Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2074-770520080001&lang=pt vol. 29 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The Biblical exegesis of headship: A challenge to Patriarchal understanding that impinges on women's rights in the church and society</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The aim of this paper is to try and find out the real meaning of man's (male) headship of women, since that can help us to define the deep meaning of gender equality. A brief historical b.ackground will be followed by exegetical remarks on Ephesians 5:21-22 which is one of the texts that explains something about the concept of "headship of man". Secondly, the meaning will help us to shape our understanding as to how we should handle the issue of women's rights and gender equality in African Christian churches and families. The challenges that are faced by women because of the misunderstanding of the concept of headship will also be discussed. The movement of feminist theology and other movements are becoming vocal in African countries, because women feel that it is the church and the Bible which promote the subjection of women. Fiorenza (1986:67) says that oppression of women in society is a result of Christian male sexist theology. <![CDATA[<b>Bricolageliturgy: Liturgical Studies Revisited</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article examines a fifth trend, complementary to the four identified in a previous article, in contemporary liturgy visible in churches in the Netherlands as well as South Africa. Drawing on the specific case in the Netherlands of a service in which a minister was ordained, the tendency to mix liturgies is highlighted. This "cut-and-paste" liturgy can be described as "bricolage liturgy". The term "bricolage" is not new: its use by Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jacques Derrida is investigated in order to better apply the term to liturgy. Bricolage liturgy is a-centrical and a-typical. Jesus Christ, then, is the point of departure for understanding the rituals of liturgy, without restricting a service to a set pattern. <![CDATA[<b>Can the Dutch Reformed Church still make a difference in South Africa today?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article is the edited version of the presentation held at the University of Pretoria's "Theological Day" on January 31, 2008. It seeks to answer the question: "Can the Dutch Reformed Church still make a difference in South Africa today?" This article places this question within the wider world and African contexts, then focuses on the South African situation. It describes the South African context as one of spiritual uncertainties and confusion, political tension, economic inequalities and social unravelling, which each in their own way and together put particular challenges before the church. This paper answers the question the affirmative, provided that the Dutch Reformed Church meets its own direct challenges, the most important of which is the challenge toward reunification within the Dutch Reformed family of churches. <![CDATA[<b>Hybrid Identity. Exploring a Dutch Protestant community of faith</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Communities of faith develop their identity in dialogue with changing social and cultural contexts. This article presents a single case of identity formation in a local congregation of the Protestants Church in the Netherlands, in a changing environment. Out of one specific congregational practice, namely the liturgical (non)-affirmation of same-sex marriages, the complexity of identity construction in a plural and diverse congregation is shown. From a qualitative empirical research perspective, the details of a congregational practice are unfolded in an ethnographic, thick description of the identity. All the different aspects and voices with regard to the congregational practice together give shape to an identity gestalt. The outcome of this detailed research into one practice of a community of faith is that identity is under construction. Unambiguous and uniform congregational identities are rare. In this particular case the identity is even diffuse. The church council and the congregation members find it difficult to state their identity in a positive way and to find agreement on that. The 'hybridisation' of identity is presented as a concept that can shed some light on the nature of identity formation. In a global world, integrated contexts and integrated cultures and identities no longer exist. Contextualisation is a never-ending process. Hybrid identities are construed out of different fragments. Identity construction results from a process of negotiation. This asks for transparant communication and a constructive dealing with differences. As a community of difference, the church as koinonia receives its identity in dialogue with all who are involved. The outcome of this dialogue should be beneficial to not only the congregation but also to its social and cultural environment. <![CDATA[<b>Views on and use of Scripture: Perspectives on a hermeneutics of expectancy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article the intrinsic relationship between our views on and our use of scripture is proposed. This relationship is described in terms of two basic components of the reformed understanding of scripture, namely the accommodative and performative nature thereof. This is followed by an exposition of two fundamental misunderstandings pertaining to the abovementioned components as well as some suggestions for the profiling of a hermeneutics of expectancy. <![CDATA[<b>The African agent discovered: The recognition and involvement of the African biblical interpreter in Bible translation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article explores the extent to which the role of the African biblical interpreter is acknowledged in the process of Bible translation, as the Bible and Bible translation form an important part of the establishment of the African church on the continent of Africa. It points out that even though foreign discovery of African agency in Bible translation is evident, indigenous discovery of the same is largely absent. Part of the relevance of this article is for the African church to own and be actively involved in the translation of the Bible into the remaining African languages that are in need of a translation of the Bible. <![CDATA[<b>A Pentecostal perspective on the use of Psalms of Lament in worship</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The idea of lament as part of human worship experience is foreign within the Pentecostal tradition. This is the case not only in Pentecostal literature, but also in Pentecostal liturgy. This negative viewpoint regarding the place of lament in worship goes hand in hand with the negativity towards the whole of the Old Testament within the Pentecostal tradition. Pentecostals usually regard the New Testament as more applicable to the life and worship of the Church. This viewpoint is in contrast with Pentecostal hermeneutics, with its emphasis on "shared experience". The aim of this paper is to show that lament should be part and parcel of Pentecostal worship. Guidelines on how lament can be utilised in the Pentecostal Church are presented. <![CDATA[<b>Judging the Judges: Finding value in these problematic characters</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The biblical judges are well known for their less than exemplary behaviour. In the past, these judges have been appreciated largely as examples of how a charismatic leader should not behave. In spite of the judges' questionable morals, the writer of the book of Hebrews commends four of them (Barak, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson) for their faith. This paper evaluates these judges in light of their characterisations in the book of Hebrews and in the book of Judges and suggests that our struggle with the judges parallels the contemporary integrity crisis in Christian leadership. <![CDATA[<b>What next in mission? From the end of the earth to Jerusalem</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article sketches the impact of technology and globalisation on culture, and the results appear to be devastating. An appeal is made to churches to encourage missionary endeavours that reach out to the world. The challenge that African Churches face is, how they will take mission work, from the ends of the earth back to Jerusalem (Missionary Churches). A plea is made to pay respect to the creation of God, and to restore broken relationships. "Let thy Kingdom come", is the final prayer. <![CDATA[<b>Emerging churches - a new missional movement. Part 2: Core practices of Emerging Missional Churches</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article describes and elaborates on the nine core practices of emerging missional churches, identified in the research of Gibbs and Bolger which presents these practices as innovative answers that can assist mainline churches to discover new possibilities and to change cultural as well as organisational aspects. The article represents a theological reflection on the core practices of emerging churches. <![CDATA[<b>In the sign of Cain. A theological exegesis of Genesis 4</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Present day reflection upon the burning questions of evil an violence increasingly dominate the agenda of modern society. Biblical scholarship can contribute meaningfully to this discourse by analysing biblical narratives in which the themes of violence and animocity occur. In this regard it becomes necessary to unmask the mechanisms of violence, and to examine the judgement of violence from a biblical-theological perspective. Violence and animocity are displayed very soon in the Old Testament. Genesis 4 recounts the well-known story of Cain and Abel. The story of the world's first children turns out to be the story of the world's firs murder. YHWH's role in this process is of particular interest: his warnings (vss 6-7), his interrogation (vss 9-10), his sentence (vss 11-12) and his promise (vs 15). This article investigates Genesis 4:1-16 and focuses especially on the remarkable promise to Cain, the nature of Cain's mark (vs 15) and the theological significance of YHWH as the keeper of Abel's brother. Genesis 4 turns out to be a chapter with paradigmatic value for today. <![CDATA[<b>Deuteronomy 15:1-18 and the eradication of poverty in (South) Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Poverty is a problem of both the present day and the ancient world. Endeavouring to draw inspiration from the ancient text of Deuteronomy 15:1-18 to benefit the eradication of poverty today, attention is given in this article to the contexts of the ancient text as well as the context of today. In view of the available resources in the world, it is concluded that through a re-appropriation of the basic values undergirding the biblical text and applying the measures prescribed by present day "clinical economics", it is probable that extreme poverty can be eradicated in the foreseeable future or at least be largely reduced. <![CDATA[<b>Trinitarian Anthropology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article looks at the problem of the so-called "point of contact" between God and mankind, or more particularly, the relation between trinity and anthropology. Does Christian anthropology develop from the doctrine on creation, the human nature of Christ or the work of the Holy Spirit? In opposition to the current trinitarian perspectives on humanity, which mainly focus on relational similitude, the theology of the Dutch theologian, Oepke Noordmans critically resists any attempt at finding analogies between the trinity and humanity. According to him, creation is judgment of God, which has critical implications for any independent anthropology: There is no perpetuation of the incarnation in our humanity, church or liturgy after the resurrection, and the re-creative work of the Spirit does not have a point of contact with any constitutive element in our humanity. The judgment of the cross reaches from creation across history to recreation. <![CDATA[<b>The Creator God as feminine? A body-critical analysis of selected creation texts in the Old Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt God constructs represent the ideal symbolic "body" of a community, a regulating ideology that moulds and refines the values and norms of that community. In this study it is shown that values wherein femininity is incorporated, specifically with regards to the construction of a god character, lead to a more just attitude towards Earth. Values that lead to the construction of a god character as exclusively male, or the metaphorization of a god as one-sidedly masculine, lead to an attitude of disregard and destructiveness towards Earth. The findings of a body critical analysis of four well known and authoritative Biblical cosmological texts in this regard confirmed that mutual incorporation of male as well as female values should constitute the god symbols of a society. A society that shares the conviction of eco-justice will deconstruct traditional polarizing gender categories and gender hierarchies and replace them with the notion of gender complementarity, and consequently establish a relationship of empathic absorption, mutual incorporation and reciprocal constitution between the subjects human and earth. <![CDATA[<b>The etho-poietic of the parable of the good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). The ethics of seeing in a culture of looking the other way</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Within a culture of "Looking the Other way" there are not only empirically ascertainable reasons why help is not given in acute emergency situations, there is also a "Theory of Not-Helping" that attempts to demonstrate argumentatively why it may even be better not to help. According to the article, the parable of the "good Samaritan" invites us, however, to "look closely". Four invitations of the text are developed, each with an emphasis on ethics: 1) The narrated Samaritan (The appeal structure of ethics); 2) The touched Samaritan (Ethics in the Context of Love); 3) The partisan Samaritan (Universal ethos of helping - or: Ethics of open partisanship); 4) The charitable Samaritan (Social ethics instead of ethics of conscience). <![CDATA[<b>Book Reviews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052008000100016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Within a culture of "Looking the Other way" there are not only empirically ascertainable reasons why help is not given in acute emergency situations, there is also a "Theory of Not-Helping" that attempts to demonstrate argumentatively why it may even be better not to help. According to the article, the parable of the "good Samaritan" invites us, however, to "look closely". Four invitations of the text are developed, each with an emphasis on ethics: 1) The narrated Samaritan (The appeal structure of ethics); 2) The touched Samaritan (Ethics in the Context of Love); 3) The partisan Samaritan (Universal ethos of helping - or: Ethics of open partisanship); 4) The charitable Samaritan (Social ethics instead of ethics of conscience).