HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 64, Issue 3, 2008
Volume 64, Issue 3, 2008
Author P.M. VenterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 575 –577 (2008)More Less
"As jou broer verkeerd opgetree het teen jou ..." : enkele aspekte van kerklike dissipline uit die Kerkorde van die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van AfrikaAuthor B.J. (Barry) Van WykSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1109 –1130 (2008)More Less
"If a brother sins against you ..." : certain aspects of church discipline from the Church Ordinance of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa
Church discipline has been a substantial part of Church Ordinances since the Geneva Church Ordinance of 1541, and was pursued and developed in the Netherlands and consequently also in South Africa. For obvious reasons church discipline forms part of the Church Ordinance of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa. An effort is made to partly rewrite the church discipline and also to alter and to make the existing appeal possibilities more accessible, particularly with regard to the verdicts of the Synodical Commission.
Author Johan BuitendagSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1131 –1154 (2008)More Less
"God with us" : faithfully reflected on Scripture
The theme of the article is a revisiting of the understanding of Holy Scripture from a dogmatic viewpoint. It is the author's conviction that the point of departure for such an exposition is revelation, which, of course, has to be deconstructed. The epistemological dilemma is that although revelation has ontological priority, it is only noetically accessible. Therefore, it is evident that Scripture has to be regarded as testimony, which puts it on the same level as tradition, except for the accord of the faith community. The application of the thesis is dedicated to the reception of revelation. Scripture then, is the accorded sediment of the reciprocity of the speaking God and a responding people. The conclusion is that the Bible does not have an intrinsic principle, but that referential meaning is given to it by the faith community. This ectopic center can only be ascribed to the work of the Spirit. This creates space for a scientific theology where an extra-systemic understanding of reality corresponds with an intra-systemic coherence.
Author Ernest Van EckSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1155 –1185 (2008)More Less
One text - multiple meanings : How do we read the Bible?
This article discusses three ways of reading the Bible that are evident in the current theological debate in South Africa: a fundamentalist, foundationalist and critical reading. A brief description and evaluation of the three reading strategies are given. It is indicated that a fundamentalist reading of the Bible essentially operates with a canon in the canon, and a foundationalist reading with a canon outside the canon. A critical reading, which roots can be traced back to the Reformation, is put forward as possibly a more responsible way of reading the Biblical text, especially since it takes cognizance of the historical and cultural distance between text and reader. It is argued that readers who take this "differentness" seriously, are enabled to read the Bible afresh and anew, especially in terms of some burning ethical questions of our day. Attention is also given to a critical reading of metaphorical language of the Bible.
Die Reformasie en Skrifinterpretasie : die nuwe wat die Reformasie gebring en ook moontlik gemaak hetAuthor J.P. (Kobus) LabuschagneSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1187 –1212 (2008)More Less
The Reformation and the interpretation of the Scriptures
The aim of this article is to emphasize new trends in the interpretation of the Scriptures that were brought about by the Reformation and that were consequently made possible for the future. Reformation thinking and modern and contemporary thinking are compared and analyzed in order to establish the consequences of the openness created by the Reformation, in response to Medieval objectified thinking in which the Church always had a final and an arrived definition and statement. What should therefore be avoided is the misconception that Reformation thinking represented an arrived and stagnated way of doing theology.
Author Andries Van AardeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1213 –1234 (2008)More Less
This article sets out to argue that institutional Christianity does not have the exclusive rights to "doing theology". Since Plato theology has assumed systematization of ideas on the transcendent divine. The practice of theology is to be found in both the professional academy and in the public square. Spirituality is not to be reserved for people longing for God within the context of today's mass consumerist populist culture. Spirituality and religion overlap and, therefore, today's postmodern spirituality need not result in the end of religion. However, institutional religion is indeed dying and "public theology" is not about theologians or pastors "doing theology" in the public square. Public theologicans are the film directors, artists, novelists, poets, and philosophers. The article argues that "public theology" could facilitate a dialogue between the theological discourse of academics and the public theological discourse. The article shows that "public theology" does to an extent overlap with ecclesial and contextual theology. In its core "public theology" is seen as the inarticulate longing of believers who do not want to belong.
Author Yolanda DreyerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1235 –1254 (2008)More Less
This article consists of six sections. It illustrates the ambiguity in pastoral care with gay people in institutional Christian communities and how this ambiguity exacerbates the unhealed wound of gay people. It discusses how the Christian message becomes ineffectual in its attempt to address the dilemma of injustice when Biblical evidence is used uncritically. The virtues of truth and righteousness in pastoral care are emphasised. The article argues that Paul Ricoeur's ethics of hermeneutical discourse could provide an epistemological framework for an appropriate response to the dilemma of ambiguity in ecclesial approaches to pastoral care with gay people. Listening for the unheard voices of marginalised people is an essential component of such a "discourse ethics" which is offered as a possible solution to the problem of inarticulacy. The article concludes by indicating some possibilities for a postmodern pastoral response to the unhealed wound of gay people, which at present is often exacerbated by the ambiguity and indecision of official church resolutions.
Author Eben SchefflerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1255 –1277 (2008)More Less
Eros as religion (or the religious celebration of sex)
This article unashamedly argues for the positive value of sexuality and its profound religious dimensions. A stance is taken that goes beyond moralizing and ethicizing. The relationship in the Bible between eros and religion is explored by referring to the sexual image of God in Genesis 1:26-27, the religious dimension of the book of Song of Songs and Jesus' stance in contrast with that of Paul. Through religion humans' sexual experience should be enhanced in stead of being suppressed. Society should be sexualized.
Author Markus CromhoutSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1279 –1297 (2008)More Less
This article focuses on an investigation into the ethnic identity of first-century Galileans. Its aim is to argue that the Galileans were not descendents of northern Israelites but were mostly descendents of "Jews" who came to live in the region during the Hasmonean expansion. The article demonstrates that this thesis is supported by Josephus and also by archaeological evidence. From the perspective of this thesis, the article contends that the term "Jew" does not apply to Galileans. First-century Galileans should rather be understood as "ethnic Judeans".
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1299 –1325 (2008)More Less
Ancestor worship is practiced in different forms around the world today, even in societies participating in the modern global economy. Ancestral beliefs are deeply dependent on the premise that the souls of the dead may return to the living and influence their lives; that it is possible and acceptable for the living to communicate with the dead and lastly that the living are able to exert an effect on the destiny of deceased ancestors. The following issues are most relevant to ancestor worship: 1) death and the afterlife, 2) possibility of communication between the living and the dead, and 3) the destiny of believers who die. The article looks at these issues from a Biblical perspective, offers Biblical guidelines in assessing ancestor worship and its cosmology and interprets ancestor worship theologically. The conclusion is that ancestor worship is incompatible with Christian faith.
Author Marius NelSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1327 –1345 (2008)More Less
Socio-economic context(s) within which apocalyptic texts flourished during the inter-testamentary period
Social contexts form the perspective or symbolic framework of interpretation in which texts are to be read and understood because these texts originated within these contexts. An important question in the research into Jewish apocalyptic texts which originated in the period from 200 BCE to 100 CE is: What were the socio-economic context or contexts within which these texts originated and functioned? Various answers have been given: Apocalyptic has been viewed as the result of the wisdom tradition, of a pessimistic view of history, as a continuation and discontinuation with prophecy, as a reinstitution of myth in Hebrew thinking, as a result of orientation to a symbolic universe oriented to a supernatural world, and as a sociological matrix of alienation. Today many researchers agree that the origins of apocalyptic can only be described in terms of each apocalypse itself, in the light of Jewish experience during the Seleucid and Hasmonean periods.
Author Jean-Claude Loba-MkoleSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1347 –1364 (2008)More Less
This article traces the rise and development of intercultural Biblical exegesis in Africa, especially with regard to New Testament interpretations. Different trends of Biblical exegesis practiced in Africa are explored, whereafter the different phases of intercultural exegesis are discussed. The focus falls on inculturation hermeneutic as an important method of interpreting the Bible in an African context. The different proponents of this method are discussed and differences in approach are noted and appraised as a healthy tension.
Author Alphonso GroenewaldSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1365 –1378 (2008)More Less
The author of Hebrews heavily depends on the Pentateuch and the Psalms. The Pentateuch, for the most part, offers him material for reflection on redemptive history, and the Psalms provide his Christological material. The great debt the book of Hebrews owes to the Old Testament, however, is not simply a matter of general background and copious quotation, but also extends to fundamental Old Testament ways of thinking which are constantly presupposed and which underlie all passages in the book. The concept of hesed ("faithfulness, kindness, grace, steadfast love, solidarity'' etc) is one of those. According to the Hebrew Scriptures, God revealed God self to God's people at Sinai. This article will deal specifically with the reference to the Sinai revelation as it appears in three Psalms. This discussion will be followed by a short overview of this specific text in the Pentateuch. This article will be concludes by briefly indicating a possible influence these Old Testament texts on the book of Hebrews.
Author Gerda De VilliersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1379 –1393 (2008)More Less
The dodekapropheton : twelve minor prophets or a larger unit?
The Book of the Twelve or the twelve minor prophets received scholarly attention through the ages. Historical criticism pointed out that these prophets lived in different times, in different historical situations and articulated the "word of the Lord" for different circumstances. However, recent scholarship tends to read the corpus of the minor prophets as a structured whole. Such a reading raises a number of problems: the Twelve do not follow one another chronologically and the order of the Masoretic Text does not agree with that of the Septuagint, whilst Qumran follows yet another order. This article probes - albeit cursory - some of these questions from different perspectives. Eventually it appears that a continuous process of "Fortschreibug" shaped and reshaped prophetic messages to keep them alive for following generations. A unity is created by maintaining the tensions and differences amongst the Twelve, thereby reflecting the creative articulation and rearticulation of prophecy in the different times of the history of Judah and Israel.
Author Estelle DannhauserSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1395 –1412 (2008)More Less
N T Wright's extensive research on the subject of the historical Jesus has led him to the conclusion that the office of eschatological prophet passionately bent on delivering an urgent eschatological message is best suited to describe the portrait of Jesus as it emanates from the sources at hand. Wright furthermore abstracts from the sources the program of this prophet which involves extending a message of welcome and warning. Many a scholar would agree with these conclusions. When revealing how he arrived at the conclusions he refers to the "notorious" complexity of the problem of the literary relationship between the gospels. Can any scholar disagree? What does, however, seem to invite contention, are his statements that the gospels tell us far more about Jesus than scholarship has ever done, and that the two-source hypothesis which has been misleading scholars over the past two hundred years is not of any great importance in the study of Jesus. Wright believes that we are not in a position to answer the synoptic question and then bases a reconstruction of Jesus on this answer. What, then, are his sources and how does he apply them to arrive at these conclusions? This article presents the portrait Wright painted of the historical Jesus and investigates how it was arrived at.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1413 –1423 (2008)More Less
Preaching according to the metaphor of fiction writing
In this article the writers propose an alternative to modernistic linear and propositional ways of preaching. They argue that the context asks for preaching that is more in line with the dominant metaphors of the post-modern culture in which the listeners live their everyday lives. The preacher should be seen less as the bearer of final truths (the one who carries the light or acts as witness to the truth), and more as someone who participates in the reflection of ideas. They propose a narrative paradigm for preaching that moves beyond the use of stories as illustrations, to one where the preacher, in the narrative style, becomes the co-author of new life stories in the preaching event. The ABDCE model for fiction writing, proposed by Anne Lamott, is then used as a model for the structuring of the sermon. Structured along these lines, the sermon moves from a specific Action and its cultural and historical Background, through a Development, where something new starts to unfold before the listeners, to a Climax of new insight and an Ending that invites the listeners to take part in the telling and retelling of their own stories in the light of the Great Story of God and his people.
Hoordersgesindheid as moontlike kommunikasiesteurnis in die prediking : homileties-empiriese gesigspunteSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1425 –1445 (2008)More Less
Hearers' attitude as possible communication barrier in transferring the message of a sermon : homiletical-empirical points of view
The role of hearers in a worship service, especially as far as their experience and reception of the message of a sermon are concerned, has received ample attention in homiletical research. In research on this topic mainly basis-theoretical, meta-theoretical and practice-theoretical aspects have been taken into account. The focus of this article, however, is a homiletical-empirical investigation of the above-mentioned topic. After conceptualizing aspects central to this article, the responses of twenty two interviewees are treated. These people are from different denominations and had been individually interviewed by utilizing a qualitative / quantitive research method. Data thus obtained were analyzed by way of categorization (establishing the aim of the research) and thematization (establishing subsidiary aims). Issues dealt with under different themes include the following: general experience of a worship service by an interviewee, competence to listen to and understand a sermon, physical noise in the church as a possible communication barrier, the socio-economic situation of the hearer, the nature of preaching in a certain congregation, the emotional situation of the hearer and his or her involvement in church activities. Throughout the analysis of the obtained data, certain deductions and conclusions that may be useful to preachers and hearers have been formulated.
Die dimensies "eenheid" en "katolisiteit" in die ekklesiologie van die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk sedert Ottawa 1982Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1447 –1473 (2008)More Less
The dimensions "unity" and "catholicity" in the ecclesiology of the Netherdutch Reformed Church since Ottawa 1982
This article examines the current ecclesiology of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NHKA) with reference to the extent to which the church understands unity and catholicity as biblical indicatives and imperatives. The article argues that the church's understanding of unity and catholicity is prejudiced and influenced by the prominence the church awards to the tenet of an ethnic "peoples church" ("volkskerk"). This has lead to the NHKA's ecumenical isolation. It is hence argued that the abolition of the church's "ethnic church theology" will result in the abolition of its ecumenical isolation and will enable the NHKA to confess anew with the "church of all ages", the "one, holy, apostolic and catholic Church".
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1475 –1497 (2008)More Less
This article argues that nagid indicates divinely sanctioned leader of Israel in 1 Samuel 9:1-10:16 and 11:1-11. The use of nagid is intricately interplayed with that of melek in the context of 1 Samuel 8-12. In the Saul tradition (1 Sm 9:1-10:16; 11:1-11) nagid signifies the leadership of Saul as a divinely sanctioned kingship, unlike in the context of the Deuteronomistic History (DH). The royal ideology of the ancient Near East (ANE) provides an ideological background of the kingship of Saul.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1499 –1525 (2008)More Less
Hell is being written out of theology and banned from serious conversation; for most scholars and modern-minded people it has more or less become a theoretical issue. Yet it remains alive and burning in the Western mind - there has been a surge in the amount of popular literature written on the subject from the 1990's onwards. Why the sudden interest? Is there a pattern or social trend that could begin to explain the phenomenon? Part of the responsible way of dealing with the history of a concept such as hell is to point towards the social and political reasons for the emergence and need for certain concepts in particular contexts and circumstances, as they are all utilitarian concepts which are employed and abandoned as needs change and sentiments shift. This article will investigate the rise of the concept of hell by investigating the ancient sources in which it first appeared, in order to establish what factors made the concept popular then and now. In doing so, a continuum will be identified between the first origin of these ideas and their present popularity.