Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220150003&lang=pt vol. 71 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Creative tensions in youth ministry in a congregational context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Since the recognition of youth as a social category, several approaches to youth ministry developed. One of the approaches, namely the inclusive congregational approach to youth ministry, will be critically reflected on in this article. The aim of this article is to indicate what the implications of this approach are for congregational ministry. It is argued that the inclusive congregational approach to youth ministry could lead to certain creative tensions in youth ministry as an integral part of congregational ministry. Therefore the article identifies and discusses specific creative tensions that could be present in youth ministry where the inclusive congregational approach to youth ministry is taken as the point of departure. Creative tension is here understood as a source of creative energy that informs and guides ministry. Although the different tensions may cause uneasiness, with the spontaneous response to release them, it is argued that it should rather be kept intact in order to inform and maintain a creative process of ministry. <![CDATA[<b>Living in a digital culture: The need for theological reflection</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Today our lives are filled with technology through which we communicate, work, play and even engage with for making meaning. This implies the pervasive presence of digital media as an integral part of our everyday life. Although studies on media are mostly done by sociology and communication students, living in a digital age has significant implications for theological reflections. Despite this being the case there is gap in terms of a religious response to technology. In response to this, the aim of this article is to stimulate theological reflections with regard to living in a digital culture. This is achieved by raising theological questions in the hope that theology could take a proactive role in these discussions. The implications of living in a digital culture are quite vast; therefore, the focus will be limited to how a community is formed and sustained, and the possible implications for the church as community. <![CDATA[<b>Pastoral evaluation on the Basotho's view of sexuality: Revisiting the views on sexuality of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther and John Calvin</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article examines the Basotho's views on sexuality within a theological context as well as the conflict between Christianity and cultural beliefs. Most Basotho have strong opinions on the subject of sexuality and those views undoubtedly emanate from the Basotho culture, which makes it necessary to evaluate them. The issue of sexuality is always a topic of discussion amongst people and did not go unnoticed by church fathers, like Augustine. Thomas Aquinas also expressed an interest in the topic in the Middle-Ages. Likewise, reformers of the calibre of Martin Luther and John Calvin espoused views on sexuality. It is clear that the aforementioned theologians made a marked contribution toward shaping the current views on sexuality, especially amongst theologians of this age and this is the reason for revisiting their views in this article examining the Basotho view on sexuality. In examining Basotho views on sexuality, the writer of this article will then discuss and evaluate the views of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin with special reference to sexual intercourse, sexual intercourse within matrimony, extramarital sexual intercourse and also the unmarried state. <![CDATA[<b>Baptist identity and mission in a rainbow nation: Distilling imperatives from mixed-methods research within the Baptist Union of Southern Africa (1994-2012)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The Baptist Union of Southern Africa's (hereafter BUSA) future is conspicuous unless it understands the context within which it ministers in our 'rainbow nation'. As a union of churches, BUSA faces significant challenges that have been highlighted through a mixed-methods research approach. Through many months of data collection at the Baptist Union archives, an online survey and informal interviews spanning many parts of South Africa, the researcher practically demonstrates the importance of the cumulative results for the future of BUSA. This article highlights, in overview fashion, a few of the major challenges that need to be urgently addressed in the light of BUSA's historic ecclesiological presuppositions that have their roots in the missional ministry of Hugo Gutshe who saw each of his Baptist congregants as missionary, and expanded the influence of BUSA in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Principles for the pastoral guidance process to women on matters related to human vulnerability and personal integrity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Through the centuries, women from all over the world remain vulnerable to their social status. In some developed countries the situation has improved, but there are many countries where it is still unbearable. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) aims to assist in this regard by addressing ethical issues pertaining to medicine, life sciences and related technologies as applied to human beings with consideration of women's social, legal and environmental dimensions. Yet pastoral counsellors on ground level are confronted with the need for assistance to women who suffer because of this exploitation. Therefore, the aim of this article is to focus on biblical principles that can serve as anchors to guide women regarding their human vulnerability and personal integrity when they experience suffering and hardship. The challenge facing the pastoral counsellor is to guide women to accept the reality of their situation within a certain framework, to adequately deal with this and, in spite of overwhelming emotions, continue to grow in personal integrity and healing. <![CDATA[<b>The missionary role of mainstream Christianity: Towards a narrative paradigm for social integration of minorities in pluralistic post-apartheid South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article attempts to add to the existing approaches of practical theology and specifically to the missionary approaches of mainline churches towards immigrants. This is an attempt to enhance the mission amongst immigrants by critically engaging with the two approaches, namely: mainstream and margins and pillarization. Notwithstanding the important contributions that these two approaches make to tolerance, integration and cohesion of differences I seek to point out some serious limitations of the two approaches. These limitations include social coercion, co-option, relativism and loss of identity. Considering these limitations a third approach, the narrative approach, takes serious community, tradition and symbol for more effective mission amongst immigrants by mainline churches. Social cohesion, a more realistic reality and integrated communities are some of the consequences of this approach when doing missionary activities amongst immigrants. <![CDATA[<b>Religion and ecological justice in Africa: Engaging 'value for community' as praxis for ecological and socio-economic justice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article embarked on a critical evaluation of religious leadership and ecological consciousness in Africa, using the case of the Nigerian Christian religious community. The article argued that the concept of ecological justice lacks strong theological conceptualisation in the Nigerian ecclesiastical community. Therefore, Ime Okopido's argument in favour of stewardship for the involvement of religious leadership in the pursuit of ecological and socioeconomic justice served as the starting point for this engagement. However, such engagement of the religious leadership and of the faithful should include developing ecological theological concepts, such as value for community, which are relevant to the context and resonate with indigenous cultures. Embarking on ecological activism, a change of lifestyles and finding other concrete ways of protecting the environment and biodiversity could ameliorate the crisis of ecological and socio-economic injustice in Africa by promoting, in particular, the praxis of value for community. <![CDATA[<b>Finding guidelines on social change in the two-tiered narrative and <i>diakonia</i> in the Gospel of John</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It is shown in this article that the Gospel of John describes a battle between darkness and light, life and death, chaos and God's new order. Although the certainty is given right at the beginning of the Gospel that the darkness will not overcome the light, God does not take the possibility of darkness away. Darkness in John is darkness of the mind, not seeing the light, not comprehending, not accepting and not believing the Word. The battle between light and darkness is described at two levels - the visible level that you can see with your eyes and the invisible level that only those who have been regenerated by the Spirit can see. Although it may seem that the contrary is true, God is in control of both levels. Jesus made the invisible visible with his words and deeds and, eventually, with his resurrection. The diakonoi (servants) of Jesus are called to follow him in his task to honour the father by speaking the words of the father and doing the work of the father. In doing this, they will make the invisible God visible by theirdiakonia (service). Real social change will take place in God's time, and he will use the diakonia of his children to bring order in the chaos, like he did in the beginning when he created the heavens and the earth. The results of the research are used to suggest guidelines on social change in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Re-authoring life narratives of trauma survivors: Spiritual perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Traditionally, the exploration of the impact of trauma on trauma survivors in South Africa has been focused mainly on the bio-psychosocial aspects. The bio-psychosocial approach recognises that trauma affects people biologically, socially and psychologically. In this article, the author explores a holistic understanding of the effects of trauma on people from communities historically affected by political violence in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Using a participatory action research design (PAR) as a way of working through trauma, a longitudinal study was conducted in Pietermaritzburg from 2009-2013. At the end of the study, life narratives were documented and published. The textual analysis of these life narratives reveals that, besides the bio-psychosocial effects that research participants experienced during and after the trauma, they also sustained moral and spiritual injuries. Trauma took its toll in their lives emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, morally and in their relationships with themselves, others and God. From these findings, the author argues that the bio-psychosocial approach is incomplete for understanding the holistic effects of trauma on the whole person. Therefore, he recommends the integration of the moral and spiritual aspects of trauma to come up with a holistic model of understanding the effects of trauma on traumatised individuals. The holistic model will enhance the treatment, healing and recovery of trauma survivors. This, in turn, will alleviate the severe disruption of many aspects of psychological functioning and well-being of trauma survivors caused by the effects of trauma. <![CDATA[<b>Communities: Development of church-based counselling teams</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Pastoral care is a biblical mandate to the Church to be involved in the lives of God's peop A key metaphor used by Jesus to describe his pastoral role was that of a shepherd. Thi to be God's shepherds and instruments of healing and transformation in God's world is imperative to all people, clergy and laity alike. The brokenness in South African society strikingly apparent, exacerbated by the effects of exceptionally high criminal behaviour statistics show. The demand for pastoral care and assistance with various personal proble is on the increase, with many non-church goers turning to churches for help. Also appare in South Africa is the acute shortage of trained individuals to offer care and counselling. T task of offering care is not the sole responsibility of clergy, as all are called to be shepherds a caregivers. The importance and urgency in training church-based counselling teams cannot overstated. More so in that we are becoming increasingly aware that not only are individu in need of care, but whole communities are struggling with trauma and life's challenges, a often do not know whom to turn to. In pursuance of the realisation that pastoral care is t function and duty of all Christians, this article will delineate in particular an explanation lay counselling, reasons for its importance including biblical foundations, where and ho ordinary South Africans can get involved, and will propose certain models and approach for getting started. These models will not be discussed in depth, but present an opportun for the next. Teams for these models consist of professional counsellors, but ought not to restricted to a select few, as all are called to this special ministry and can be trained for t task, which will include on-going supervision and mentoring. The overall purpose of t article is to highlight the urgency of training lay counsellors and some recommendations w be made how to apply it, in an attempt to be faithful to the biblical mandate and examples by Jesus Christ. <![CDATA[<b>Basis-theoretical perspectives on discipleship and its relation towards congregation building</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In recent times there has been a growing focus on the process of building up the local church in the Reformed Churches of South Africa. Congregation building should not only take place through growing numbers, but also through spiritual growth. In this article a few basis-theoretical perspectives will be explored through a study of applicable literature, regarding the definition of 'disciple' and 'discipleship'. It is also the purpose of this article to establish whether or not there is any relation between discipleship and congregation building. It is the premise of this article that discipleship, with the basis-theoretical perspectives in mind, can suffice as a ministry model towards congregation building for the church in the ever so changing times in which she finds herself when the kingdom of God is taken as the goal of discipleship, and love for God and your neighbour is taken as the underlying principle of discipleship. <![CDATA[<b>Work-nonwork interference: Can ministers currently cope with increasing job demands against limited resources within South Africa?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Ministers of religion have a unique occupation with designated job demands and incongruous resources at their disposal. Literature indicates that stressors within the work environment are significant predictors of work-nonwork interference. Ministers play a key role within society and provide support for individuals on multiple levels. However, limited studies are found in South Africa focussing on ministers' job characteristics related to work-nonwork interference, and how ministers cope. The main objective of this study was to investigate job demands and job resources as significant predictors of work-nonwork interference amongst ministers of religion, and to identify which coping strategies are most significant for ministers in dealing with work-nonwork interference. A cross-sectional survey design was used amongst ministers working in the three sister churches (N = 199). Various instruments were administered to measure job characteristics, work-nonwork interference and coping strategies empirically. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, product-moment correlations and multiple regression analyses. Results indicated that for ministers different job demands (i.e. cognitive demands and pace and amount of work) and job resources (i.e. financial support and job significance) significantly predicted work-parent, work-home and work-religion/spirituality interference. Results indicated turning to religion as the only significant coping strategy used by ministers to deal with work-parent interference and work-religion interference. Ministers of religion are continually exposed to increasing job demands and a lack of job resources, and therefore experience work-nonwork interference. Nevertheless, the ministers apparently cope by using the strategy best related to their profession, turning to religion/spirituality. Turning to religion/spirituality seems to be the most effective in dealing with work-nonwork interference. <![CDATA[<b>Transformative remedies towards managing diversity in South African theological education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt South Africa is a complex society filled with diversity of many kinds. Because of the enormous and profound changes of the last 20 years of democracy, this can be perceived as a society in social identity crisis which is increasingly spilling over into many areas of life. Churches have also gone through a process of reformulating their identity and have restructured theological education for all its members resulting in growing multicultural student bodies. These new student constituencies reflect a wide spectrum of cultural backgrounds, personal histories and theological commitments, and represent diversity in race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, age, language and sexual orientation. These issues of diversity are theologically complicated and contested as they are attached to religious dogma. Diversity exists as a threat and promise, problem and possibility. Using current conceptualisations of diversity in South African Higher Education this article will seek to understand the notion of diversity and difference and the possibility of developing transformative remedies within the theological education curriculum. <![CDATA[<b>Religion and ecological justice in Africa: Engaging 'value for community' as praxis for ecological and socio-economic justice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article embarked on a critical evaluation of religious leadership and ecological consciousness in Africa, using the case of the Nigerian Christian religious community. The article argued that the concept of ecological justice lacks strong theological conceptualisation in the Nigerian ecclesiastical community. Therefore, Ime Okopido's argument in favour of stewardship for the involvement of religious leadership in the pursuit of ecological and socioeconomic justice served as the starting point for this engagement. However, such engagement of the religious leadership and of the faithful should include developing ecological theological concepts, such as value for community, which are relevant to the context and resonate with indigenous cultures. Embarking on ecological activism, a change of lifestyles and finding other concrete ways of protecting the environment and biodiversity could ameliorate the crisis of ecological and socio-economic injustice in Africa by promoting, in particular, the praxis of value for community. <![CDATA[<b>Finding guidelines on social change in the two-tiered narrative and <i>diakonia </i>in the Gospel of John</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It is shown in this article that the Gospel of John describes a battle between darkness and light, life and death, chaos and God's new order. Although the certainty is given right at the beginning of the Gospel that the darkness will not overcome the light, God does not take the possibility of darkness away. Darkness in John is darkness of the mind, not seeing the light, not comprehending, not accepting and not believing the Word. The battle between light and darkness is described at two levels - the visible level that you can see with your eyes and the invisible level that only those who have been regenerated by the Spirit can see. Although it may seem that the contrary is true, God is in control of both levels. Jesus made the invisible visible with his words and deeds and, eventually, with his resurrection. The diakonoi (servants) of Jesus are called to follow him in his task to honour the father by speaking the words of the father and doing the work of the father. In doing this, they will make the invisible God visible by their diakonia (service). Real social change will take place in God's time, and he will use the diakonia of his children to bring order in the chaos, like he did in the beginning when he created the heavens and the earth. The results of the research are used to suggest guidelines on social change in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Re-authoring life narratives of trauma survivors: Spiritual perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article is published in the section Practical Theology of the Society for Practical Theology in South Africa. Traditionally, the exploration of the impact of trauma on trauma survivors in South Africa has been focused mainly on the bio-psychosocial aspects. The bio-psychosocial approach recognises that trauma affects people biologically, socially and psychologically. In this article, the author explores a holistic understanding of the effects of trauma on people from communities historically affected by political violence in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Using a participatory action research design (PAR) as a way of working through trauma, a longitudinal study was conducted in Pietermaritzburg from 2009-2013. At the end of the study, life narratives were documented and published. The textual analysis of these life narratives reveals that, besides the bio-psychosocial effects that research participants experienced during and after the trauma, they also sustained moral and spiritual injuries. Trauma took its toll in their lives emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, morally and in their relationships with themselves, others and God. From these findings, the author argues that the bio-psychosocial approach is incomplete for understanding the holistic effects of trauma on the whole person. Therefore, he recommends the integration of the moral and spiritual aspects of trauma to come up with a holistic model of understanding the effects of trauma on traumatised individuals. The holistic model will enhance the treatment, healing and recovery of trauma survivors. This, in turn, will alleviate the severe disruption of many aspects of psychological functioning and well-being of trauma survivors caused by the effects of trauma. <![CDATA[<b>Technologically changing African context and usage of Information Communication and Technology in churches: Towards discerning emerging identities in church practice (a case study of two Zimbabwean cities)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300017&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The last decade has seen massive progress in technological advancement in Africa. Many pastors have embraced the use of technology in their religious and ministerial practices. Within such a context, it is necessary to understand the various identities of the African pastor emerging from responses to the use of technology. This article discusses technological use in churches, particularly focusing on the changing technological context of Africa. The article uses Zimbabwe as a case study to assess and determine technology use and the responsive emerging identities of pastors. Three identities of pastors arising from increased technological use in Zimbabwe have been discerned. The first identity is that of the pastor who is on a par with the world. He is a technology embracer and is as sophisticated as the congregational members. He is a networker and entrepreneur. The second identity is that of a pastor who is trailing society and technology. He is a cautious technology embracer and is a confused technology consumer. The third identity is that of a pastor in isolation. He is a technology objector, and is unconnected, ignorant and feels that God is somewhat an enemy of technology. <![CDATA[<b>Naming and nurturing reality from a heart renewed by grace</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300018&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This contribution investigates the unbearable tension between the homiletical act of naming reality (with the promise of exposing, challenging and/or triggering creative forces in it) on the one hand, and neglecting this same reality on the other hand, thereby causing it to return to an ignored, unchallenged and degenerated state. The author focuses on tension fields that are generated when preachers embark on the activity of naming realities in their proximate contexts and how they position, withdraw or distance themselves in a certain way when problematic elements (for instance the glaring and seemingly unbridgeable inequality in the situation of Dalits) are opened up by the act of naming. By means of a theological reflection on the renewal of the heart by God's act of grace in Christ, the author attempts to identify key markers for a homiletic theory that will be able to link the act of naming reality with the act of nurturing (rather than neglecting) this named reality. <![CDATA[<b>Love as the core of the diaconal dimension of the church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222015000300019&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article will discuss different understandings of love. In particular, two modern perceptions of love will be differentiated: love as consisting of individual, often inconstant, emotions between human beings, and a Christian understanding of love, which is often expressed through caring for other members of the community. Aspects of Christian love will then be examined in ethical terms, emphasising the relevance of love for the diaconal dimension of the church. Before one is able to help one's neighbour, one first has to be actively identified within the complex social structures of society. Next, the nature of diaconal action has to be defined and adapted to individuals who are in need, or who have become needy or been disadvantaged by society, for example, migrant workers, refugees or asylum seekers. A central aspect of diaconal action - in addition to meeting basic needs - lies in giving a voice to such individuals and in empowering them, including politically, to represent their own interests in public life.