survey, it cannot conclusively be said that preaching alone was singularly transformative in this church system. These results should only be viewed as a preliminary finding. The project is deeply appreciative of the contributions of the Goleta Presbyterian Church toward further understanding of this important subject matter.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

First Advisor

Pasquarello III, Michael

Document Type

Project

Language

English

Keywords

Preaching, New Age, Karl Barth

Disciplines

Christianity

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Embargo Period

12-7-2018

Included in

Christianity Commons

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