Speaking truth to power

Challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for preachers


  • Ian Nell Universiteit van Stellenbosch




Fourth Industrial Revolution, Preaching competencies, Faith communities, Prophetic bridge building, Communication


Scholars believe that we are amid one of the greatest cultural revolutions since the mass production of books by Johannes Gutenberg around 1450. The art of book printing, which originated in Central Europe, turned the world on its head within 10 years. The mass production of books resulted in most people in Europe learning to read in less than one generation, which has led to major changes in all areas of social life and has affected the lives of millions of people for over a hundred years. According to these same scholars, we currently find ourselves in a similar position through what is known as the AI (artificial intelligence). In this article, the researcher wants to come to a better understanding of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and AI as part of it and the way they challenge preachers. The central research question is: In our pursuit to speak the truth of Jesus Christ to the powerful economic elite, what are the challenges and opportunities that the 4IR is posing to preachers?

Author Biography

Ian Nell, Universiteit van Stellenbosch

Practical theology and missiology