Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> vol. 71 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Reformed Theological College Volume, dedicated to Dr Christo van der Merwe</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Incarnation theology versus the sacralisation of authority</b>]]> This article juxtaposed the theological theme of incarnation with quasi-religious invasions of public power structures and institutions in southern Africa, which has been described by the term sacralisation of authority. Incarnational theology as constructed on the model of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ concerns a Divine-human border crossing from above to below or from power into powerlessness. Sacralisation of authority concerns an opposite process whereby mundane structures and people of power seek to bolster their authority even further by the acquisition of godlike attributes. This article referred to political realities in southern Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe and South Africa as illustrative of the latter, whereas the Tshwane Leadership Foundation - a non-governmental organisation (NGO) operating in Tshwane's inner city - served as a case study in incarnational theology of the grassroots. <![CDATA[<b>Group intervention with institutionalised older persons</b>]]> The number of older people in South Africa is increasing. This demands an increase in services by, inter alia, social workers and services by and within religious settings because of the special needs and challenges related to this particular life phase. Group work with older people can assist in creating an awareness of potential and areas for growth as well as assisting with the challenges of growing older. The article discusses a research study with the goal to explore and describe the experiences of group members of a group for institutionalised older persons. A qualitative research study with a collective case study design was utilised to gain insight into the experiences of the individuals within the group and the experiences of the group as a whole. Semi-structured one-on-one interviews were employed as the primary data collection method. Although on a small scale, this research study provides guidelines for group intervention with older people, which allows them to view their lives as meaningful, share personal experiences and problems and realise that they are not alone in their difficulties. <![CDATA[<b>The possible contribution of civil society in the moral edification of South African society: The example of the 'United Democratic Front' and the 'Treatment Action Campaign' (1983-2014)</b>]]> In spite of much candid protest and overt criticism against the service delivery record and corruption of the South African government, the governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), once again secured a persuasive victory in the 2014 national elections. This situation begs the question whether the ballot box is really the only efficient instrument for disgruntled voters to influence government policy and behaviour. This article examines the possibilities that the mobilisation of civil society offers in this regard. The central theoretical argument is that civil society can be an important instrument through which the citizenry can exercise their critical function with regard to the government in an effort to address poor service delivery and corruption and to influence government policy. Christian organisations can play a crucial role in this process. Two examples of past efficient action by civil society serve to illustrate this argument. With the assistance of churches and Christian organisations, these organisations profoundly influenced government policy and are consequently presented as models for action today. The first example is the 'United Democratic Front' (UDF) that forced the pre-1994 South African apartheid government to a negotiated settlement despite the strict security laws that the state utilised to keep the UDF in check. The second example is the 'Treatment Action Campaign' (TAC) that forced the post-1994 Thabo Mbeki government to adopt a policy of free provision of antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive patients. These two influential civil organisations offer models of how civil society can act as critical watchdog. In future, these models can be used to mobilise civil society, including churches and Christian organisations, to act correctively in defining and enacting government policy, despite the ANC's strong position in government and the large majority that the governing party can secure at the voting polls. <![CDATA[<b>Mentoring as a supportive pedagogy in theological training</b>]]> This article contends that theological training supported by effective mentoring can contribute to the shaping of theology students in terms of their spiritual growth, character development and ministry formation. It is further argued that mentoring as a supportive pedagogy needs to be an essential element of theological education. Subsequently, guidelines for making mentoring an effective pedagogy in theological training are proposed. A lot has been written about mentoring; however this article focuses on the use of mentoring as a supportive pedagogy in denominational seminaries as a means of fostering the holistic development of theology students. <![CDATA[<b>Daniel 6: There and back again - A deity's tale</b>]]> This article states that, with his narrative, the author of Daniel 6 creates the presence of Elohim outside Jerusalem and Israel, within non-Israelite environments. Applying a body-space frameset to the texts of Daniel 6 helps to read the text as a construction of concepts. With his narrative the author creates the presence of Elohim outside Jerusalem and Israel, within non-Israelite environments. Furthermore, a spatial frameset shows that the story of Daniel 6 can be read as a conclusion to a larger narrative that stretches from Daniel 1-6. In this narrative the author utilises spatial concepts such as the character of Daniel; the lion's den; Jerusalem and King Darius, to establish the omnipresence of the God of Israel. In constructing this presence-of-God reality the author conveys a message of hope and trust in the authority of the God of Israel. In this regard Daniel 6 is not just a story about the character Daniel being persecuted for his faith; rather it is a story about the God of Israel establishing his presence and his ability to act through and within space and time. <![CDATA[<b>Reconstructive hermeneutics in African Christology</b>]]> The article sets out to demonstrate African reconstructive Christology as the seventh Christological trend in African Christianity. Considering that African theology is kerygmatically universal, but theologically provincial, the study shows that Christology in our contemporary Africa can be best understood by retracing it from the early Christological controversies through to the present times. Certainly, African Christology in the 21st century is dominated by calls for contextualisation, indigenisation, rebirth, inculturation, renewal, rejuvenation, renaissance and reconstruction. To this end, the article endeavours to demonstrate that Christ, the ideal reconstructionist, the one who broke the cultural codes of his time in order to reconstruct the society, is the relevant model to our contemporary world. The article draws its theoretical framework from the works of Jesse Mugambi, Kä Mana, and Wachege, amongst other proponents of reconstructive motif in African theology. In its methodology, the article first attempts to identify some early Christological developments through to the contemporary trends. It subsequently attempts a survey of the six Christological trends of the 20th century; that is a Christological trend that commits itself to interpreting and adapting Christology to modern mentality and situation; Christologies geared exclusively to the historical Jesus; Christology that tends to uphold the Trinitarian theology; Christologies based on the proclaimed Christ and the historical Jesus; Asian Christologies of inculturation and liberation; and African Christologies of inculturation and liberation. Afterwards, it analyses Christological trends of the 21st century where a seventh dimension, African reconstructive Christology, has become the norm. In so doing, the article builds on the premise that the primary task of African Christology today is restoration. <![CDATA[<b>Adolessente se ervaring binne 'n lesbiese ouerhuis: 'n Pastorale-Gestaltteoretiese hulpverlening</b>]]> The article describes the development of adolescents for a sense of self in a lesbian home, in order to compile guidelines for lesbian parents as well as pastoral counsellors to help and guide adolescents to develop a healthy sense of self. From the research results, it appears that there are certain positive and negative aspects of a lesbian home that influence adolescents' sense of self. Where both parents are involved with the adolescents, share household duties equally and have a quality relationship with each other and the adolescents, the adolescents are generally well-adapted, happy and able to handle challenges in order to develop a healthy sense of self. The positive influence that Christian religious certainty has on the overall development of the adolescents was also confirmed by this study. On the other hand, adolescents experience particular aspects as challenging and impeding in their development of a healthy sense of self: Conflict and criticism from the companion parents are humiliating and destructive. Stigmatising, teasing and rejection from the hetero-normative society, as a result of their parents' sexual orientation, appear to be the largest obstacles in their psychosocial development. They react in a shy, negative and evasive way to the stigmatisation and withdraw themselves from situations that could be painful and humiliating. It also appears that the absence of a father figure and financial tension in lesbian families are impeding the adolescents' healthy development of a sense of self. <![CDATA[<b>Kingdom, church and civil society: A theological paradigm for civil action</b>]]> This article deals with the role that churches can and should play in civil society to develop societal morally. The central-theoretical argument is that the biblical notion of the kingdom of God can, when it is systematically and theologically developed, offer an acceptable foundation for the civil action of churches. In light of this the article takes a new look at the neo-Calvinist view on church and society. The kingdom implies the life encompassing governance of God, the formation of the church and the creation of a moral sense amongst people. The church can, from the perspective of the kingdom, be seen as a community within which Christians should be equipped for social action. The church is a power station which carries forth the light of the Gospel by means of the social involvement of believers in civil society. Christians can, based on natural law, work with civil organisations to pursue the common good of the community. Such collaboration becomes possible only when civil society works purpose- and not paradigm-driven. Based on the moral sense that is founded in natural law, Christians can be socially active within civil society in search of the greatest benefit for all people within the community. <![CDATA[<b>What hope is there for South Africa? A public theological reflection on the role of the church as a bearer of hope for the future</b>]]> What hope is there for South Africa? What role can the church play as a bearer of hope in South Africa? This article seeks to address these important questions. Firstly, it problematises the contemporary notion of hope in South Africa by showing that it is a complex theological and social concept. Next, a nuanced understanding of hope is presented by adopting a public theological methodology that brings dominant theological perspectives on eschatological hope into dialogue with the most recent statistics about the quality of life in South Africa from 1994, 2004 and 2014. The article proposes that the complexity of Christian hope necessitates an understanding of the present reality that is held in dynamic tension with the desired future -namely a present-futurist eschatology. Finally the article shows that from this vantage point the church, in its various forms and understandings, is able to be a bearer of Christian hope that can contribute towards shaping a better future for South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The black church as the womb of black liberation theology? Why the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) is not a genuine black church?</b>]]> This article sets forth a controversial thesis which suggests that the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, although considered a black church, is in fact not a black church in the sense in which a radical black church is traditionally understood. A black church, it is argued, is perceived to be one that is a self-determined church which supports initiatives of ameliorating the depressive situations in which black people find themselves. References are made to black theology as a critical theology which was never accepted in the black church due to the dependency syndrome which was brought about by the white benevolence of the Dutch Reformed Church. This, it is argued, had become innate in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa which still considers itself as a so-called daughter church of the white Dutch Reformed Church. <![CDATA[<b>Four concepts of Africa</b>]]> What makes the words 'Africa' and 'African' possible and useful? In this article it is argued that at least four internally coherent concepts of Africa exist, and that none of these concepts are ethically neutral. The article is presented as a contribution to attempts at using the term 'Africa' in self-critical, reflexive and constructive ways. It could therefore be of interest to all researchers, particularly those in the humanities and theology, who locate their research within the context of 'Africa'. It is argued that Africa can be conceived of as a place, a commodity, a condition and an ideal. By drawing on mostly primary sources it is shown that the term 'Africa' only relatively recently came to refer to a continent, that Africa as a place and Africa as a condition in need of betterment formed the foundation for its commodification, and that Africa only very recently became a self-description of the people who live on the continent of Africa. Each of these concepts of Africa is shown to be based on a particular logic with both strengths and weaknesses. <![CDATA[<b>Woman Wisdom and the ethical vision of the book of Proverbs: An African reflection</b>]]> An observable gap in scholarship is a comprehensive ethical reflection on the portrayal of wisdom as feminine in the book of Proverbs and its implication for wisdom ethics. Besides this lacuna is the observation that the few existing studies on the ethics of the book of Proverbs take their point of departure essentially from a Western conception of ethics. This article has approached the book of Proverbs from an ethical perspective and has argued that the African view of ethics has a rich quality embedded in communitarian values that can be explored heuristically to interpret the ethical vision of the book of Proverbs. Such an approach, it is suggested, has pedagogical relevance to the teaching of biblical ethics especially in Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Men battering as the new form of domestic violence? A pastoral care perspective from the Kenyan context</b>]]> The article sets out to show that gender-based violence is no longer restricted to 'women by men'. Rather society must appreciate that gender battering is a reality across the gender divide, particularly in the 21st century Africa. In its methodology, the article has engaged a theo-philosophical approach that involves a social, religious, and a cultural analytical approach. The materials are gathered primarily after interviewing the staff and students from Kenyatta University, Mombasa Campus, and some selected people from the campus surroundings who were consulted orally. To this end, a questionnaire was released in June and July 2012 where about 200 respondents from across the various counties of Kenya were called upon to shed light on men battering in Kenya. In particular, some of the questions that were posed included: Has battering of men by women been part of our African societies from ancient times or is it a new phenomenon? Statistically, who are battered more men or women? How does domestic violence against men manifest itself? What causes it? Why does it sound new to our society? What can we do about it? The article rests on the premise that even though battering of women is more explicit, men battering by women, which takes many forms, has been there for quite some time, albeit unreported. By taking a holistic approach hence 'collective responsibility' across the gender divide, the society can be healed from all forms of gender-based violence. <![CDATA[<b>Reel help for real life: Film therapy and beyond</b>]]> In this article the background, development, therapeutical value and praxis of film therapy in Christian counselling will be addressed. The second part of the article shows what the scenery beyond film therapy may look like and how this form of therapy may extend to other areas of digital and electronic media in the current counselling and pastoral care praxis. Postmodernity, as the context within which the society finds itself, is discussed, as well as the place of films in postmodernity. The important use and application of narratives in the postmodern era is discussed. Film therapy's development as an outgrowth of bibliotherapy is explained. It is further shown how film therapy as a tool in the praxis of therapy may provide the ideal atmosphere for learning, enjoyment and edification. The scope of the article also reaches beyond the current use of film therapy by suggesting the use of other social and electronic media in a therapeutical way as an ever-increasing possibility. The article ends with some pointers in the use of film therapy. <![CDATA[<b>The real crisis of the church</b>]]> What is the real crisis of the church? Very often, clergy, churches and congregations experience a 'crisis' only when membership is in decline, resulting in financial hardship. Crisis is limited to stress which the church as institution experiences when structures, finance and traditions are under pressure. In this contribution, the point is argued that the real crisis of the church is not to be found in institutional challenges, but in the inability of the church to be what it already is. With reference to Karl Barth's ecclesiology, this contribution departs from the assumption that the real crisis of the church is not only to be found in external circumstances and influences, but is primarily a question of the church not being able to 'be church'. Continued reformation of the church is of utmost importance. <![CDATA[<b>Die Nuwe Testament en mitologie: Die probleem van die ontmitologisering van die Nuwe-Testamentiese verkondiging. Bultmann se 1941-opstel weer bekyk</b>]]> In the Afrikaans-speaking South African theological context, there was little positive regard for Bultmann's work, especially for his demythologising program. More than seventy years have passed since Bultmann's 1941 essay on demythologising started a lively debate. For most, Bultmann and his legacy have receded into the past. With the 130th commemoration of Bultmann's birthday this year, it seems appropriate to revisit his 1941 essay on demythologising. The purpose of this paper is to listen again to the voice of Bultmann, unhindered by the interpretations of his work by others. This is possible, as the dust has long settled after the demythologisation debate. This exercise may reveal that Bultmann's work is still relevant in our new theological context. <![CDATA[<b>Rudolf Bultmann's understanding of freedom</b>]]> This article is a reworked version of a paper delivered at a symposium on the life and work of Rudolf Bultmann who was born on the 20th August 1884. The article deals with Bultmann's understanding of Christian freedom. Three articles of Bultmann on freedom are presented and evaluated: (1) Grace and freedom - 1948; (2) The importance of freedom for European culture - 1952; (3) The idea of freedom in antiquity and Christianity - 1959. The relevancy of Bultmann's theology is explained to present-day Afrikaans speaking people. Bultmann's theology is not only presented as relevant, but also as an important guideline for Reformational thinking. Bultmann is presented as a credible Lutheran theologian. His explanation of the doctrine of justification remains helpful in a context of constant self-justification. Some critical remarks are made from a Reformed perspective. <![CDATA[<b>Christian ethics from the perspective of neighbourly love: Rudolf Bultmann and Stoic ethics</b>]]> This article consists of various sections. The first concerns a cultural-sensitive explanation of the meaning of the term 'neighbour'. The second exemplifies Rudolf Bultmann's understanding of the meaning of the love commandment which is found in the Jesus tradition and in the New Testament. This explanation represents a paraphrase of Bultmann's reflection on the notion 'neighbourly love' in Afrikaans. The article elaborates on Bultmann's interpretation by means of expanded exegetical comments. The article also endorses Bultmann's juxtaposition of Christian ethics with Greek Stoic ethics. This Greek heritage is described in an expanded way. The article discusses Bultmann's understanding of neighbourly love within the context of the core values of his hermeneutics. The results are made relevant for the present-day Christian ethical perspective on the adherence to the so-called natural law, applied to the South African sociopolitical situation. <![CDATA[<b>Malcolm X's the ballot or the bullet speech? Its implications for Black Liberation Theology in present-day South Africa</b>]]> This article attempts to bring one of the greatest speeches of Malcolm X back to life in the current South Africa - the year 2015. It is a year of growing frustration and extreme dissatisfaction with basic living conditions amongst the greater part of black people in the country. Recounting the influences that Malcolm X had on Black Liberation Theology in South Africa, the article proposes that Black Liberation Theology in South Africa moves away from being an inward-looking critical theology to one that identifies with the basic concerns of the most vulnerable in society. It criticises both the political and the economic hegemonies that are currently perceived to perpetuate much of apartheid's grave social ills in democratic South Africa. It calls attention to party politics that floods society with propaganda but in reality seems to have little real interest in the social well-being of the masses. In the article, the question as to what Malcolm X would have said about the current South African socioeconomic context is asked. It is clear that both structural apartheid residues as well as the pure selfish interests of the current political rulers gang up against the chances of black people ever experiencing social justice in the near future. <![CDATA[<b>The emergence of the Black Methodist Consultation and its possible prophetic voice in post-apartheid South Africa</b>]]> Racism is an issue which the activism of the Black Methodist Consultation (BMC) was set to address during the South African apartheid rule, a view which black theologians and church historians generally accept. This observation brought to mind, in turn, the influence that the Black Consciousness philosophy and the black theology of liberation had on the establishment of the BMC. Recounting such an influence, this article provides a reflection on the formation of the BMC in 1975. In such a reflection, the hypothesis is that the prophetic voice of the BMC is crucial in post-apartheid South Africa. Firstly, the interconnectedness of the Black Consciousness philosophy, the black theology of liberation and the BMC is highlighted. Secondly, the article proceeds to navigate the possible prophetic voice of the BMC in post-apartheid South Africa. In the end, this article sees the BMC as a crucial interlocutor of liberation in present South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The value of traditional African religious music into liturgy: Lobethal Congregation</b>]]> The purpose of this study was to discover whether the integration of traditional African religious music into Evangelical Lutheran liturgical church services, could effect a change in member attendance and/or participation. To achieve this, the study employed direct observation, video recordings and informal interviews. In addition, church records of attendance during Holy Communion once a month between 2008 and 2013 were accessed. The study was done at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Lobethal Congregation (Arkona Parish, Northern Diocese, Sekhukhune District, Limpopo Province, South Africa). It was demonstrated that church attendance increased dramatically after traditional African religious music was introduced into the Evangelical Lutheran liturgical services in 2011. Observations and video recordings showed that drums, rattles, horns and whistles were used. Handclapping was seen to act almost as a metronome, which steadily maintained the tempo. It was concluded that introducing traditional African religious music into Evangelical Lutheran liturgical church services has increased attendance and participation of church members. Therefore, the introduction of African religious music could be considered for other Evangelical Lutheran congregations in Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Religion as memory: How has the continuity of tradition produced collective meanings? - Part one</b>]]> Daniêle Hervieu-Léger gives an account of religion as a chain of memory, that is, a form of collective memory and imagination based on the sanctity of tradition. According to her theory, in the postmodern world the continuity of religious memory has been broken and all that remains are isolated fragments guarded by religious groups. This twofold study aims at showing, firstly, in what sense religion can be conceived of as memory which produces collective meanings (Part One) and, secondly, what may happen when individualised and absolutised memories alienate themselves from a continuity of tradition, thus beginning to function as a sort of private religion (Part Two). Being the first part of the study in question, this article is dedicated to a historical-theological analysis of religious memory as a source of collective meanings, as seen from a Christian perspective. Firstly, it situates Hervieu-Léger's definition of religion against the background of the most topical religious contexts in which the notion of memory appears today. Secondly, the dialectics of individual and collective memory is discussed, notably through the lens of Ricoeur's original proposal. This is followed by an overview of the traditional functions of memory in Christianity. Lastly, the interpretation of the way in which Christian tradition, in its premodern continuity, served as a source of collective cultural meanings, is recapitulated. What underlies this analysis is the conviction that to comprehend, and even more so to challenge mechanisms based on which the dominant purveyors of meaning (such as economic and information market) function in our day, one should have a clear understanding of what they attempt to substitute for. In brief, before exploring how memories become religion, one ought to be able to conceive of religion as memory. <![CDATA[<b>Implications of Methodist clergies' average lifespan and missional lessons learned from obituaries of deceased ministers</b>]]> We are born, we touch the lives of others, we die - and then we are remembered. For the purpose of this article, I have assessed from obituaries the average lifespan of the clergy (ministers) in the Methodist Church of South Africa (MCSA), who died between 2003 and 2014. These obituaries were published in the Yearbooks of the MCSA from 2004 to 2015. I also give attention to how the deceased ministers are remembered. The average lifespan of Methodist ministers is 72 years, and it is likely to increase to 74 years by 2023. This article discusses the implications of Methodist ministers' average lifespan and suggests that the clergy should be encouraged and enabled to retire at the age of 60 years. The following 12 themes (or missional lessons), mainly answering the question of how the clergy are remembered, emerged from the qualitative analysis of obituaries: they were gifted preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ; they lived a balanced life; they were humble servants in Jesus' vineyard; they were sensitive storytellers with a deep sense of humour; they were community builders; they were leaders and meticulous in administration; they were prayer warriors; they loved and valued education; they were disciplined and principled; they enjoyed music; they worked hard for an everlasting peace on earth; and they were zealous stewards of God's creation. <![CDATA[<b>Memories as religion: What can the broken continuity of tradition bring about? - Part two</b>]]> In postmodern societies the symbolic vacuum, a result of the loss of a unified religious tradition, calls for substitutes in the form of fragmentary and isolated memories. By drawing from the reservoir of those memories in an arbitrary and subjective way, privatised (de-institutionalised) religion creates a kind of symbolic bricolage. Can such a bricolage become more than a mere 'counterfeit' of collective meaning that religion once used to provide? Can religious tradition, based on a broken continuity of memory, still bring about a matrix of the ways of expressing one's faith? If so, how? This twofold study seeks to explore those and similar questions by means of showing, firstly, in what sense religion can be conceived of as memory which produces collective meanings (Part One) and, secondly, what may happen when individualised and absolutised memories alienate themselves from a continuity of tradition, thus beginning to function as a sort of private religion (Part Two). Being the second part of the study in question, this article aims at exploring the postmodern crisis of religious memory, which includes the pluralisation of the channels of the sacred and the differentiation of a total religious memory into a plurality of specialised circles of memory. Firstly, it examines the three main aspects of the current crisis of continuity at large, namely the affirmation of the autonomous individual, the advance of rationalisation, and the process of institutional differentiation. Secondly, the plurality of the channels of the sacred is discussed in light of religion's apparently unique way of drawing legitimisation from its reference to tradition. This is followed by two illustrations of the reconstruction of religious memory. In the final section of the article, a theological reflection on possible directions that may be taken in the face of the postmodern crisis of religious memory is offered. <![CDATA[<b>A missional study of Ghanaian Pentecostal churches' leadership and leadership formation</b>]]> Church leadership plays an important and irreplaceable role in the planting and the configuration of the missional congregation. The key to the formation of missional communities is their leadership. In that regard, this article explores Classical Ghanaian Pentecostal Churches' leadership and leadership formation from a missiological perspective. This was done through an exposition on their leadership system (structure). It was argued that Classical Ghanaian Pentecostal Churches' leadership is based on the Fivefold Ministry (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher). These leadership functions were therefore discussed in the light of their missiological implication. The conclusion arrived at is that it is not enough to discover one's spiritual gift or calling; these gifts should be developed and nurtured through mentoring and proper theological education, with the ultimate purpose being to participate in the Missio Dei. <![CDATA[<b>Talk of time</b>]]> Maybe, before we speak of time, or maybe whilst we are speaking of time, or maybe after we have spoken of time, in the various modes of time's insistence to exist, one should give time to the talk of time. There are various different modes of time's insistence to exist, such as quantum physics in conversation with relativity theory where time is constructed as a fourth dimension of space. Or there are the modes of time in history, religion, psychology and philosophy, and each of these modes is composed, and composes its own specific object called time, and a particular subject who understands and interprets time in that particular mode. Yet, before, whilst or after these modes of time's insistence to exist, one should maybe give time to time's insistence: the talk of time. Give time for the various times to articulate themselves in the various modes of existence, thereby creating both a whole plurality of differing subjects, as well as plurality of differing objects, all called 'time'. Once time has been given time to talk its talk, to articulate itself within the various modes, it will be interrupted by the articulations of time in various modes of time still to come. These disruptions of time by time always still to come opens the door for a theological narrative - a narrative on time, but created by the coming of messianic times, interpreted in the mode of hope but also in the mode of a promise from the past. <![CDATA[<b>The structuring considerations of a Ricoeurian hermeneutic employed in a reading of Proverbs 14:2</b>]]> A Ricoeurian hermeneutic affords readers of the Old Testament an opportunity to access the biblical text anew as a source and norm for faith. Reese gave a convenient summarising description of Ricoeur's hermeneutical approach. Ricoeur organised his considerations around four poles, namely distanciation, objectification, projecting of a world, and appropriation. These operate as the structuring considerations of a Ricoeurian hermeneutic and were illustrated with a sample proverb (i.e. Pr 14:2) from the collection Proverbs 10:1-15:33. <![CDATA[<b>A holy, universal church</b>]]> The Nicene Creed and the Apostolicum went through different processes of growth and development. In the early development of both creeds, it is noticeable that articles about 'the church' are absent. In this contribution the creeds are examined in terms of their development, the inclusion of the articles on the church, their reception during the 16th century Reformation as well as difficulties in the official Afrikaans translations. It concludes with a short exposition of the Apostolicums article on the church (sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam). <![CDATA[<b>Globalised mission as opportunity</b>]]> Globalisation develops at a staggering pace that envelopes and infiltrates local South African communities in various ways. Through technology a person can have access to anything today. Should the church try to keep up, or compete with such a reality? This article aims to encourage the church to develop a responsible missional character, which embraces the opportunities globalisation offers - to be a participative forum in a community comprising of more than religious people. Through re-evaluating the church's missional intent, by shifting the paradigm away from self-centred outcomes, the church should contribute to such a community's articulation of faith. <![CDATA[<b>The 2007 Dutch Reformed Church Synod Resolution: Impact on gay ministers</b>]]> At the 2007 General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), a compromise resolution was accepted regarding homosexual members. The resolution, inter alia, requires of gay ministers to remain celibate as a prerequisite to be legitimated. This research is a qualitative inquiry to evaluate the impact this resolution has on the lives of gay ministers and gay candidate ministers. Apart from doing a literature study Narrative and Post-foundational perspectives were obtained by interviewing six gay ministers and/or candidate ministers as co-researchers, and also by engaging in dialogue with interdisciplinary experts from Sociology, Psychology and Law. From the stories told by the gay ministers and/or gay candidate ministers, certain themes emerged, revealing the immense impact caused by the resolution. <![CDATA[<b>Theology in the flesh - a model for theological anthropology as embodied sensing</b>]]> The author proposes a model for theological anthropology as embodied sensing that is based on an interdisciplinary exploration of the corporeal turn from a southern African perspective. The work of James B. Nelson is acknowledged, stating that body theology starts with the concrete, the bodily expressions of life and not with doctrines about God and humanity. The theological anthropology of David H. Kelsey is evaluated as a theological anthropology with a sentiment of the flesh. Based on clearings in the work of David Kelsey and an interdisciplinary research, the author proposes a model for theological anthropology as embodied sensing which functions within the intricate and complex connection of the living body, language and experiencing in a concrete lifeworld with an openness to the 'more than'. The author considers the use of bodymapping within narrative therapy as a way in which to uncover the intimate and intricate connection between the living body, experience and language, and implementing insights from theological anthropology as embodied sensing. <![CDATA[<b>To take a second look at Malachi the book</b>]]> An investigation into some of the literary features of the book of Malachi reveals that each unit is structured in a twofold way. The macrostructure of the book also shows that the book can be divided into two parts. The results of this investigation strengthens the recent trend in the research of Malachi that it is unlikely that the book underwent an extensive redactional process over a period of time and that it is rather more likely that the book was written in a relatively short period of time. <![CDATA[<b>The World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the Dutch Reformed Church and a <i>status confessionis </i>against the theological and moral justification of apartheid</b>]]> In 1982 the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) announced a status confessionis against the theological and moral justification of apartheid. It expelled two member churches, the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika) because of their known support of apartheid. This situation could only be changed if these two churches were to unequivocally reject apartheid on the basis of a status confessionis and show specified practical examples of this rejection. The meaning of a status confessionis as applied by the WARC is analysed. The reason why the WARC came to a status confessionis is historically investigated. The reaction of the DRC to this resolution and its readmittance as a member of the WARC is clarified. Attention is also given to the condition that accepting a status confessionis against the support of apartheid does not mean - for the WARC at least - that a new confession of faith should follow from this. <![CDATA[<b>Muscular Christianity in contemporary South Africa: The case of the Mighty Men Conference</b>]]> Drawing on key aspects of Muscular Christianity identified through this movement's literature, this article ventures that the major contemporary Evangelical Christian men's movement in South Africa, the Mighty Men Conference (MMC), draws on and harkens back to the concerns of the Victorian era of Muscular Christianity. Moreover, the article argues that this reversion should be of concern in the context of a post-apartheid and postcolonial South Africa where both women's rights and human rights (especially encompassing racial equality) now form the core of the country's identity. In other words, the MMC's call to men to reclaim their top position is problematic even while it comes from a place of concern regarding the changing role of men in a transitional South African landscape. <![CDATA[<b>Becoming transdisciplinary theologians: Wentzel van Huyssteen, Paul Cilliers and Constantine Stanislavski</b>]]> Firstly, I discuss deferent descriptions of transdisciplinary research and argue that Wentzel van Huyssteen's postfoundationalist description of epistemology provides a progenitive epistemology for a variety of transdisciplinary engagements. Secondly, I suggest that complexity, as described by Paul Cilliers, can be rooted in a postfoundationalist epistemology and illuminates the facilitation of transdisciplinary research. Based on this description and facilitation of transdisciplinarity, I argue that transdisciplinary theologians need to be skilled empathisers because knowledge is generated and exchanged by embodied agents, embedded in particular disciplines. In a transversal move I suggest that, given contemporary research on empathic skills and the embodied aspects of empathy, Stanislavski's approach to the training of actors illuminates a way in which we can train transdisciplinary theologians. The training develops empathetic skills through both mental and embodied exercises and equips students to generate empathy in different contexts without following set rules. <![CDATA[<b>Social entrepreneurship: A solution for transforming the disadvantaged community of Nellmapius</b>]]> In this article, I investigate the concept, social entrepreneurship, as a potential lever in economic and social transformation of the poorest-of-the-poor community of Nellmapius township, east of Pretoria, South Africa. I identify definitions of 'entrepreneurship' and 'social entrepreneurship', and delve into the historical development of the concept 'entrepreneur'. South Africa is in an era where it needs more new venture creation. Hence, I have studied new venture formation, especially from the perspective of Schumpeter's theory of ways of forming a new firm. South Africa lags behind in new venture development compared to other developing countries; I investigated the causes behind this and suggest remedies to address this. Postfoundationalist practical theology is seen as a way of doing theology in the midst of those who suffer poverty and lack. The methods of this approach are dealt with in this article, which also asks what theology can bring to the table of interdisciplinary engagement? <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic sensing of Yahweh's word</b>]]> This article focuses on Jeremiah 23:18, which implies that the prophet stood in the council of Yahweh (sod) to see and hear the word of Yahweh. In this verse, it seems that the senses of the prophet played a role in receiving Yahweh's words. Verse 18 forms part of 23:16-22 in which Jeremiah warned the people of Judah not to listen to prophets who mislead them with optimistic messages. In this article, attention is given to the question whether standing in the council of Yahweh is a deciding criterion for receiving true words from Yahweh. The motif of the divine council is also investigated. An argument is presented that 'sensing' should be understood in the double sense of the word, namely sensory experience as well as the intellectual activity of understanding. It is argued that both meanings of the word sensing are necessary to determine the truth of Yahweh's word. <![CDATA[<b>Martin Luther about dishonesty in the economy</b>]]> This article is about Martin Luther's economic ethics. Background information is given about the economic situation 500 years ago. The high levels of poverty in Germany were the main reason behind the health crisis experienced at that time. Luther reprimanded the heads of families to work diligently and honestly in order to ensure a stable income for the family. He prophetically also criticised the dishonesty on the market place. He exposed the many attempts by people to exploit the poor. An overview is given of the development of his economic thought. The focus falls, however, on his essay Von Kaufshandlung und Wucher (1524) [On trade and profiteering]. <![CDATA[<b>South African Old Testament criticism: Squeezed between an ancient text and contemporary contexts</b>]]> The article focuses on a debate initiated by Masenya and Ramantswana in 2012 about the lack of engagement with contemporary issues by South African Old Testament scholars. The article shows, with reference to the book of Leviticus, that ancient texts grew over time in order to become relevant for later generations. It then asks: if it is possible for Old Testament scholars to construct ancient examples of writers engaging with contemporary issues, why these same scholars are reluctant to make these texts relevant for today? The article then engages with the work of Farisani and describes strong points and weaknesses in the way in which he uses biblical texts to engage with contemporary debates before returning to the central question. <![CDATA[<b>The Bible, culture and ethics: Trickery in the narrative of Judah and Tamar</b>]]> Using the Bible in Christian ethics is often not as simple as many would expect it to be. This is particularly the case for the use of the Old Testament. Part of the challenge is the complexity of grasping the customs and norms that are reflected in the Old Testament. They are often at odds with what is acceptable in contemporary thinking. In this article, we examine the difficulty of using the Old Testament in Christian ethics by using the narrative of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38 as case study. We show that this particular text alerts us to the complex relationship between ethics and culture, not only in the world of the text, but also the world of the interpreter. Based on our analysis of the text we argue for its meta-ethical contribution to the practice of Christian ethics. We do not endeavour to resolve the perceived tension between the implied ethics of the text and that of contemporary interpreters, but view the unresolved tension as one of the text's key contributions to the practice of Christian ethics. <![CDATA[<b>Celtic spirituality and contemporary environmental issues</b>]]> Celtic spirituality has a long and distinguished ancestry with its origins in pre-Christian times. It was inculturated among peoples in the far west of Europe, particularly in Ireland, Scotland and the north and south-west of England. It was different from Roman Christianity in distinct ways until the mid-7th century CE when Roman Christianity became the norm in Britain and Ireland. This spirituality has endured throughout the centuries and has experienced a revival from the latter half of the 20th century. From its inception, it has been closely linked to the environment. Over the years many key aspects of Celtic spirituality have been integrated in many religious traditions and shows similarities with and can contribute to a new ethical perspective on environmental issues. This article investigates the current environmental crisis from a faith perspective and attempts to draw lessons from Celtic traditions of spirituality in a scientific age. <![CDATA[<b>Interreligious dialogue in the views of Turkish historians of religions</b>]]> In our global world the term 'interreligious dialogue' has become a powerful fact that promises mutual understanding and learning among the adherents of religions. The issue is becoming a popular subject among the religious circles and theological discussions and studies. One of the significant portions of scholars who discuss it presents opinions and offers suggestions for the historians of religions. The Turkish historians of religions provide significant material in terms of the place of interreligious dialogue within the Turkish context. Their perceptions of the concept will also give a clear picture about its implications within the Muslim world. Therefore, the article analyses and criticises the opinions of historians of religions about the concept of dialogue and its propositions in a critical manner. It also focuses their reactions to dialogue and provides suggestions for a healthy dialogue. <![CDATA[<b>Clashing deities in the book of <i>Judith: </i>A Greimassian perspective</b>]]> The shaping of a text with a specific kind of plot is suggestive of the fundamental values that the author desires to either promote or discourage within the reader's community and its worldview. The Judith narrative is not an exception to this claim or rule. Scholars have contributed much in establishing the underlying purpose of Judith and came up with intuitive contributions to the field of study. However, the investigation of the overarching fundamental values that generated the story of Judith remains a gap to be filled in Judith research. The goal of this article is to fill this gap by investigating the fundamental values that the author desires to promote or discourage within the community, using the thematic analysis of the Greimassian semiotic approach. Subsequently, the present article reveals that the Judith narrative was designed to be an ideological vehicle in its intent, aimed at rejuvenating and revitalising the core values of the Jewish religion during the difficult times of the Second Temple period. <![CDATA[<b>Worship and the Lord's Supper in Assemblies of God, and other selected Pentecostal churches in Nigeria</b>]]> Pentecostals' dominant liturgical principle has traditionally taken the pattern of unlimited expression of emotion and charismata, often formless and emphasising the subjective. The manifestations of the Spirit's direct activity often interpreted as the reason for Pentecostals' antiliturgical position, have in the past few years passed through a paradigm shift. The introduction of concrete rituals encompassing various significations, in a manner reminiscent of African traditions and culture by some churches, shows uncritical engagement with biblical theology of worship. Furthermore, the encouragement of individual appropriation of God's promise in rites performance is a deviation from African traditional emphasis on community function. The researcher employed a participant observation methodology and engagement with pertinent literary works of pastors of the churches investigated. The article shows that the struggle of Pentecostals to be relevant is responsible for its juxtaposition of African traditions and culture with the Spirit in the performance of liturgical rites. The article concludes that in Nigeria Pentecostals' practice of worship encourages the individual to appropriate the biblical promises of God at the expense of the community of Christ whose work in building character and guiding our lives is done through other Christians in the community. <![CDATA[<b>The concept of diseases and health care in African traditional religion in Ghana</b>]]> As human beings we sometimes in one way or another become sick, and therefore go for treatment depending on our choice of treatment (religious perspective or Western medical treatment). Although African traditional religion is not against a Western medical way of treatment or healing process, its followers believe that there are some diseases that Western medicine cannot treat, and therefore need spiritual attention, as it is sometimes practiced in churches. This article discusses the African traditional view regarding disease, causes of disease, how disease is diagnosed and treated, with a special focus on Ghana. The article also describes the role of the diviner or the African traditional priest or what others may term as 'herbalists'. The advantages and disadvantages of the African traditional healing process are considered. The article concludes by discussing African traditional healing in the context of a contemporary health care discourse, as well as a proposal for dialogue between traditional healers, Western medical practitioners, the government of Ghana, and the governments of various countries where this issue may be applicable, to build a consensus in addressing health issues. <![CDATA[<b>South Africa: The early quest for liberty and democracy</b>]]> The early quest for liberty and political freedom in South Africa had been influenced by various factors, inter alia political sentiments which originated in Reformed, Huguenot and Patriotten political theory. An analysis of early political ideas indicates that religious sentiments had a significant influence on the development of political ideas. These sentiments and ideas all contributed to a passionate search for freedom, justice and democracy. The different strata of religious and political ideas manifest in a continuous and discontinuous way, giving the impression of fragmented and contorted ideas, but still recognisable in terms of their origins. This contribution is an attempt to identify some of the fragmented and contorted strata of ideas which influenced the early quest for political freedom and the rejection of British colonial rule in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Assessing the consistency of John Calvin's doctrine on human sinfulness</b>]]> The accusation is often levelled at Calvin that his doctrine on sin is inconsistent, contradictory, deterministic and culpable of making God the Author of sin. This article probes the validity of these accusations by analysing the consistency of John Calvin's doctrine on human sinfulness and by asking whether Calvin's understanding of sinful human nature is theologically valid. In doing so, the investigation keeps in mind the structural make-up of his theology, the rhetorical intent of his utterances and the devices he employs to harmonise possible inconsistencies in his theology. The finding is that characterisations of Calvin's doctrine on sin as deterministic, logically inconsistent and culpable of making God the Author of sin are not well-founded. Factors often overlooked are the dialectical nature of his theological reflection on sin, the chronological evolution of his thought on sin and the fact that he does not regard God and human beings as operating on the same ontological level, though this does not mean that God is not active in creaturely reality. When these factors are taken into account, Calvin's doctrine on sin proves to be fairly consistent and reconcilable with the rest of his theology. <![CDATA[<b>The grammar of faith language in the Canons of Dordt as a result of the nation-state ideology</b>]]> This article aims to decipher the spirit of the notion 'predestination' codified in the Canons of Dordt. It reconsiders the relevance of these dogmatic propositions about predestination as a grammar of the faith language which originated in a very specific context, namely the political concerns and the religious convictions held in the uniting Dutch provinces as a nation-state. In this context Calvin's views about predestination became instrumental to the establishment of an upcoming nationalistic ideology, based on different interpretations and perceptions of Calvin's theology. Within the context of the Protestant Dutch resistance against the Roman-Catholic Spanish-Habsburg hegemony, the Canons were formulated during the Synod of Dordrecht in 1618-1619 as a Calvinistic movement against the Remonstrants who were stigmatised as collaborators of the Spanish-Habsburg reign over the Netherlands. This article demonstrates that different receptions of Dordt heighten the dogmatic gap between the so-called liberal modernism of the Remonstrants and a strict confessionalism of neo-Calvinism which has influenced the present-day understanding of the Canons of Dordt. It is argued that the grammar of the Canons of Dordt needs to be understood against this background and the meaning of the faith language it reflects, interpreted accordingly. <![CDATA[<b>The Apostolic tradition in the Early Church's understanding of Scripture and faith - A brief hermeneutical overview</b>]]> This study is a concise hermeneutical overview of faith's various ways of understanding and of the different approaches towards Scripture interpretation in the history of the Early Church. The research manifests that historically the Apostolic Tradition of the Early Church, with its ecumenically accepted expression of faith in the Nicene Confession (originating from the Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea 325 and Constantinople 381), offers a foundation towards Church unity and at the same time provides us with a vital hermeneutical key for the Church's understanding of the scriptures and of her faith. <![CDATA[<b>The search for a more human face for Nelson Mandela: An urgent task</b>]]> For many reasons, reflecting on the life of Nelson Mandela is a precarious exercise. If Mandela is a symbol of the resilience of the human spirit under trying conditions, he is also a symbol that is appropriated in various ways - helpful and unhelpful - by various people. This article explores some of the unhelpful ways in which the name and person of Nelson Mandela is invoked. In particular, the article looks at the hagiographical orientation of several reflections on Mandela, cautioning how some of these may have an effect less noble than originally intended. Accordingly, the article asks: How much can the symbol of Mandela bear? How much more can Mandela give? The logic and rationale of Mandela hagiography is explored. Following his death, there has been an explosion of interest in the life and symbol that is Nelson Mandela. Mandela literature, including multi-media, is on the rise. If the symbol of Mandela is in danger of being 'cannibalised', there is also a danger of relegating Mandela to an ahistorical mythical figure. The solution lies in at least two area, namely, the increment of alternative Mandela narratives and the introduction of more critical Mandela narratives. In this regard, Mandela's own self-understanding as captured in his reflections about his life offer several clues which are explored in this article. <![CDATA[<b>Healing in Herero culture and Namibian African independent churches</b>]]> The current phenomenon of Namibian African Independent Churches (NAICs) draws attention from various people in civil society in Namibia. Although the ministries of NAICs are engaged with activities which are unusual for Christian churches, such as healing the people, fighting against evil spirits and power, performing certain rituals, prophesying and leading the worship services with African Traditional Religion (ATR) as a frame of reference in 21st century, they do have a very big influence on various aspects of society in Namibia, which cannot be ignored. This is because those activities are familiar to the everyday lives of Africans and in touch with their culture. With regards to this, this article focuses on the causes of integration or harmony between the Herero culture and the NAICs. <![CDATA[<b>Complex leadership as a way forward for transformational missional leadership in a denominational structure</b>]]> The research investigates the role of leadership in the transformation of denominational structures towards a missional ecclesiology, and focusses on the Highveld Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church. It describes the missional journey of the denomination, and interprets the transformation. The theory of 'complex leadership' in complex systems is applied to the investigation of the impact of leadership on a denominational structure. The theory identifies three mechanisms used by leaders as enablers in emergent, self-organisation systems: (1) Leaders disrupt existing patterns, (2) they encourage novelty, and (3) they act as sensemakers. These insights are applied as a tool to interpret the missional transformation of a denomination. <![CDATA[<b>The end of leadership? The shift of power in local congregations</b>]]> In a qualitative study recently carried out by the author amongst ministers in a Circuit of Dutch Reformed Congregations in a suburban context in the Western Cape, South Africa, respondents were asked whether they sensed a 'shift of view' concerning the role of leadership during the past 20 years in their respective congregations. The research results paint a picture of 'the end of leadership' at least in some form. One can also sense a 'shift of power' over the past two decades in these local congregations, indicating the changing dynamics of leadership. There seems to be a shift of power from the individual leader to the team, the group and the network. The aim of this paper is, firstly, to present some of the empirical results and then to reflect on the underlying reasons for this shift of power by giving a description of some broader philosophical and sociological perspectives influencing this state of affairs. This will be followed by a description of, and reflection on, theological developments on the Trinity and power that might help to understand the 'end of leadership' in some ways. The paper concludes with some thoughts on the role of power and leadership processes at work in local faith communities. <![CDATA[<b>Religion and global bioethics: Religious global bioethics as a precursor to a universal bioethics</b>]]> From a general public perspective, this article presumes that there is such a thing as a universal ethics; however this assumption does not decrease the challenges with regard to a 'global ethics' and 'bioethics'. The article discusses the views on global religious bioethics that were formulated in 1999. The article further considers these formulations as the forerunner of UNESCO's perspective on universal bioethics accepted in 2005. The article aims to argue that a global value system will enhance hope of peace and justice in today's global world. It argues that the absence of shared ethics will reinforce conflict between civilisations and worsen injustice. <![CDATA[<b>Proverbs: Prose or poetry?</b>]]> Should Proverbs be read as prose or poetry? Considering the language craft is of essential significance for a hermeneutical enquiry into the biblical book of Proverbs. Five suppositions to support the presupposition that Proverbs is best read as poetry were considered. <![CDATA[<b>The parables of Jesus: Allegories or symbols of social transformation?</b>]]> This article reflects on a possible methodology that can be used to interpret the parables of Jesus preserved in the Synoptics (and the Gospel of Thomas). It is argued that the available versions of the parables of Jesus have already been allegorised, and that this should be taken into consideration when the extant versions of parables are interpreted as parables of the historical Jesus. The parables should also, as far as possible, be interpreted against the social realia evoked by the parables. In this endeavour, Roman-Egypt inscriptions and papyri are in most cases the only sources available. The article concludes with a few examples, illustrating the possibilities of interpretation when the proposed methodology is applied. <![CDATA[<b><i>Pax Romana </i></b><b>as agtergrond van die Christelike <i>kerugma</i></b>]]> The concept 'kingdom of God' is fundamental to the kerygma on the salvific meaning of Jesus Christ in New Testament times. This article aims to explore the raison d'être why this concept had been such an important element in the kerygma. It argues that the Pax Romana as the primary ideology of the Roman Empire played a significant role. The Pax Romana advocated harmony with the gods, and subsequent heavenly peace and global stability and security in the inhabited world. However, the kerygma replaced the Pax Romana as an ideology with the apocalyptic-eschatological concept 'kingdom of God'. According to apocalyptic eschatology, an end to the known world is expected. This end was considered to be a cataclysmic catastrophe awaiting in the future, albeit indeterminate to humankind. On the contrary, the church's kerygma proclaimed that the kingdom of God was already present. An element of Jewish apocalyptism, however, remained in the Christian religion - yet adjusted. That is, although the kingdom of God was regarded already present, the idea of a second coming of Christ as Redeemer was upheld. The article demonstrates that the Christian kerygma on the realised kingdom of God had its origins in the expectation of an utopia, as envisaged in the Pax Romana as ideology. <![CDATA[<b>Imagine-making disciples in youth ministry ... that will make disciples</b>]]> Discipling youth may be one of the 'missing links' in developing missional thinking and missional local churches. This is even more so where churches suffer from a very obvious estrangement among generations. This article draws on the most recent literature on developing missional churches. The departure point is the argument of a the New Testament scholar, who refers to the description of Matthew 28:16-20 as the manifesto of the church - a manifesto that lies on the same level of value as the Shema of Israel: 'Listen, o Israel, the Lord our God is the only One.' This manifesto wants to tell us how new and differently we have to think on how people come into the body and how people will stay in the body. Picking up on three of my theological premises this article will work with a research question: What kind of church will make disciples in youth ministry? It will also work towards theological suggestions on how to make disciples in youth ministry in such a way that young disciples will make disciples. <![CDATA[<b>The relationship between preaching, music and liturgy</b>]]> In the Reformed liturgy in South Africa the sermon has traditionally been reserved a special place, taking precedence over the liturgy and music. In this article an argument is put forward for a better balance between preaching, liturgy and music in the Reformed liturgy in churches in South Africa. In order to do so, the South African Reformed liturgical context is briefly sketched and thereafter a theological and liturgical-historical argument is presented. Existing approaches with regard to the relationship between liturgy, music and preaching by some established scholars are discussed before the implications of the argument are examined in conclusion. <![CDATA[<b>The Social Gospel movement revisited: Consequences for the church</b>]]> This article introduces South African churches to the reasons why elements of the late 19th and early 20th century Social Gospel movement encourages local churches to participate in their respective communities through social contribution. The article argues that the Social Gospellers understood Christian responsibility as an imperative of 'participatio Jesu through social integration of living an ethos of oikoumenë. The history of the Social Gospel should be a relevant influence on mainline churches to understand the tension in the decision to participate or withdraw from social contribution today. <![CDATA[<b>What is Children's Theology? Children's Theology as theological competence: Development, differentiation, methods</b>]]> Children's Theology, theologising with children, or Child Theology has become an established concept in the discipline of religious education in Germany. The discipline departs from the point of view that children have a right to their religion, which makes the process of religious education the focal point. It is, however, important to understand the theology generated by children and also to create interaction with their religious views. This requires dialogue in which relevant questions are to be considered and discussed. The challenges for religious educators are subsequently treated. <![CDATA[<b>A missional perspective on funerals and bereavement counselling</b>]]> This article deals with the importance of a missional approach to the funeral and bereavement counselling process in congregational praxis in the midst of a context of secularisation. The creation of a missional perspective on the funeral and bereavement counselling could support the nature and praxis of a congregation in a secular society, especially if the congregation finds its relevance in the expression of the missio Dei. The basic theoretical research for missional ecclesiology, which is the systematic study directed toward greater knowledge of the fundamental aspects of missional ecclesiology (National Science Foundation 1953:38), is based on the premise that God is the source of all missions. The expression missio Dei means to join God in the mission he is already busy with in the world. As the one who sends, God the Father sends the Son, the Son sends the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit sends the church. The church only participates in the mission God is already busy with. It is a mission that uses both words and deeds and brings hope in the midst of tragedy. It is the hope of the kingdom of God and the incarnation of Christ that can already be experienced and expressed in the present. It is also the hope of the transformation of everything to form a new heaven and earth. Hope and mission can therefore not be separated. The concretisation of the expression of the kingdom of Christ in the world is hope, and a strong emphasis is therefore placed on mission as action in hope. Hope must be present where tragedy reigns, and the funeral and bereavement counselling can be used as a vehicle for this hope. Hope can then become an instrument of healing. The church can thus participate in God's mission in the midst of tragedy and make an impact on society by taking on a missional character of hope. <![CDATA[<b>The theological encyclopedia according to Rudolf Bultmann</b>]]> The purpose of this article is to present Bultmann's view on theology. The theme is relevant, since there is confusion as to what theology is or should be. Although his theological contribution remains under attack, Bultmann often complained of being misunderstood. Therefore it is necessary to read his work carefully and to reconsider his approach. The author started with themes Bultmann discussed in his lectures on theological encyclopaedia, published posthumously, and elaborates on them with reference to his other published work. <![CDATA[<b>The critical role of relationship in education</b>]]> A TED talk by Susan Savage-Rumbaugh entitled 'The gentle genius of the bonobos' tells the story of the learning ability of these gentle primates. Although these animals were never deliberately taught any skills - cognitive, linguistic or technical - they managed to learn a vast amount from the scientists in the program by just observing, experimenting and imitating them. And the key to this learning process was the significance these humans had in the lives of the bonobos. The relationship between the scientists and the bonobos was therefore key to the learning experience and the learning process. This reminded me of the success stories I have witnessed within our therapist training program at the counselling centre where I have been lecturing. We used to train pastoral therapists within the narrative paradigm. Within this paradigm, reality is considered to be socially constructed, thus emphasising the relational nature of identity, agency and knowledge. Aligning the 'teaching methodology' with this epistemology invariably requires a participatory approach to training, which in our context led to the adoption of seminars rather than lectures, and a conversational style of learning (with the lecturer - or more aptly, the facilitator - becoming a co-learner!). This article will now explore what the effect of relationship building as a deliberate prerequisite for learning might be on learner agency. <![CDATA[<b>The university, the city and the clown: A theological essay on solidarity, mutuality and prophecy</b>]]> This essay is informed by five different but interrelated conversations all focusing on the relationship between the city and the university. Suggesting the clown as metaphor, I explore the particular role of the activist scholar, and in particular the liberation theologian that is based at the public university, in his or her engagement with the city. Considering the shackles of the city of capital and its twin, the neoliberal university, on the one hand, and the city of vulnerability on the other, I then propose three clown-like postures of solidarity, mutuality and prophecy to resist the shackles of culture and to imagine and embody daring alternatives. <![CDATA[<b>The incarnation of the <i>missio Dei </i>practice model for the Dutch Reformed Church of Africa</b>]]> The decline of the church in the West is of great concern to many today. The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA), experiences the same tendency. We are living in a time when survival is on the mind of most mainline congregations and denominations. The question is what shall we do to turn this situation around? The answer is to be found in the rediscovery of what it means for the church to be missional. The knowledge about how the early church functioned helps us to rediscover the character of early Christian mission, much of what is drawn together in the concept of incarnational mission. This article examines incarnational mission as the understanding and practise of Christian witness that is rooted in and shaped by the life, ministry, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Understanding mission incarnationally in this manner is an integrative way to approach the church's missionary vocation and to avoid the typical Western reduction of mission to one of the many programms of the church. The article, by exploring the meaning of incarnational mission, endeavours to be both constructive with regard to the biblical and theological understanding of the message, and polemical with regard to the context and history of mission, especially in the Western tradition. This article follows Darrell Guder in arguing that the historical 'happenedness' of Jesus' life both enables and defines Christian witness. In exploring the missional significance of the incarnation, the article tries to avoid any dilution of the centrality of the incarnation event. <![CDATA[<b><i>'Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda' </i></b><b>Church renewal from a Reformed perspective</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Notes on Calvin's knowledge, use, and misuse of the Church Fathers</b>]]> John Calvin (1509-1564) started his career as a thoroughly trained humanist who possessed, in addition, a thorough knowledge of the Fathers of the Church. This article provides an overview of this particular knowledge. It also focuses on the use Calvin made of the patristic argument in both his instructive and apologetic writings. Some evident cases of Calvin's misuse of the patres are discussed as well. It is concluded that Calvin's special patristic knowledge gave his theology its special hallmark and still links authentic Calvinism with the church's catholic tradition through the ages. <![CDATA[<b>Martin Luther and doing theology in the future</b>]]> The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa prides itself for the fact that she has always appreciated the German-Lutheran tradition. The Reformed Theological College has for 15 years contributed to the appreciation of this tradition. This article wants to encourage the new leadership to keep this legacy alive. The main aspects of Luther's theology are explained. These aspects are: prayer (oratio), meditation (meditatio), constitation (tentatio), grace of the Spirit (gratia Spiritus), exegesis (sedulalectio), and the use of other sciences in understanding the Bible (bonarum atrium cognitia). Attention is also given to the subject-matter of Theology as well as the notion of humbleness. <![CDATA[<b>The ongoing appointment of ministers between the Dutch Reformed Church and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa: 1862-1917</b>]]> This article highlights the situation prior to the establishment of the theological training of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NDRCA). The training of ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) started in 1859 with the establishment of the Theological Seminary at Stellenbosch. Since 1862 three churches operated in the then Transvaal (South African Republic). Many ministers of the DRC were called to serve in the NDRCA. The most notable were the Rev D.P. Ackerman and the Rev H.S. Bosman. They were called before the origin of the united church (of the NDRCA and the DRC) that existed between 1885 and 1892. After the split in 1892, they (as well as many others) continued as ministers in the DRC. The first lecturer of the NDRCA was called in 1917 -also a minister that was previously from the DRC. The calling of his successor sparked a major row. The NDRCA congregation of Pretoria called another minister from the DRC - the Rev H.D. van Broekhuizen. This eventually led to a special meeting of the General Assembly of the NDRCA in 1917 where his calling was eventually approved. <![CDATA[<b>The missional renaissance: Its impact on churches in South Africa, ecumenical organisations, and the development of local congregations</b>]]> This article focuses on three matters pertaining to the conversation of missional churches. Firstly, it looks at the impact of missional awareness in South Africa and Africa. Here the article explores what is meant by missional congregations in the South African context. Secondly it looks at the ecumenical understanding and development of the missional church and how this has started to shape ecumenical organisations and, thirdly it concludes with some suggestions of how missional congregations and denominations can be developed. In this final section the article offers some strategic principles for developing missional churches. <![CDATA[<b>Drive for the divine</b>]]> Although the present article stands alone, it is a continuation of 'Living in the not-yet' (published in vol. 71, issue 1 of HTS). Both articles are derivatives of a larger study that discusses God as the centre of an often inarticulate and inchoate but innate human desire and pursuit to enjoy and reflect the divine image (imago Dei) in which every human being was created. The current article sets forth foundational considerations and speaks to the ineffaceable drive within humans to find God. It is a reciprocated drive - a response to God who first sought and continues to seek humans - a correlate and concomitant seeking in response to God. Although surely not the final word, this article discusses God as spirit and spiritual, by whom human beings have been created as imago Dei or God's self-address, showing God's heart as toward his creation, and humans most especially. Also discussed here is that humans are destined to join the perichoretic relationship that God has enjoyed from eternity. Moreover, in his ascension and glory, Jesus sends the Spirit of adoption into creation so that human creation might enter this same perichoretic relationship with God. <![CDATA[<b>Malachi's concept of a <i>Torah</i>-compliant community (Ml 3:22 [MT]) and its associated implications</b>]]> This article focuses on Malachi's distinctive claims that guarantee a well-ordered community, namely the validity and feasibility of a Torah-compliant community. Since Torah compliance is a fundamental core of Israel's life, in the book of Malachi, Yahweh's Torah functions as the reliable and invariable authority for the community well-being as a whole. Community well-being as pictured by Malachi is created not only by Yahweh but also as the consequent contemplation and action of community. Malachi notes clearly that it is the sins of the community as a whole that renders it inconceivable that Yahweh's blessings should attend to them as they are now, and Malachi demands certain definite and substantial actions as preconditions to the manifestation of the desired expectations. To him the secret of creating and maintaining a healthy, viable community and living as people in covenant relationship with Yahweh, is by 'remembering' (upholding and practicing) Yahweh's Torah. Accordingly, Malachi enjoined his audience to remember the Torah of Moses, which constitutes the fundamental dimensions of their relationship with Yahweh. This article is thus an attempt to understand Malachi's concept of a Torah-compliant community and its associated blessings of happiness and shalom. <![CDATA[<b>A.G. van Aarde and historical Jesus research</b>]]> A.G. van Aarde's contribution to historical Jesus research is mainly expressed in his book Fatherless in Galilee: Jesus as Child of God. The book was the result of five years of Jesus research. Van Aarde is an ordained minister of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA). Since the book's publication in 2001, the NRCA has experienced an immense dispute regarding the book in particular but also regarding the subject of historical Jesus research in general. This dispute has publicly escalated since 2010. It has often centred on Van Aarde's notion of Jesus' fatherlessness. This article will focus on said book in order to ascertain what is meant by the concept 'the fatherless Jesus'. This is done to illustrate that Van Aarde's research, as it converges in the scrutinised publication, remains of relevance to the NRCA. <![CDATA[<b>Changing things around: Dramatic aspect in the <i>Pericope Adulterae </i>(Jn 7:53-8:11)</b>]]> In this article the transactional model of narrative as expounded by Louise Rosenblatt, supported by an analysis in terms of dramatic aspect, is employed to show how the interpolated scene in John 7:53-8:11 (known as the Pericope Adulterae and hereafter referred to as PA) functions as a pivot of power in the gospel. The content of the scene, as well as its placement within the gospel, serves to promote an aesthetic reading that focusses attention on the experience during the reading event. Awareness of sensations, images, feelings and ideas from past experiences, as well as the sounds and rhythms of the words become important. The reader responds to the aesthetic transaction, the various elements of total experience, rather than simply to the text, during and after the reading event. <![CDATA[<b>The relationship between Colossians and Ephesians as a synoptic problem</b>]]> Research by different scholars concluded that some letters traditionally ascribed to Paul were probably not written by him and drew a distinction between Pauline and Deutero-Pauline letters. The majority of scholars nowadays are of the opinion that the letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians are Deutero-Pauline and that Ephesians, at least, was surely not written by Paul. The results of research on the synoptic problem can be used and applied to the two letters under discussion because a comparison shows that there are striking similarities between the two. The most recent research shows that Ephesians made use of the letter to the Colossians but not without redactional changes to suit the author's literary purpose. This method is exegetically known as redaction-criticism, linked to the social-science viewpoint that the author of the letter to the Ephesians acted as a change agent on behalf of a change agency. <![CDATA[<b>'Retrodiction' of the Old Testament in the New: The case of Deuteronomy 21:23 in Paul's Letter to the Galatians and the crucifixion of Yehoshua ben Yoseph</b>]]> The fact that the New Testament authors often referred or alluded to, or quoted from their Scriptures (roughly what is known today as 'the OT'), and then very often linked those quotations, references, and allusions from their Jewish Scriptures to the Christ-event, has led to the viewpoint of some that 'Christ is found in the OT' - that is, that the OT prophesised about the events that took place regarding the person, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the intention of this contribution to confirm the position of mainstream biblical scholarship that the Old Testament does not predict the events surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, but that the New Testament writers interpreted the Jesus-events in hindsight in the light of the Scriptures of Israel. The current study attempts to firstly unfold the meta-narrative of the New Testament in five acts. Against the backdrop of the last of these acts, the case of the crucifixion of Jesus as interpreted by Paul to the early Christians in Galatia receives particular attention. It is argued that Paul's presentation of the crucifixion in Galatians - as based on Deuteronomy 21:23 - is done retrodictively to portray Yehoshua ben Yoseph as liberator of the law in Asia Minor. This study proposes the coinage of a new term in canonical biblical scholarship, namely the term 'retrodiction' - in opposition to the term 'prediction'. <![CDATA[<b>The statue debate: Ancestors and 'mnemonic energy' in Paul and now</b>]]> Why do people in South Africa fight over statues - even to the extent of tying themselves to a mere bust? Using insights, especially from Jan Assmann, the study develops the argument that material culture (such as images and statues) provides the social energy that drives the manner in which history is told, that is, historiography; they provide the 'silent objects' with the power to control the public discourse and collective identity. Statues encapsulate all we need to know, inversely, concerning public discourse, particularly, concerning issues pertaining to control, power and class. From this perspective, those who vandalise them may be regarded as contesting public discourse identity and historiography. Insights from this discussion provide parallel discussions, especially, in Galatians where Paul contrasts the image of Abraham with that of Moses - choosing Abraham as the public image that best represents the identity complexity, cosmopolitan and heterogeneous nature that characterises the Hellenistic context. <![CDATA[<b>After God: Practical theology as public Christology from the margins of the market</b>]]> This article is part of a research project, Conversations after God. The focus of this article is to reflect on the theory and methodology of practical theology in a post-metaphysical (After God) context. It will be suggested that practical theology can redefine itself as public theology, but specifically as Christology by engaging the public texts within their contexts, but from a Christ-science hermeneutical approach. The proposed approach is a hermeneutical approach where the Christ-Ereignis guides the inner- and inter-textual reading of texts within contexts. This Christ-Ereignis cannot be translated into a science or even a definable philosophy and therefore the logos is crossed out. Christology, as public theology is done from the margins of the dominant discourses and therefore it could be seen as a Christology from the margins of the market to create spaces of kingdom life: life in fullness. <![CDATA[<b>Life stories of married woman: A possibility to transformation</b>]]> Feminist scholarship in various disciplines has shown that women tend to internalise dominant social and religious discourse with regard to their lesser worth and value as human beings and members of society. The focal point of this article is to demonstrate how the place and role allocated to women, specifically in marital relationships, can be experienced as harmful. This article makes use of the life history research method in combination with the emancipatory analysis model of Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza in order to demonstrate this. Interviews were done with five women of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa, a fairly conservative and traditional Afrikaans speaking South African faith community. In spite of having lived with this mindset all of their lives, the women were able to express in which ways they experienced the dominant discourse as harmful. If social and religious views devalue a certain group of people, transformation is required. In the case of women, respectfully listening to their life stories and experiences can contribute to their own healing as well as to the transformation of their social and religious environment and the practice of the church. <![CDATA[<b>Alternative assessment to enhance theological education</b>]]> The knowledge driven, network society that is founded upon technology, demands from students to become independent, confident and motivated life-long, self-directed learners that can transfer their knowledge, skills and values. In order to deliver this type of graduates from a diverse and unequal student pool, effective education must be provided. Educators are encouraged to focus education on student-centeredness and to use technology effectively. Alternative assessment methods that are technology driven could enable both educators and students to become more effective in this environment. This article advocates the use of alternative assessment methods by using technology driven assessment tools for possible replacement of traditional, paper based and 'one size fits all' assessment methods within theology. The SECTIONS framework was used to evaluate ten alternative assessment tools that are in accord with the development within society. <![CDATA[<b>The ethos of the Reformed Church in the third millennium</b>]]> This article aims at revisiting the ethos of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa. There are concerns over the vast numbers of members, especially young members that leave the church. Special interest is taken in view of the ethos of the church in the third millennium. The author was curious about the understanding of members of the church as far as the ethos is concerned. A study which included two different groups within the church indicated that further investigation and research are inevitable in order to broaden the view on the future of the church even more. Factors such as the opinions of members of the church regarding the ethos and the question whether the understanding of the ethos has any impact on the declining of membership numbers could contribute to this debate. <![CDATA[<b>African traditional widowhood rites and their benefits and/or detrimental effects on widows in a context of African Christianity</b>]]> Traditional Africans teach ubuntu principles of communality, mutual respect, caring and so forth, but they do not walk the talk with regard to the treatment of widows. In the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth, Christian communities preach unconditional love, especially for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable. Implementation is, however, grossly lacking in respect of the treatment of widows. There is thus an apparent deliberate uncaring, disrespectful, discriminatory, impolite and unjust treatment of widows in African communities in spite of the ubuntu values and Christian teaching that emphasise love and caring, especially towards the grieving and thus vulnerable widows. Widows seem to be neglected and even oppressed in our time. The aim of this research is to critically examine African traditional widowhood rites and practices with special reference to the comfort or pain to which they subject African widows. The research further aims to examine the behaviour of some African Christians belonging to three congregations of one mainline church to determine whether their treatment of widows resonates with Jesus' teaching regarding the requisite care of widows. The issue of widowhood in Africa, in terms of the apparent plight of these bereaved and grieving women, needs to be urgently addressed for change in the 21st century. A critical literature study of relevant sources and a newspaper article will be used for this research. My personal experiences and continuing observation as an insider will also inform the research in useful ways. <![CDATA[<b>Sexual abuse: A practical theological study, with an emphasis on learning from transdisciplinary research</b>]]> This article illustrates the practical usefulness of transdisciplinary work for practical theology by showing how input from an occupational therapist informed my understanding and interpretation of the story of Hannetjie, who had been sexually abused as a child. This forms part of a narrative practical theological research project into the spirituality of female adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Transdisciplinary work is useful to practical theologians, as it opens possibilities for learning about matters pastors have to face, but may not have knowledge about. A short retelling of Hannetjie's story is given to provide information about the context of the research. Next, the transdisciplinary process that was followed is mentioned, and the questions that the transdisciplinary team had to respond to are discussed. Following that, I focus more specifically on the occupational therapist's answers, and the knowledge gained from her contribution, as an example of how a co-researcher from a divergent discipline can inform a theological study. In this case, knowledge was shared about sensory integration and how the brain processes traumatic stimuli, such as sexual abuse. Lastly, the interrelationship between Hannetjie's body stories, mind stories and spirit stories is discussed to show how the learning received from occupational therapy affected my thinking about Hannetjie's stories and the relationships between them. Thus, it is concluded that transdisciplinary work has great value for practical theology, especially in the pastor's daily work with people who are struggling with difficult stories, because we cannot listen to people's spirit stories in isolation. They are inextricably intertwined with all our stories about ourselves. <![CDATA[<b>Rudolf Bultmann - The Gospel and faith</b>]]> Although the name Rudolf Bultmann is well known in South African ecclesiastical circles, many South Africans distrust his theology because of prejudice and the suspicion that it is not faithful to scripture. A synopsis of Bultmann's own theological description of faith is presented here with the focus on its historical development and with the aim in mind to serve as an apology for a better understanding of his point of view within the context of his life as a confessing Lutheran. The essay ends with a concise critical evaluation of Bultmann's understanding of Christian faith pointing out its continual value for the current theological debate on the meaning of faith, as well as some minor conditional reservations on his arguments. <![CDATA[<b>Baruch Spinoza and the naturalisation of the Bible: An epistemological investigation</b>]]> This article investigates the naturalisation of the Bible. Three voices are of special importance in the narrative presented in this article; they are Aristotle (384-322 BC), Rene Descartes (1596-1650) and Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677). This article will investigate the scientific method and metaphysics espoused by each of the three scholars, thereby highlighting changes in scientific method and metaphysics that lead to the naturalisation of the Bible. Firstly, Aristotle pioneered a scientific method (his logic) that would dominate for centuries, as well as a highly influential metaphysics. Secondly, Descartes, witnessing the horrors of the Thirty Years War and seeing first-hand the new discoveries that brought about the scientific revolution, reacted against Aristotle's metaphysics. Ironically he then used Aristotle's scientific method to provide a foundation for the new science resulting in Descartes's famous dualism. Thirdly, Spinoza, equally horrified by the amount of religious violence of his time, reacts against Descartes's dualism, providing scholars with a monist metaphysics that would contribute greatly to the naturalisation of the Bible. This article will be relevant to theologians who wish to engage more fully with contemporary Western culture. <![CDATA[<b>Ephrem the Syrian's hymn <i>On the Crucifixion </i>4</b>]]> This article offers a translation of the hymn De Crucifixione 4 by Ephrem, the Syrian theologian, which forms part of his cycle of hymns for the celebration of Easter. The symbolic interpretation of particularly the tearing of the temple veil in this hymn - together with the cosmic signs which occurred at the death of Jesus - is investigated. An attempt is made to correlate Ephrem's fierce anti-Jewish polemics with the intentions of the authors of the Synoptic Gospels and with Ephrem's circumstances at the probable time of composition of the hymn. <![CDATA[<b>Constructing a non-foundational theological approach to Christian ethics</b>]]> Postmodernism challenges the idea of any foundational truth on which theoretical and operational systems may be built. This has led to a meta-ethical revision of the presuppositions underlying different ethical systems. This article offers a meta-ethical critique of the possibility of constructing a Christian ethical system. It is argued that the general concept of ethics cannot be used as a foundation on which to build any Christian ethical system, as the Christian faith opposes a number of key meta-ethical assumptions for ethics. At the same time Christianity must be careful not to isolate itself from rational ethical debates through succumbing to the temptation of fideism. While the Christian faith may utilise certain ethical categories, and must permit itself to be judged by other ethical systems, it also has to develop its own unique response to reflect the faith, hope and love which the good news of Christ offers to broken sinners in a broken world. <![CDATA[<b>Morality and spirituality: The missing link for economic development in the 21st century</b>]]> Whilst religion may have been of relevance in the quest for material prosperity and economic advancement in the 16th century, it seems not to have such importance today. The declining rate of organised religion and the growth of secularism around the world progressively lead many to believe that if there is any truth particularly relevant for this century, it is no longer found in religion. In this paper, we argue that global leadership deficiencies and corruption (glaring as they may be) are not the root causes for the economic development challenges currently faced in Southern Africa and the rest of the world. They are simply the result of the root cause, which we maintain is a decline in moral and spiritual values in society, and unless national governments make some meaningful progress in these realms, this generation is headed for serious economic trouble. <![CDATA[<b>Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A life in the footsteps of Christ</b>]]> The life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a life devoted to the following of Jesus Christ. This article aims to contextualise Bonhoeffer's thoughts concerning discipleship against the background of Nazi Germany where he chose to stay in the years leading up to and during World War II. It is argued that the circumstances under which he lived and worked gave impetus to his understanding of discipleship, preventing this understanding of discipleship from being only abstract thoughts. A few remarks will be made about Bonhoeffer's thoughts on discipleship, which will then be read against the background of Jesus' call to discipleship in Mark 8:34. <![CDATA[<b>The role of urban religion in seeking peace beyond the mere absence of community conflict: A reading of Ephesians 2:11-22, with the homeless in the City of Tshwane</b>]]> Urban religion, often visible in the work of faith-based organisations which consciously aim at unshackling the debilitating realities of urban marginalised communities, needs to be consciously inclusive in all its endeavours. In particular, this is crucial for actions such as those of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation that consciously seeks the peace of the city beyond the mere absence of conflict. This inclusivity requires a sensitive, creative, but also mutually transformative dialogue. This article aims at bringing into dialogue what biblical scholar Gerald West, in his proposal for contextual Bible Study, calls 'trained' readers of the Bible with what he calls 'ordinary' readers, who are homeless in the City of Tshwane. This methodology leads to a mutually transformative encounter in the common search for peace but also to appreciating the calling of urban religious communities in South Africa. It aims to make a contribution towards an inclusive and mutually transformative dialogue in order to contribute to the quest of urban religious communities to unshackle the marginalisation, whether it be in their consciousness or their environment. <![CDATA[<b>Metaphors for the encounter between God and humanity and a roaming theologian's reflective journey</b>]]> This article maps the theology of Christo van der Merwe as a mobilising theology which aided the Netherdutch Reformed Church in Africa (NRCA) in discerning its character, role and purpose. The core of Van der Merwe's theology consists of a journey with God as encountered in the narratives about Jesus and the Spirit told in the Christian Bible. The article shows that the mobilising core of his theology is due to an 'interoperational relationship' between 'knowing and believing'. In the article, the metaphor 'roaming' is used to illustrate this biographical journey as contextual theology which equips pastors with ministerial skills to take care of people who are haunted by trauma. <![CDATA[<b>The meeting of worlds and the principle of <i>sola Scriptura</i></b>]]> Rather than function as a catalyst for unity, the Bible can be the cause of conflict among Christian believers. The Bible is also often the reason for strife, specifically in the Reformed tradition, even though Protestants uphold the creedal truism of sola Scriptura and though the authority of the Bible is seen as self-mandatory, transcending the normative power of ecclesiastical or confessional traditions. This article focuses on biblical interpretation as both a cause of disunity and a possible means to achieve greater unity. The point of departure is that biblical interpretation consists of a fusion of horizons; it is primarily about the fusion of two horizons, namely that of the Bible and that of the reader. However, both these horizons represent a great diversity of perspectives. A variety of readers interpret the Bible from diverse contexts. The Bible itself also communicates a diversity of ideas. Even the notion 'Jesus Christ' does not function as a unified or unifying concept. The article proposes that the idea of 'Jesus' cause' (Sache Jesu) could provide continuity between the world of the reader and the world of a biblical passage. <![CDATA[<b>Reformation jubilees: Is there cause for celebration in 2017? - What remains?</b>]]> This article is about the 500 hundred year commemoration of the Reformation in 2017. However, the question is to be asked: What should we celebrate in 2017? The article reflects on this question against the background of the ongoing division within Western Christianity. It discusses objectives laid out by Wolfgang Huber in 2008 for the Luther Decade. These objectives focus on the relationship between church and society, and particularly Lutheran-themes such as 'hopelessnesses of life', 'afflictions of faith', 'God's hiddenness' and the 'theology of the cross'. The article demonstrates that the soteriological focal point of Biblical-Lutheran theology reflects the assertion that it is only God who, through the belief in Christ, awards freedom and dignity to every human. The Church represents the 'metaphor of a Christian fellowship', which is a fellowship of equals that provides a socio-political impetus. <![CDATA[<b>Heaven and hell</b>]]> Any conversation on 'heaven and hell' is nothing else but a conversation about 'life after death'. To understand the concept of heaven, earth and hell as described in the biblical context and surrounding cultures, it is important to understand their concept of the cosmos and creation. Different perspectives of the universe lead to different ideas about life after death. Apocalyptic thoughts brought new perspectives to the understanding of life after death. All these different views can only be understood within the context in which they developed. Due to scientific results, the perception of the cosmos changed, urging us today to interpret ancient models metaphorically. <![CDATA[<b>Destination New Zealand: A history of the Afrikaans Christian Church of New Zealand</b>]]> The advent of democratic change in South Africa in the 1990s led to an exodus of many White Afrikaans-speaking Christians from South Africa. They settled all over the world. One of the countries of choice was New Zealand. A group of these emigrants came together in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1998 and founded an Afrikaans church. The Church grew from one congregation to a denomination that currently has nine congregations. This article describes the history of the Afrikaanse Christen Kerk van Nieu-Seeland [Afrikaans Christian Church of New Zealand]. It focuses on the founding, growth, Church Order, ministry and challenges of the Church. The sources for this article are primary documents collected by the author in New Zealand. <![CDATA[<b>The mining-induced displacement and resettlement: The church as a leaven and ecclesiology in context's response</b>]]> Natural resources, especially minerals from the earth, are to be protected by humanity. The church, which acts as leaven in the world is called to rise and address the unfriendly mining activities called mining-induced displacement and resettlement (MIDR). The general theory of interpretation of creation account calls for human stewardship in the world. Humans must view themselves as partners with God in preserving and sustaining the cosmos. The communities had suffered negative socio-economic imbalances. The ekklesia in this cosmic chaos is called upon to fulfil four major functions, namely identity, integration, policy, and management as a way of intervention in communities that are victims of these mining activities. This response, ecclesiology in context, is the combination of theological and social-scientific approaches to the development of practical models and strategies for the church's interaction with modern society and its challenges. <![CDATA[<b>The challenge of consciousness with special reference to the exclusive disjunction</b>]]> The theory of evolution makes sense of the emergence of consciousness. Reduction is not wrong as such, but must not be totalised. The fact that we are star stuff does not preclude the novelty of consciousness. Materialism is naturalism, but naturalism need not be materialism. Neural pathways are relevant but are not the total picture. The central thesis is about David Chalmers's philosophy being based on an exclusive disjunction. An inclusive disjunction is, when explained, more appropriate. Functionalism is appropriate. Thomas Nagel's philosophy on first person ontology can still be maintained. Quantum and complexity theories' hypothesis on consciousness is more compatible with freedom of decision than classical theories. <![CDATA[<b>The role of singing in the formation and building up of the community of faith</b>]]> Faith is communicated through participation in various actions and rituals in a dynamic process of socialising into the Christian community. Worship is the prime locus for growing into the community of faith. The singing of hymns in worship is important for people to participate in the faith, to socialise into the Christian community and to strengthen the identity of the faith community. Flowing from worship and back, singing and making music, as gifts of the Holy Spirit, are relevant in all activities of the church: to celebrate, to proclaim the gospel, to teach the faith, to comfort and support people pastorally, to open up the opportunity for participation, to give space for communication, to reach out, to bring people together, to form community and foster koinonia - and in doing so, to contribute in building up the community of faith. The community of faith is sung into being. Making music and singing together therefore need to be a part of the encompassing program of a congregation and a church. Ministers need a thorough liturgical-hymnological training as a sound theological base for working with others in actively building up the community of faith through music. <![CDATA[<b>The meaning of 'Thy will be done': An investigation into prayer</b>]]> This article investigates how we should understand the prayer 'But thy will not mine be done', using Wittgenstein's ordinary language approach. The later Wittgenstein argued that philosophy's task is to assemble reminders of how language is used in daily life for a particular purpose. This approach offers a way to understand how, despite what theologians have argued, 'Thy will be done' is neither making prayer useless, nor is it fundamental to all petitionary prayers. Firstly, the framework and method of Wittgenstein's ordinary language will be explained. Secondly, reminders will be assembled for the purpose of showing that the prayer 'Thy will be done' does not need to make praying useless. Thirdly, the appropriate reminders to refute the statement that 'Thy will be done' is fundamental to all petitionary prayers will be presented. And, finally, these two sets of reminders will be connected to one another to provide a more truthful understanding of the prayer 'Thy will be done'. <![CDATA[<b>Glass in the image - image in glass. Preaching in fragments and fragments of preaching...</b>]]> The view that the sermon is an 'open work of art', promoted the awareness that the 'meaning' of a sermon is not fixed, but that possibilities are presented for the listeners to 'assign meaning'. 'Assigning meaning' does not mean something fully ad libitum: 'meaning' is formed within the guidelines of the text from which a sermon stems. Visual works of art could also be based on Biblical texts or stories, analysed and interpreted by the artist. The artist could mould the encounter with the Biblical text into various forms of art, proclaiming the gospel in ways similar to that of a spoken sermon: a work of art could present possibilities for assigning meaning related to faith. In this article the new stained glass windows, symbolically depicting the Liturgical Year, in a Dutch Reformed church in Pretoria, are discussed with a view to the possibilities they present to form part of experience-based religious education in 'bringing home' stories from the Bible and aspects of the Liturgical Year. Also asked is how they could function as visual 'sermons', speaking and communicating the 'Word of God' to the people inside the church, as well as to people on the outside. <![CDATA[<b>The Apostolic tradition in the Church's understanding of Scripture and faith from Reformation to the start of the 21st century - A brief hermeneutical overview</b>]]> This study is a concise hermeneutical overview of faith's various ways of understanding and of the different approaches towards scripture interpretation in the history of the Church, from the Reformation to the start of the 21st century. In conclusion, the research manifests that historically the Apostolic Tradition of the Early Church, with its ecumenically accepted expression of faith in the Nicene Confession (originating from the Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea 325 and Constantinople 381), provides us with a vital hermeneutical key for the interpretation of the scripture and the faith of the Church and, in conjunction with this, offers a foundation towards Church unity for our time and all centuries. The study expressly takes into account that the current ecumenical debate on the unity of the Church predominantly supports the view that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creedal statement undoubtedly renders the best basis for seeking the unity of faith communities of all ages and across the world. <![CDATA[<b>Thoughts on the labor law position of pastors and priests as employees of the church</b>]]> The issue of labour-law relationships between pastors or priests and their employers (churches) is controversial because they (pastors or priests) are often regarded as employees and often not. These issues are discussed on the basis of problems in the South-African positive law and English law. In discussing the question about the nature of this labour-law relationship, a two-stage approach is suggested, especially when bearing in mind that the employment contract forms the basis of the labour-law relationship between the two parties <![CDATA[<b>Self-secularisation as challenge to the church</b>]]> The concept of self-secularisation has been identified by Wolfgang Huber, bishop of the German Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), when he reflected on the context of the church in Germany. Self-secularisation however, is a worldwide phenomenon with effects in South Africa as well. After discussing the origin of the concept and its interpretations, the author tries to identify instances of self-secularisation within especially the Afrikaans-speaking churches, although not limited to them, in South Africa. The theological jargon comes under scrutiny, civil religion, the pluralistic society within which the church exists, the effect of emotionalism, the commercialisation of the church, the role of mass media and the phenomenon of infotainment, rationalisation and a lack of ethics are some of the elements identified and discussed. Finally the author attempts a correction by indicating what the church ought to do in order to counter the effects of self-secularisation. <![CDATA[<b>Unshackling the Church</b>]]> In whose 'order', 'newness' and 'foundation' is ecclesiology based in South Africa? The colonial legacy of pigmentocracy, the cultural domination and annihilation of the indigenous dispensation of black Africans, is not devoid of institutional structures of faith and their historical performance in South Africa. The church is one institution in South Africa that played a crucial role in perpetrating perversities of racial, economic and cultural exclusion with a fetish of its institutional character that is still pervasive and dangerously residual in post-1994 South Africa. By presenting a brief outline of the basics on ecclesiology, the article argues that things remain the same the more things seem to change if the methodological approach to ecclesiology circumvents the edifice and foundations on which the history of ecclesiology in South Africa is built. To unshackle the church, a Black Theology of liberation must begin from and debunk the foundations of models of ecclesiology that are conceived on perverse theological and ideologised forms of faith that have become residually hazardous in South Africa post-1994. <![CDATA[<b>(Un-)shackling the University in the City</b>]]> This article examines the relation between the University of Pretoria and the City of Tshwane, outlining seven different kinds of relation as they have taken shape historically. The first type relation between the University and the City presented here, establishes correspondences in public architecture at the height of apartheid modernity, between structures marking and shaping political convergences. The second type of relation is premised on the walling in and fencing off of the University from the City; the Metro musings exhibition inaugurating the 'Capital Cities' project looks across the divides thus cemented, from within the confines of the University. The third type of relation is that of 'Community Engagement' culminating in the annual Mandela Day activities, impelled by ideas on the Developmental State featuring in the National Development Plan. In the fourth type of relation, corporate models of municipal governance find common cause with the corporate management styles of the University, expressed in corporate partnerships combining a 'University of Excellence' with 'the African City of Excellence'. The strategies envisaged for social intervention emerging from this 'partnership' form a sixth type of relation between the University and the City. In the process of pitting property and law against poverty and lawlessness, new civic challenges are emerging for transformative constitutionalism and for the University. In both arenas, this article concludes, what is at stake is a seventh type of relation between the University and the City - outside of the 'legal'-'illegal' distinction. For the University, in particular, this would entail a productive idea of 'dissensus'. <![CDATA[<b>Responsibility: A case for the homeless in the City of Tshwane</b>]]> It is without doubt that the marginalised and destitute, such as homeless people, need all the help they can get to un-shackle them from poverty-stricken circumstances. Yet the reverse side of this is that marginalised, homeless people can become too dependent on such interventions, without taking responsibility for their future outcomes and consequences. The article reports on a contextual Bible study that was conducted with the homeless people in the city of Tshwane, specifically how they responded to the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Bringing their responses in conversation with the voices of theologians, the themes emerging from the encounter are discussed. Bonhoeffer's theory of a responsible life is used as a theoretical framework. The author suggests that the homeless people as well as other relevant role players should take responsibility for the occurrence of homelessness in the city of Tshwane, South Africa, and offer solutions so as to eradicate this phenomenon in the future. <![CDATA[<b>A vision for peace in the City of Tshwane: Insights from the homeless community</b>]]> Communities living on the margins of society, such as the homeless, are overlooked in the process of building a vision for peace in the City of Tshwane. This article, therefore, seeks to explore the issue of a vision for peace from the perspective of the homeless in the City of Tshwane. Isaiah 65:17-25 was used as a hermeneutic key, within a community engaged action research framework, to stimulate reflection and application in the context of homelessness where meaningful peace is non-existent. Emerging voices of ordinary readers (participants) of the text, as represented by the homeless in the City of Tshwane (CoT), suggest institutions (of education, business, government, churches as well as other individuals) need to work together in synergy towards the realisation of this peace in the city. In relation to peace in the CoT, this research has unearthed some insights from a local homeless community which could contribute towards the development of an integrated praxis needed for transformative urban missiology. The recommendations derived from the research are: the homeless people must be partisans to such a holistic and integrated vision for peace and should be seen as active responsible citizens of the city willing to undertake actions that are in support of this vision. <![CDATA[<b>Romans 10:5-13 revisited</b>]]> The aim of this article is to investigate Romans 10:5-13 and specifically the impact of the chiasm (chiasmus) in Romans 10:9-10 on this sub-pericope. In the chiasm Paul makes the following statement(s): A If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord B and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, C you will be saved. B For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, A and with the mouth/he confesses, resulting in salvation. What gives the chiasm existential value here is the fact that this is the only passage in which Paul uses confess with your mouth as a condition for salvation. The sub-pericope will be discussed against the background of the introduction to the letter (Rm 1:16-17) as well as Romans 3:21-31. <![CDATA[<b>Ancient Israelite and African proverbs as advice, reproach, warning, encouragement and explanation</b>]]> With few exceptions, the majority of biblical scholars (Euroamericans and Africans) concentrate on comparing ancient Israelite proverbs with the so-called ancient Near Eastern proverbs. Despite the importance of proverbs in Sub-Saharan Africa it is doubly unfortunate that the majority of African biblical scholars did not think it wise to compare proverbs from ancient Israel with Sub-Saharan African proverbs. It is also a double tragedy that young people in Sub-Saharan Africa are ignorant of proverbs because they have refused to learn them because they think them archaic. Proverbs in both ancient Israel and in Africa are similar in function and classification. Thus, they serve as advice, reproach, warning, encouragement and further explanation of some facts. They have great value and importance, such as giving a sense of identity, community, culture, respect for authority and elders, sacredness of everything under the sun and a sense of hospitality and others. <![CDATA[<b>An interdisciplinary investigation into the narratives of three co-researchers: A postfoundational notion of practical theology</b>]]> This article elaborates on the sixth movement of a postfoundational notion of practical theology and is concerned with giving a description of experiences, which are thickened through interdisciplinary investigation. The experiences of interest are those of the co-researchers who formed part of the larger research study, conducted in 2010, and who were at the time adolescent male orphans, affected by HIV and AIDS, poverty and father abandonment. The research was conducted within the theoretical frameworks of a postfoundational notion of practical theology, narrative therapy and research, and social constructionism. A qualitative research strategy was employed, with the case study design as point of departure in collecting and analysing research data. Various key aspects were investigated with the use of the model of narrative and the seven movements of a postfoundational notion of practical theology. The aim of this article is to provide an illustration of the application of the principles of a postfoundational notion of practical theology, and its sixth movement - an interdisciplinary investigation - as it is applied within this specific research context. Four interdisciplinary conversationalists, each from a different academic field, were invited to reflect on the three narrated stories of the co-researchers. This article, then, gives a report on their feedback and the value of interdisciplinary investigation in aiding, with the understanding of the meaning-making process behind collected narratives. <![CDATA[<b>Coping in a harsh reality: The concept of the 'enemy' in the composition of Psalms 9 and 10</b>]]> In this paper, Psalms 9 and 10 are read together from a literary, post-exilic perspective, arguing that the construct of the 'enemy' in this composition primarily serves to strengthen the position of the righteous. It seems that a variety of strategies are employed in this composition to establish dichotomic-ideological categories. This results in the formation of a polarity between YHWH and the enemy on the one hand and the righteous and the enemy on the other. This seems to have been a technique through which the author or authors of this composition sought to break free from their current social experience in order to create a new, just and fair reality for the righteous. <![CDATA[<b>Urban marginality, religious liminality, and the black poor</b>]]> While many persons within westernised or westernising nations such as the United States of America and South Africa continue to place importance on matters of faith, a growing number of those persons approach matters of faith informally rather than formally and individually rather than institutionally. The implications of this are that among 21st century populations informal religious formation may be as important as or more important than the formation taking place via formal religious channels. A central emphasis of this article is that this is especially true among more socially marginalised populations, not simply because they may not enjoy the same level of access to formal institutions, but also because they may regard those institutions as spiritually and culturally restrictive and exclusionary. The contributions of the article are, firstly, its use of original and unique survey data generated from neighbourhood studies the author directed in low-income contexts within several US cities and within Pretoria, South Africa, and, secondly, its analysis of informal ways the urban poor engage Christian ideas and practices - an aspect of urban religion that has not received adequate scholarly attention. <![CDATA[<b>Community engagement as the organic link with the street: Creating a learning community between the academy and homeless people in Tshwane</b>]]> Does the current community engagement project, of the Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology at the University of South Africa (UNISA), respond to the conceptual discourse on community engagement? Informed by this question this article's objective is two-pronged. Firstly, an attempt is made to locate the project's beginning in a proper historical perspective by engaging the initial ministry of the Department with homeless people. The narrative about the work of a Mennonite couple is told by structuring it around the dimensions of agency (identification or insertion), context analysis, strategies for mission and theological reflection or in simple terms, the reading of the Bible. Secondly, this article proceeds by subjecting both the initial ministry with homeless people and the community engagement project, in its current form, to the scrutiny of three high ranking publications from the Higher Education Quality Committee in collaboration with JET Education Services, the Council on Higher Education and a handbook on service learning in South Africa on the conceptual clarification of service learning and community engagement. As the documents reveal some difference of opinion amongst the experts, the bottom-line is that unless the interaction between the academy and the community (homeless people) is a consistent, sustainable, reciprocal and mutual process aimed at creating a genuine learning community, the project is called into question. A further issue is that the engagement between the parties must find reflection in what is taught - students or learners are to benefit from this - and researched. <![CDATA[<b>Faith communities, social exclusion, homelessness and disability: Transforming the margins in the City of Tshwane</b>]]> Social exclusion is a reality in South Africa today. Its faces are diverse and varied; social exclusion can be defined in terms of social, economic, political and religious dimensions. This diversity also applies to the context of homelessness in the City of Tshwane. The research on which this article is based sought to explore the issue of social exclusion from a religious perspective; it looked closely at how social exclusion manifests from a religious perspective in the context of homelessness and disability in the City of Tshwane. The thrust of this article is captured in the following question: how do homeless people and persons with disability experience social exclusion from faith communities? What do they say about the role that faith communities should play in addressing their marginalisation? These questions were answered by doing Contextual Bible Study of Acts 3:1-10 with the homeless in the City of Tshwane, thereby allowing them space for their voices to be heard as to how the faith community should respond to their plight. It became clear in this research that faith communities should always act as transforming agents to those in the margins. <![CDATA[<b>Wim J.C. Weren, studies in Matthew's Gospel: Literary design, intertextuality, and social setting</b>]]> This article summarises and comments on the book Studies in Matthew's Gospel: Literary design, intertextuality, and social setting, by Wim Weren, published during 2014. The essence of this book is all about meaning: the meaning of a structure, texts, and consequently the understanding of the Gospel of Matthew. For Weren, 'Meaning is the result of the interplay between a textual unit and such other factors as language, literary context, and cultural setting'. This relates to the three parts of the content of this monograph. His approach in studying Matthew comes from three perspectives: firstly intratextuality, then intertextuality, and finally extratextuality. He has deliberately chosen this order of successive steps so that they complement each other. <![CDATA[<b>Political Theology as critical theology</b>]]> This article attempts to draw the scope and content of contemporary Political Theology, based on a review of the 2013 publication titled,Political Theology: Contemporary challenges and future directions, edited by Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Klaus Tanner and Michael Welker. The book is a collection of contributions which explore the contemporary content and potential future of the subject discipline. 'Political Theology' as critical theology and as a 'theology with its face towards the world' is committed to 'justice, peace and the integrity of creation' and is multifaceted. It represents a discipline with which theologians reflect on political-theological objectives across continents and paradigms. The article concludes with a brief investigation of the implications of insights offered in the book for the South African context (as part of the African continent).