Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Theologica]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-875820090001&lang=en vol. 29 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Views on Scripture and rhetorics of persuasion</b>: <b>perspectives on performative preaching</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article starts out by giving a brief summary of the typical Reformed understanding of the performative (sacramental) character of Scripture and the implications thereof for preaching. The critique that has been levelled against this understanding of Scripture and preaching, initiated through the mind-set of the Enlightenment (Kant), gaining momentum since the Second World War, and coming to full fruition in the so-called postmodernism, is briefly addressed. The article closes with suggestions concerning the rhetorical strategies of persuasion found in Scripture, and how this may enable preachers to still attain preaching that is "performative". <![CDATA[<b>The glory of the Son of Man in Revelation 1-3</b>: <b>reflections on mysticism in the New Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article focuses on the mystical nature of the Christophany in Revelation 1-3 in order to illuminate the present research on mysticism in the New Testament. It firstly introduces the relevant text and outlines the extraordinary, exalted nature of the Christophany in Revelation 1. The second part then explains the vision in terms of the mystical revelation of hidden knowledge, whilst the third part analyses the mystical glory of the Son of Man. The article concludes with an explanation of the function of this mystical picture of Christ and the way in which a mystical Christology illuminates the relationship of believers with the divine. <![CDATA[<b>The Book, deconstruction, and the religious sign</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, I investigate a possibility in the structure of the Qur'an for rethinking the usually forgotten issue of the religious sign. This is where deconstruction, guided by a certain otherness or transcendence, renders all God's attributes as unthinkable. Thus, God's presence is not the opposite of absence and his will is not in the way of our freedom. In fact, God is the Other, not in a dual system. Such an otherness brings about the idea of a sign which is non-dual in nature: It presents Allah as the Other who is never outside the Book. In addition, He is so near, yet nothing in the Book is like Him. <![CDATA[<b>El Greco's Italian paintings (1560-76) based on Bible texts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The purpose of this article is to interpret a selection of El Greco's Italian paintings (1560-1576) based on Bible texts in which ideas current during the Catholic Counter-Reformation are symbolised. At the age of nineteen El Greco, who was born in Crete in 1541 and was initially an icon painter in the Byzantine tradition, went to Venice. Through study and experiment, and by following the examples of other artists who had achieved artistic mastery and was of proven Catholic orthodoxy, he educated himself as an artist in the Western manner. Even during his years as an apprentice El Greco's art is proof that he aspired to the highest humanly accessible values exemplified by Renaissance artistic theory, humanism and Christian spirituality - all of which later came to fruition in an unprecedented original combination in Toledo, Spain, where he settled permanently in 1577. <![CDATA[<b>Dr. Andries Albertus Odendaal snr., bearer of the gospel in a multi-dimensional context</b>: <b>his life and work - a brief historical sketch and missiological assessment (Part 1)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The events in Parts 1 and 2 of this article cover the period from July 1917 to April 2004. Part 1 briefly introduces the life and work of a so-called "local missionary" of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. The advantage of such an autobiographical approach is that it unlocks valuable information, which would otherwise be passed unnoticed, leaving an incomplete if not skewed portrayal of some developments in the past. Part 1 discusses the following aspects: The hardships of life on a small farm in South Africa during the 1920s and 1930s; the difficulty in obtaining thorough school education; the demands of training as a DRC missionary; challenges of running a so-called "mission congregation" within the same geographical borders as the sending church or churches; language acquisition in multi-language situations, and the lonely road of improving academic qualifications. <![CDATA[<b>Dr. Andries Albertus Odendaal snr., bearer of the gospel in a multi-dimensional context</b>: <b>his life and work - a brief historical sketch and missiological assessment (Part 2)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This is the second of two articles which briefly introduce the life and work of a socalled "local missionary" of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. This second part of the article discusses Odendaal's involvement in theological and pastoral training, as well as his continued contributions on synodical level, in particular his endeavour for church unity, his appreciation of and working in the vernacular, his appointment as Bible translator, his passion for preaching the gospel, a testing experience in his life, and the way in which he was honoured by old students and the University of the Free State. The article concludes with a short missiological assessment of Odendaal's life and work. <![CDATA[<b>1 Corinthians 1:18-31 from a rhetorical perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The approach followed in this article differs from that of researchers who force ancient rhetorical categories on a text or who regard only a few stylistic devices as rhetorical. The analysis is done in terms of what is called a "grounded theoretical approach." This approach is briefly summarised, followed by a description of the rhetorical status of the letter and a systematic analysis of 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. It is argued that these fourteen verses form an integral part of Paul's rhetorical strategy (constructed from the text itself) and aimed at persuading the Corinthians to accept his explanation of the gospel. The article concludes that a text-centered approach, with its focus on the functional aspects of the text, provides a better alternative to existing approaches, that focus on the formal aspects of the text. <![CDATA[<b>Rosmini's metaphysical evidence for the existence of God</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Rosmini is of the opinion that the soul consists of both a bodily (natural) and a godly component. Both components unite in humankind. In Rosmini's cosmology, humankind is viewed in relation to God and the world (cosmos). Cosmology cannot be comprehensively explained without linking ontology and theology, in particular. Rosmini treats human knowledge of God's existence ontologically. According to Rosmini, we will not comprehend metaphysical or spiritual matters without understanding temporal matters (cosmology). Cosmology forms part of a higher science, namely ontology and even more so theology. Ontology treats being in its essence, in terms of which Rosmini identifies three forms, namely the ideal, the real (or actual) and the moral. The essence of being in all three forms should be similar, yet these forms differ. Although humankind is equal to the godly image, God and humankind differ in essence. Humankind shares in the ideal, the actual and the moral forms by means of the soul. Rosmini is of the opinion that the moral form, in relation to reality, forms the ideal Being.The ideal Being is infinite and essentially perfect. The infinite perfect Being can therefore not be humankind. Humankind is unable to fully comprehend the perfect Being (God). The perfect Being (God) in his totality and completeness is thus not subject to human knowledge or existence. Human reason can only know what is revealed to it through nature. According to Rosmini, we can know God in a way that surpasses human intelligence, and we can therefore not form a positive but raher a negative understanding of God. <![CDATA[<b>How to understand the parables of Jesus</b>: <b>a paradigm shift in parable exegesis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582009000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en For many years, the exegesis of the parables of Jesus was determined by assumptions that were largely purported by Adolf J├╝licher and subsequently underwent only insignificant modification. The Kompendium der Gleichnisse Jesu (ed. R. Zimmermann, G├╝tersloh 2007), whose methodology and hermeneutics are explained in this article, takes a new route, as can be illustrated in four steps. From a historical perspective, parable exegesis is released from its close relationship to the search for the Historical Jesus and is given new distinction by a paradigm of Jesus "remembered". The customary religious-historical standardization of the parables (particularly with reference to rabbinical parables) is critically investigated from a traditio-historical perspective in order to again be able to highly value the extraordinary position of Jesus' parables. From the perspective of the literary form of the parables, all internal differentiation must be made invalid by the New Testament text record itself. Instead, the discussion of a comprehensive genre of "parable" utilises the genre consciousness of the early Christian authors; a genre that can be precisely defined by means of a literary-critical description in terms of the criteria of narrativity, fictionality, relation to reality, metaphor, appeal structure and co-/contextuality. From a hermeneutic perspective, this new approach consists of a conscious affirmation of a plurality of interpretations that is established by the texts themselves and that also guarantees the timeliness and liveliness of the interpretations in a variety of reading situations.