Preaching the Truth and the Truth of Preaching: Jewish Lessons for Christian Preaching


  • Ockert Meyer United Theological College, Sydney



Rosenzweig, preaching, truth, reality, revelation


In colloquial language, people often refer to the truth as ‘plain and simple’. There is little doubt that in a so-called post-truth world truth has become rather obscured and complicated. Truth has not only become disconnected from reality, but its meaning has also become adrift from its theological and biblical mooring. It is in and from this context that the three questions of this conference are raised: questions about the preaching of the truth, the role of the truth-preacher and the truth of preaching itself. There are few other (Jewish or other) philosophers that have thought so deeply and profoundly about the relation of truth and reality than Franz Rosenzweig in his opus magnum, Der Stern der Erlösung. Together with some of his contemporaries (Martin Buber, among others), they direct us to an understanding of truth and reality that is deeply rooted in the Torah. They show us that the real disconnect is between truth as an idea and truth as an experience or encounter; that truth is not abstract and general, but concrete and particular. Therefore, Rosenzweig begins his quest for truth with reality, taking us on a journey through life and it is here, in reality, where truth is finally, not so much discovered, but revealed. Finally, Rosenzweig teaches us that preaching does not supply an apology for the truth, but guides both preacher and congregation in their encounter with one another, with God in and through reality, to ‘verify’ the truth of the Gospel: in the contingencies of life.

Author Biography

Ockert Meyer, United Theological College, Sydney

Rev. Dr. Ockert Meyer teaches Homiletics and Liturgy at the United Theological College, Charles Sturt University, in North Parramatta, Sydney, Australia.