HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 69, Issue 1, 2013
Volume 69, Issue 1, 2013
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –13 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1934More Less
To what extent do the resources of African Traditional Religion (ATR) contribute towards Christian theological discourse and benefit the African church? ATR is accommodated in the African Initiated Churches (AICs). The members of these churches aim to be Christian without losing their African identity. ATR is a religion that was practised throughout Africa before the arrival of the Western missionaries. The core premise of ATR is the maintenance of African culture and its main feature is loyalty to the ancestors and the accompanying rituals that express this loyalty. This study addresses the appropriateness of ATR's resources in terms of their contribution to the doctrine of the Trinity. When the early church worshipped God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) in the presence of the Holy Spirit, a tension developed. The questions of monotheism versus polytheism and the nature and position of Jesus within the Trinity were put forward and addressed. The doctrine of the Trinity is uniquely Christian and includes the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who alone mediates between God and men. There is, on the other hand, an understanding that Africans worship one Supreme Being and venerate ancestors as intermediaries to the one Supreme Being, without clear roles being ascribed to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. This article enquires whether the process of Africanisation and contextualisation consciously or unconsciously downgraded Jesus Christ as Mediator who came to reveal who God is and to reconcile humankind to him.
Exodus of clergy : a practical theological grounded theory exploration of Hatfield Training Centre trained pastorsAuthor Shaun JoyntSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1940More Less
There is a shortage of clergy, at least in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestant churches in general are experiencing more of a distribution or placement challenge than a shortage. The two greatest hindrances to addressing the Protestant clergy distribution challenge are a lack of adequate compensation for clergy and the undesirable geographical location of a number of churches, as perceived by clergy. Influences such as secularisation, duality of vocation, time management, change in type of ministry, family issues, congregational and denominational conflict, burnout, sexual misconduct, divorce or marital problems, and suicide, affect clergy. Studies on the shortage of clergy have been conducted mostly in the USA and Europe and not in South Africa. This article focuses on the research gap by means of a practical theological grounded theory exploration of the exodus of clergy. Grounded theory methodology is used to identify the reasons why clergy trained at a Bible college of a Protestant charismatic mega church leave full-time pastoral ministry. Findings correspond to previous studies with two reasons appearing more frequently than others: responding to a call and leadership related issues. Firstly, respondents differed in their replies with respect to reconciling their exit from full-time pastoral ministry with their call. The replies included not being called, a dual call, or called but left anyway. Secondly, respondents indicated that leadership influence was mostly negative with regard to affirming their call.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2000More Less
In the Reformed tradition sola Scriptura remains a central tenet in the search for truth. Scripture bears witness to the variety of ways in which God has acted in history. It attests to God's presence in the world and how God transcends the boundaries of human creations. The article focuses on how the Bible is interpreted differently by Christians from various traditions and even amongst Christians of the same tradition. Different hermeneutical approaches, confessional traditions and cultural contexts lead to different conclusions. Especially with regard to controversial ethical issues, different approaches to biblical reasoning lead to greatly differing results. The article reflects on whether sola Scriptura could provide a key to addressing both diversity and ethics more adequately.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –13 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1939More Less
The article focuses on abusive practices in the faith community. It indicates that abusive behaviour is more often than not unintentional and is ostensibly driven by a zeal for God and the church. The article explores this anomaly by examining the phenomenon of abuse in the faith community from a social constructionist, psychological, sociological and theological perspective. Pastoral ministry is challenged to foster self-reflexivity and awareness, as well as to revisit current (outdated) beliefs and practices, to test their suitability for the postmodern context in which the church is to tell and live her story.
Lense op spiritualiteit en kerkwees : die pad vorentoe vir die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA) : original researchAuthor Jacobus C. Van der MerweSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –16 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1988More Less
Lenses on spirituality and being church; the road ahead for the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA).
At this point of time the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) is facing the seemingly unsolvable dilemma of not being able to handle diversity in a positive manner. By applying three lenses to the current impasse with regards to the church's struggle with diversity, this article aims at providing an answer to the question of how to proceed. The first lens addresses the challenge to maintain spiritual health and harmony in the midst of differences and tension in the church. The theory behind systems sensitive leadership as lens serves as the guideline to achieve the necessary spiritual health that the church needs in such challenging times. The second lens explores the inner Christian spiritual path in a both developmental and comprehensive way. Drawing on the work of Paul Smith this lens sets forth the developmental framework by which Christians grow inwardly in their understanding of Jesus and his teachings. The third lens is a view on a practice whereby the validity of intellectual positions, statements, or ideologies could be appraised as an innate quality in any subject. This lens opens a unique perspective which provides not only a new understanding of humanity's journey in the universe, but also serves as a guide to were we and the whole cosmos are on our personal journeys to become who we could be. The vision that is provided by these three lenses has the capacity not only to serve as guidelines, but also to provide the tools to handle the challenges the church has to face on the road ahead.
Contrasting differences in identity and agency between narrative and autopoietic systems : original researchAuthor Nico BuitendagSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1966More Less
The article aims at contrasting the autopoietic understanding of an individual and her or his actions as described by Niklas Luhmann with Paul Ricoeur's notion of narrative identity, focusing on people as legal subjects. The article assumes that when legal subjects necessitate ethical engagement and evaluation, the law could cease to deal with problems in a mere legalistic fashion but is allowed the freedom to appeal to norms of justice external to itself as in other natural law theories. Through narrative identity the deeds of role players are to be understood in greater complexity than what a self-referential legal system is comfortable in dealing with.
Author J. Henk PotgieterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1963More Less
In this article, a stichometric and poetic analysis of Psalm 52 is offered which forms the basis for a description of the character of the rich but crooked antagonist and the pious protagonist in the psalm. The profile of the pious in the psalm emerges largely as the inverse of the inclination and actions of the arrogant, rich antagonist who is addressed in the greater part of the psalm. The psalm is also read and interpreted against the background of the book of Psalms as a whole to argue that Psalm 52 is actually describing the opposition between the righteous and the wicked as it is typically found in Wisdom psalms.
Author Philippus J. BothaSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1962More Less
The article revisits the thesis of Walter Beyerlin from 1980 that Psalm 52 is a paraenetic-didactic Wisdom poem from the late Persian period. Beyerlin reached his conclusion from a comparison of Psalm 52 with post-exilic Wisdom psalms such as Psalms 37, 49, and 73. The direct literary influence that Psalm 52 received from the book of Proverbs and the motifs it shares with Jeremiah 9 are investigated here, since the author contends that the Wisdom influence on the Psalm was even greater than Beyerlin had envisaged. The article comes to the conclusion that the author(s) of the Psalm attempted to compose a psalm by establishing a network of allusions to a corpus of authoritative texts, inter alia, the Wisdom psalms. The end product is a brilliant composition which interprets the teaching of Proverbs for the needs of a group of Jewish believers who probably lived at the end of the Persian period.
The realities people live by : a critical reflection on the value of Wolfgang Iser's concept of repertoire for reading the story of Susanna in the Septuagint : original researchAuthor S. Philip NolteSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1320More Less
The article investigates the value of Wolfgang Iser's concept of repertoire for reading the apocryphal story of Susanna. The viewpoint is that fictional literature such as the Susanna narrative and reality are not opposites of each other, but that fictional texts tell us something about reality. The investigation will also include Peter L. Berger's theory on how religion contributes to construct social reality. The study will show that religious texts construct the reality(ies) in which people interact and try to make sense of everyday existence. Two stories contemporary to the writer of the article are employed to show that in a certain sense male perceptions about women have not changed much over two millennia. The critical engagement with the narrative will also ask how Susanna's story can be interpreted in a responsible and ethical way that is conducive for the constructive development and transformation of individuals and communities.
Die Hervormde Kerk : soekend na 'n weg tussen ekklesiologiese verstarring en innovasie sonder tradisie : original researchAuthor Ignatius W.C. Van WykSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –11 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1999More Less
The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa : searching for a road between ecclesiological petrifaction and innovation without tradition
This article is a critical contribution to the discourse in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa on ecclesiology. In preparation for the next synod meeting in September 2013, the church is confronted by many discussion papers. This article is a plea to return to the basic ecclesiological perspectives of the Early Church and the Reformation. Where this is not done, unbiblical ideas creep into the church. Concentration falls on eschatological character, catholicity, the offices and the calling of the church. Continued attention is given to the notion 'people's church'.
Author Gabriel M.J. (Gafie) Van WykSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1974More Less
Faith in the resurrection of Jesus : Barth and Bultmann
This article aims to contribute to the understanding of the views of Barth and Bultmann on the interpretation of Jesus' resurrection. It deliberately steers away from the abundance of secondary material available on the subject and focuses on the relevant primary sources with the result that the differences between the two authors come sharp into focus. The fundamental difference between Barth and Bultmann is not that Barth believes that Jesus has truly risen from the grave, but that Bultmann does not believe it. The hermeneutical question about the presence of Jesus Christ, the risen Lord and his work of salvation is the central issue of Christology for both theologians, but this is also the point on which they differ radically from each other. The Auseinandersetzung between Barth and Bultmann indicates how ongoing and intensive theological discourse can benefit the proclamation of the gospel and the church.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1341More Less
C.H. Dodd's framework for understanding the Gospel according to John : an evaluation
During the previous century Dodd was one of the most significant and influential interpreters of the Gospel of John. His views on the symbolic nature of the Gospel formed the basis of his hermeneutical program for understanding the Gospel. He understood the Johannine symbols in the light of what he regarded as the relevant background material. Theologically he interprets the symbols within a Platonic-like structure, arguing that the symbols in John function as hermeneutical bridges between the background material and the theological formation of the Gospel of John. In subsequent literary studies this approach was and still is questioned.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –14 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2007More Less
This article attends to the relationship between our ethnic, social and cultural identities, and the creation of the new communal identity embodied in the Christian community. Drawing upon six New Testament texts - Ephesians 2:11-22; Galatians 3:27-28, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 and 10:17, 1 Peter 2:9-11 and Revelation 21:24-26 - it is argued that the creation of a new and prime identity in Christ does not abrogate other creaturely identities, even as it calls for the removal of such as boundary markers. Catholicity, in other words, is intrinsically related to the most radical particularity, and demands an ongoing work of discernment and of judgement vis-à-vis the gospel itself. Those baptised into Christ are now to live in the reality of Christ who is both the boundary and centre of their existence, a boundary which includes all humanity in its cultural, ethnic, gendered, social and historical particularities.
Sensed fittingness between act and consequence : the last acts of Esther in the book of Esther and Grace in the film Dogville : original researchAuthor Gerrie SnymanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1972More Less
The book of Esther employs a wisdom theme to develop the plot and its denouement. The particular illustration of wisdom is that of role reversal. Haman, the second in command, gets kicked out and the leaders of those he sought to lock out filled his position. However, the role reversal becomes more than a mere change in status. As Grace needed to step into her gangster father's shoes in the film Dogville in order to achieve justice, so Esther had to step into Persian shoes to achieve justice. The execution of justice is an untidy and messy affair. The question this article puts on the table is whether Esther acts with justice in her quest for retribution. In answering this question, the article firstly inquires into the narrative rationality of the story and the denouement of the plot. Related to the book of Esther's narrative rationality, the article examines the question of wisdom from a narrator's and character's perspective. Lastly, it will then put the issue of justice on the table with the help of the film Dogville in order to see whether there is a link between wisdom and justice.
From the religious a priori to intending the absolute : reflections on the methodological principles in Otto and Tillich against the backdrop of their historical problematic : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1980More Less
This contribution examines Rudolf Otto's and Paul Tillich's theories of religion against the background of the debates around 1900. Beginning with Wilhelm Windelband's motifs and Ernst Troeltsch's philosophies of religion, it is shown that Otto and Tillich alike elaborate on a performance-bound conception of religion from transcendental-philosophical and phenomenological motifs. Tillich, following Edmund Husserl, ultimately resolves the idea of a religious a priori as a concept of religion elaborated in terms of the theory of intentionality.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2009More Less
It is argued that the function of Zechariah 7-8 in the book of Zechariah is central to the issue of the structure of Zechariah. It is proposed that a text-linguistic approach offers a new reading of Zechariah 7-8. It is further proposed that the larger segment of Zechariah 7:1-8:23 is a bridge (a transition from the preceding discourse to the subsequent discourse) that is connected to the prologue in Zechariah 1:1-6 and is developed and expanded in the subsequent discourses. This reading indicates the structure and the overall theme of Zechariah by viewing the book as a sequential discourse. This argument will be defended by studying the structure and the overall theme of Zechariah and emphasising the holistic aspect of the book of Zechariah.
Where sexuality and spirituality meet : an assessment of Christian teaching on sexuality and marriage in relation to the reality of 21st century moral norms : original researchAuthor Marilize E. TukkerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1343More Less
Christians and the church tend to shy away from talking about sex, premarital sex and sex outside of marriage. God and sex are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, and yet people still have a deep need for spirituality, to experience God in their lives and to seek guidance on sexual matters. It becomes a dilemma when the question is posed: where do sexuality and spirituality meet? One way to answer this question is to attempt to find a link between spirituality and sexuality. In this way, spirituality could gain relevance, and expressing one's sexuality could find a moral foundation. People are both spiritual and sexual creatures - with the need to express their spirituality and sexuality in a moral, but unashamedly natural way. This article attempts to find alternative solutions for our complex society - on the subject of marriage and sexuality. The intention is not to dismiss the institution of marriage, but rather to renegotiate the terms and structure of marriage in the 21st century.
Transformasie, partisipasie en pluraliteit - die Kappadosiese erfenis vir die Sistematiese Teologie in die derde millennium : original researchAuthor Tanya Van WykSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2040More Less
Transformation, participation and plurality : the Cappadocian heritage for Systematic Theology in the third millennium
The aim of this article is to demonstrate how Systematic Theology in the third millennium utilises facets from the legacy of the Cappadocian fathers. The focal point is the influence on present-day Trinitarian theology. Aspects which are discussed include matters of metaphysics, philosophy, morality and spirituality. The influence of the legacy of the Cappadocian fathers concerns the challenge which diversity and plurality create in systematic theology. This legacy is explored by means of the 'lived experiences' of the life stories of the Cappadocians. These narratives illustrate a shift from the 'impersonal' to the 'personal', from 'disengaged abstraction' to 'relational participation'. The latter is referred to as 'a pastoral doctrine of the Trinity' by Paul S. Fiddes. The emphasis on 'economical ontology' confirms the Cappadocians' relevance for a present-day ethical discourse and the 'aesthetics of a feeling for the Other'.
An epigrammatic analysis on open theism and its impact on classical Christianity : original researchAuthor Mark PretoriusSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –6 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2041More Less
Open theism is a theological position taken by a number of scholars and deals with human free will and its relationship to God, including the nature of the future. This brief article explores this relationship and challenges the tenets of open theism by arguing that it is a flawed system. The major thrust of the article asks two questions: Firstly, are the views of open theism consistent with God's divine attributes, namely all-knowing and all-powerful. Secondly, how should Christians relate their beliefs to a particular Zeitgeist?