Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> vol. 74 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>'Whatever became of that earlier time of grace?' Luther, Bonhoeffer and the quincentennial</b>]]> The quincentenary of the Protestant Reformations creates a challenge. With reference to Protestant churches in South Africa, the ambiguity inherent in this challenge is considered in the first part of the essay. In the second part, Martin Luther's famous discovery is investigated in light of his earlier theology leading up to 31 October 1517. It is argued that Luther's earlier theology is characterised by a hermeneutic rediscovery. In the third part, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's theology is brought into conversation with Luther. It is asked how Bonhoeffer received Luther's theology - more specifically, how he re-appropriated the hermeneutic inherent in Luther's earlier theology. In the final part, it is asked what the theological hermeneutic inherent in Luther's earlier theology - re-appropriated by Bonhoeffer - can mean for South African churches commemorating the Protestant Reformations. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God. (Luther 2012b:11). <![CDATA[<b>How can the Reformation's focus on faithfulness to Scripture inspire us for mission?</b>]]> Since the 16th century Protestant Reformation, the issue of divine inspiration and authority of the Bible has stood at the centre of Reformed faith. The question asked then, which is still with us, is whether the Bible is sufficient and complete as a revelation from God? Conflicts that arose during the Reformation still brew today, albeit with different players and contexts. Furthermore, how does the faithfulness to Scripture by reformers, such as William Tyndale and Martin Luther, and pre-Reformer, John Wycliffe, influence the church's involvement and influence in God's mission today? <![CDATA[<b>African theology and African Christology: Difficulty and complexity in contemporary definitions and methodological frameworks</b>]]> There is an ongoing challenge in defining African theology because of two important reasons: (1) the quest for a definitive African theology is a fairly recent pursuit and (2) the vastness and diversity of the African continent. Given this, this article presents the complexity of defining African theology and its methodological approaches through a background sketch of the development of African theology. Regardless of many definitions of African theology and its purposes, the article acknowledges African Christian theology as theology that should be derived from the interplay between Scripture, Christian tradition and African cosmology. In deriving theology from the aforementioned aspects, African theology should also seek to develop contextual African theologies with global relevance. In this way, African theology can claim its space in the universal church. Although we are conscious of the values and challenges associated with the task of doing African theology, we argue for its necessity. We further argue that if the centrality of Scripture is maintained in the African theological endeavour, it will cause African theologies to have some shared reference point with other Christian theologies and hence engaging globally, while contributing unique African perspectives to global theological discourse. <![CDATA[<b>The Dutch Reformed Church Mission in Swaziland - A dream come true</b>]]> This article covers the time from 1652 onwards when employees of the Dutch East India Company - most of whom were members of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands - arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in present South Africa. With time, a new church, the Dutch Reformed Church, was established in the Cape. In 1836, a number of pioneers moved from the Cape to the east of South Africa and some of them eventually made Swaziland their new home. Although most members of the white Dutch Reformed Church opposed any integration with Christians from other races, there was nevertheless a desire that they should join a Reformed Church. In 1922, the first Dutch Reformed congregation in Swaziland was established in Goedgegun in the southern region of the country, intended for the exclusive use of white, Afrikaans-speaking church members. In 1944, the first Reformed congregation for Swazi members was formed, which later became known as the Swaziland Reformed Church. This article documents the history of this church and concludes with a description of the Swaziland Reformed Church in 1985, with four missionaries from South Africa ministering in the four regions of Swaziland. <![CDATA[<b>Migration Crisis and Christian Response: From Daniel De Groody's Image of God Theological Prism in Migration Theology to a Migration Practical Theology Ministerial Approach and Operative Ecclesiology</b>]]> This article identifies a need to develop an operational theology that responds to migrants in a real and constructive way. It discusses Daniel Groody's image of God prism in migration theology in order to develop an integrated understanding of the image of God. It argues that Groody's image of God prism in migration theology is assumed rather than explicit and does not proceed to inform migrant ministry design. To ensure an encompassing understanding of the notion of the image of God, an integrated understanding that integrates the various views is adopted. The adopted integrated understanding of the image of God extends beyond Groody's image of God prism in migration theology that is systematic theological and theoretical to a development of a migration diagnostic and ministry design framework that employs the various dimensions (views) of the image of God. In doing so, the integrated understanding of the image of God is employed in a practical theological conceptualisation and ministry design to promote and encourage dispositional ethics service, care, acceptance and justice. The first section problematises the challenge of theology and Christian response to migration crisis. The second section discusses Groody's image of God theological prism in migration theology. The third section discusses the various interpretations of the image of God. The fourth section proposes a diagnostic framework and ministry design that utilises the integrated image of God.