Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2074-770520120001&lang=pt vol. 33 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The ministry of Beyers Naude to the victims of oppression 1960 - 1994: A challenge to Christian mission in post-apartheid South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Dr Beyers Naudé's ministry to the victims of apartheid between 1960-1994 was of missionary significance. His mission challenged the conservative or stereotype mission approaches of the church which were in line with the thinking of Edinburgh 1910. Dr Beyers Naudé in contrast, applied the spirit of Tambaram 1938 supporting what Saayman termed a 'comprehensive ministry'. His ministry challenged the mission of the church in post-apartheid South Africa during which the prophetic voice of the church has diminished and Ministers of Religion who were vocal against government injustices during Beyers Naudé's ministry are supporting the current post-apartheid South African government. <![CDATA[<b>Forgiveness in the intertestamental period</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article suggests answers to the following questions: what are the characteristics of God's forgiveness in the intertestamental literature and what connection do these characteristics have with the Old Testament? Important passages in the late Second Temple period that expose the characteristics of God's forgiveness, such as certain Qumran texts (1QH 12:35-37, 1QH 13:2 and the Damascus Document 14:18-19), the writings of Philo and Josephus, the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha, are investigated for this purpose. <![CDATA[<b>On the epistemology of postmodern spirituality</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt At first glance, the postmodern spiritual 'scene' appears 'sociologically messy, experiential, multifaceted, ecological, provisional and collective' (Petrolle 2007) and ofuncertain epistemic provenance. Here, I ask: can Roland Benedikter's (2005) conception of postmodern dialectic and spiritual turn, help us understand postmodern spirituality and can it assist in a construction of a postmodern epistemology of spirituality? The current argument constitutes a meta-theoretical exploration of: • Deconstruction and neo-essentialism as representing the significant dialectic in philosophical postmodernism. Deconstruction is presented as an apophatic moment in Western thought about 'knowing' and 'being' whilst postmodern neo-essentialism, though contextualised by antirealism and ambiguity, palpably suggests itself. • Postmodern trends which derive from the dialectic. • How these epistemic trends influence methodology in the study of spirituality. • How a trans-traditional (anthropological) spirituality might incorporate insights about transformation from a complex of epistemologies in which, theories of 'self' abound. In the conclusion an attempt is made to describe how postmodern spirituality expresses itself in society. <![CDATA[<b>Jagters vs Boere: 'n Soeke na die oorsprong van godsdiens</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The question to the origin of religion is as old as the concept of religion itself. To understand religion, it helps to understand the categories of definitions for religion. There are several theories as to the evolutionary development of religion. Examples from Turkey as well as South Africa are used to illustrate that one model of explanation cannot be applied to all. This article wants to stress the importance of context when explaining the origin of religion. Each and every occurrence of religion has its own contextual explanation. What is however important is to recognise the universal human ability to recognise, accept and transfer religious concepts. This principle is illustrated by making use of the model of cognition in combination with other models. <![CDATA[<b>Axiological assumptions in Qohelet: A historical-philosophical clarification</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article has as its working hypothesis the proposal that from a philosophical perspective, the Book of Qohelet can be read as having axiology rather than epistemology or existential issues as its core concern. In order to justify this claim, Qohelet's insight regarding what is good is viewed against the backdrop of various categories in value theory. This leads to the conclusion that the author's central message was not about meaninglessness or mystery but about worthlessness. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of the Bible and Bible themes on John Rangiah's Ministry in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt John Rangiah was the first Indian Baptist missionary who came to Natal (today called KwaZulu-Natal). He was born in India in 1866 and died in 1915. He established the first Telugu Baptist Church on the African continent in Kearsney, Natal. In the corpus of South African Baptist mission literature, the contribution of John Rangiah is given very little attention. Although he is referenced by Baptist historians for his work amongst Indian Baptists, the impact of the Bible and Bible themes as well as his theology in South Africa have not been examined. This article provides insight into Rangiah's early life and faith, and critically examines his understanding of the Bible and its themes, such as the Bible, prayer, salvation and eschatological hope. These themes will be critically examined from a conservative evangelical perspective and thereafter attempts to examine these using elements of post-colonial hermeneutics will be undertaken. <![CDATA[<b>Framework of communication needed to protect against human rights violations of individuals who exercise their right to religious freedom in minority religions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The right to religious freedom is generally believed to be the solution to religious intolerance and discrimination and to ensure world peace amongst world citizens. On an international level, the United Nations, through the appointment of a special rapporteur for freedom of religion and belief, has introduced a tool to monitor violations of this right. This tool is known as 'the framework of communications' and is focused mainly on the relationship between governments and religions. Unfortunately, religion is not excluded from the violation of human rights within its own ranks. This article pointed out that however pure the intention of freedom of religion, no real measures are in place to address violations of human rights in minority religions. Therefore, a tool is needed to investigate and address alleged violations within minority religions. <![CDATA[<b>In support of female leadership in the church: Grappling with the perspective of Setswana men - Shepherding as solution offered</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>1 Corinthians 7:17-24. Identity and human dignity amidst power and liminality</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Paul's concern with identity, and in particular the identity of the believer in relation to Jesus Christ, is an important concern in his writings. In the midst of an important section dedicated to advice and instruction on marriage in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul encouraged his audience in 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 to remain in the calling by, or position in, which they were called. Concerning these circumstances he refers to circumcision (1 Cor 7:18-19) and slavery (1 Cor 7:21-23) by name. These Pauline instructions are investigated against the backdrop of both the 1st century CE context and post-apartheid South Africa, where issues of identity and marginality rub shoulders with claims to ownership and entitlement, on the one hand, and issues of human dignity, on the other. <![CDATA[<b>Important meta-theoretical guidelines regarding the emotionally wounded person</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article examines the relationship between emotional woundedness and faith estrangement. Trust issues towards God often emerge in the heart of the believer when left vulnerable and in shock due to unforeseen trauma. The dilemma is that this condition leaves the wounded person more vulnerable. With a view to bringing healing and deeper faith, different trauma intervention models are evaluated and the role of forgiveness, retribution and faith are examined. In conclusion, some guidelines regarding a holistic approach in the pastoral counselling of the traumatised faith-estranged person are presented. <![CDATA[<b>The God of Job</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt God is often portrayed extremely negatively in the Old Testament. For example, in the Book of Nahum God is pictured as being responsible for the most horrifying violence imaginable. This negative portrayal of God is also found in the Book of Job. God is responsible for the suffering that his righteous servant Job, has to endure. He is even manipulated by the satan to allow him free reign in attacking Job. God even acknowledges that the misery and pain inflicted on Job, was for no reason. Job's children are killed in order for God to prove a point, and in his response to Job's suffering, he doesn't even address the issue of Job's suffering. This is a picture of a very cruel, vicious God. This article investigates the negative, disturbing images of God in the Book of Job. Are these images of God who God really is, or is the God of Job a literary construct of the author? The focus of this study is on the prologue and epilogue to the book, as well as the speeches of God in Job 38-41. <![CDATA[<b>A grounded theory approach to the analysis of sermons on poverty: Congregational projects as social capital</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article reported on the second cycle (selective coding) of grounded theory research of sermons on poverty in the South African context, with Matthew 25:31-46 as the sermon text. The problem which the author was researching pertained to the question: How do congregations in the Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk) and the Uniting Reformed Church handle the care for the poor in practice? A theoretical sample of congregations with outreach projects to the poor and humble was drawn. After the analysis of the sermons was conducted, the next question to be addressed was: What are the categories and properties of the projects by congregations as the how of the care for the poor? New thinking on the issue of preaching on poverty is necessary because homiletic literature in this field of preaching does not address the how question. The author therefore described a theoretical framework for the interpretation of the projects, as well as an anthropological view of the communication occurring on an equal footing, with the givers in the projects functioning as social capital and the receivers (the poor and humble) as the participants with their own responsibility and freedom. The classification of the projects in categories showed that a wide variety of different types of projects to the poor have emerged from the sermons. <![CDATA[<b>The use of <i>Imago Dei</i> as a pastoral healing vision against women killings in the South African context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The exploitation and killings of women in South Africa are a concern not only for the government, but also for pastoral caregivers as well. Although the government has introduced institutions like the Commission for Gender Equality with responsibilities to ensure that there is equality between genders, it seems that the supposed patriarchal masculine superiority continues to demonstrate its dominance through the abuse, as well as the killings of women. Assigning women to the status of secondary citizens who are tortured and exposed to gender-based violence is not only unconstitutional, but also biblically wrong, as we can see from the biblical message of the creation of human beings. The goal of this article is to use the premise of 'the image of God' to argue that women also are created in the image of God and hence they are worthy to be treated as such, from sexual harassment, sexual abuse and violence to murder. This is my personal observation as women of this country are being killed by their husbands and boyfriends. This article will use case studies to argue that women (just like men) deserve, as images of God, to live freely without fear of being killed by their husbands and boyfriends for whatever wrongdoing. <![CDATA[<b>Juliuas Wellhausen - the thoughts of an Old Testament scholar</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The purpose of this article is to examine the life, influence and greatest works of Old Testament scholar Julius Wellhausen. Wellhausen was influenced by the findings of other Old Testament critics that preceded him, as well as the new environment that the Enlightenment has created. These influences can be seen in his three major works: Die Komposition des Hexateuchs - here an idea of the method he used in the recognition, grouping and dating of the sources can be found. Wellhausen made use of these sources to construct a history of Israel which can be viewed in hisGeschichte Israels. His greatest work was most certainly his Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels and he makes significant findings in the part on the Geschichte des Kultus. The question to be answered though is: Does Wellhausen's source hypothesis still has a part to play in our modern research on the Pentateuch? <![CDATA[<b>What is it like to be a god? A philosophical clarification of instances of divine suffering in the Psalter</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce. (Mark Twain) In philosophy of religion, there is a long history of belief that divine reality is immutable, although this has changed recently. In this article, the author takes a closer look at what some texts in the Psalms assumed about what it feels like for a god to suffer mentally. By paying attention to what is presupposed in language about negative divine emotions, the nature of mental anguish in the life of a deity is elucidated from examples in the text in which Yhwh is said to have states of mind involving anger, hate, compassion, jealousy and grief. <![CDATA[<b>The rediscovery of the role of the laity in the mission of the Church - with reference to the Baptist Union of Southern Africa (BUSA)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The role of the laity is at the cutting edge of Christian missions today. The author conducted a number of interviews and questionnaires to determine the status of the laity across denominations of the Christian faith in South Africa. His findings are in a number of instances startling: The picture of the laity, and what lay Christians in South Africa believe, run against general expectations. Some suggestions and proposals on how to empower the laity in general, and the churches of the Baptist Union in Southern Africa (BUSA) in particular, are made. The underlining motive for the research is to encourage the BUSA churches to become truly missional churches that make a difference in the world in which we live. <![CDATA[<b>Wat maak 'n kerkorrel gereformeerd? 'n Verkenning van Afrikaanse 'gereformeerde' musiek in die jare 1980 en 1990 in Suid-Afrika</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100017&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, the meaning of a combination of the adjective 'reformed' and the noun 'music' is explored. The main question is: What can be termed 'reformed music'? In order to answer this question, some of the work on liturgy by the theologians Smit, Old and McKee will be explored, specifically their understanding of 'reformed liturgy'. Throughout, the article takes the form of a historical reflexive autoethnographic journey into the life and experiences of the author of this article in the period roughly stretching from 1986 to 1996. In particular, it focuses on the way in which the author appropriated two different kinds of music genres. His exposure to both reformed church music and the alternative Afrikaans music movement, which included rock bands such as Johannes Kerkorrel en die Gereformeerde Blues Band will be scrutinised. Ultimately, the aim of this journey is to establish which one of these two music genres from this specific period in the history of South Africa is worthy of the name 'reformed music'. <![CDATA[<b>Die filosofie kan die teologie help om weg te beweeg van 'n onhistoriese, sinkroniese interpretasie van tekste na 'n historiese, diakroniese interpretasie van tekste</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100018&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>Truth, Reason, and Faith in Modern Civilisation: The violence of truth and the truth of violence in modern 'secular' Western civilisation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100019&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt What is truth? What is reason? What is faith? These questions have been hotly debated and have been the cause of violence prior to the rise of the modern and so-called secular state. The rise of the modern 'secular' state was founded on the distinction between reason and faith thus bringing to an end the religious violence which was inspired by their respective truths. The concept of truth will be questioned, thus questioning the 'truth' that reason and faith can be neatly separated from each other and consequently that the secular and religious can be separated into neat categories. There is an inherent violence (political, religious and linguistic) inthe Truth(s), be it the truths of either religion or secular reason, namely the originary linguistic violence of truth. This article will ask the question: How can one speak of truth, reason and faith in a modern civilisation and seek ways beyond the violence of truths towards interdisciplinary open dialogue of a democracy still to come? <![CDATA[<b>Trito-Isaiah, penitential prayer and apocalypticism</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100020&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt An analysis of the research on the compositional development of Isaiah 56-66 indicates that the redefinition of Judean identity played a major role in the formation of these chapters. Scholars very often refer to the penitential prayer in Isaiah 63:7-64:11 to indicate this redefinition of identity. A study of the background of these chapters shows that Hanson's theory of a developing apocalypticism is usually upheld, whilst his identification of a Zadokite opposition is either rejected or replaced by an acknowledgement that it is not possible to identify these opponents. The suggestion of this article is that the term 'qualified inclusivism' can be used as the mark of those responsible for this section of the book of Isaiah. <![CDATA[<b>Biblical Spirituality and J.H. Eaton</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100021&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this contribution, the nature of 'Biblical Spirituality' as an academic discipline is reviewed from a methodological perspective. Two core aspects are indicated: the importance of ancient expressions of faith (spiritualities) in the Bible, and the importance of modern expressions of faith (spiritualities) as they draw on the Bible. Based on this framework, as a first application of such a nature within the field of Biblical Spirituality, the relevant publications of an Old Testament scholar are evaluated; in this case, those of J.H. Eaton. Such an analysis opens an arena for discussion on whether this model of Biblical Spirituality holds promise for wider application. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of the economic system on social and labour relations in the early church as revealed in the letter of James</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100022&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The Letter of James addresses the dichotomy between the socioeconomic classes of the rich (πλούσιος) and the poor (πτωχὸς). This research reveals the social and labour relations resulting from this dichotomy and the wealth of socioeconomic data contained in this letter. The rich are alerted to the consequences of their unrighteousness towards the poor, and the poor receive exhortations of encouragement. The metaphoric use of 'richness' is also examined. This research focuses on the socioeconomic activities and attitudes that this dichotomy prompted during the second part of the first century, and it indicates how the economic system impacted on and influenced the lives of the early Christians in the 1st century Mediterranean world. James bounces these questions around to cast the rich, as well as the Christian assembly, in a bad light for condoning the mistreatment of the poor. His three rhetorical questions are quite to the point and are meant to be answered affirmatively. <![CDATA[<b>A theological perspective on human dignity, equality and freedom</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100023&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Human dignity has proven to be a vague term in liberal rights discourse because of its broad range. This article attempted to provide a Christian definition of human dignity that is helpful in resolving tensions between equality and freedom. Firstly, it addressed the question of whether religious understandings of human dignity ought to be considered in the public domain. Secondly, it provided a theological perspective on dignity, equality and freedom and, lastly, it considered the special contribution that a Christian concept of dignity, equality and freedom can make to the rights discourse. <![CDATA[<b>Huldah's oracle: The origin of the Chronicler's typical style?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100024&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Scholars of Chronicles normally emphasise that the Chronicler used typical words and phrases in those parts that belong to hisSondergut. Amongst these are phrases like 'to humble yourself', 'to seek Yahweh', and 'not to forsake Yahweh'. The writer's typical changes to the burial notices of the royal narratives also belong in this category. Something which is often overlooked, however, is that many of these features already occur in the narrative about Huldah's oracle (2 Chr 34:19-28) which was taken over with only minor changes from the Deuteronomistic version (2 Ki 22:11-20). My paper investigates whether or not the Huldah oracle could have served as theological paradigm according to which the Chronicler developed his own unique style. If so, the investigation will prompt me to revisit the issue of how continuity and discontinuity, with the older historiographical tradition, characterise the identity negotiation process that we witness in this literature. <![CDATA[<b>The involvement of a South African church in a changing society</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100025&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The church and its congregations are an important part of society. The aim of this article was to provide a description of the involvement of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in a changing society. A short description of the changes in the South African society over the last 15-20 years was provided. The role and response of churches was then considered, and lastly, there was a more in-depth discussion on the involvement of the DRC, its leadership and its congregations in society. The argument of this article was that there is a movement towards less involvement in society by the DRC. The involvement of congregations is mostly on the level of welfare projects within an evangelist approach. It was argued that the challenge for congregations is to build partnerships of trust within their communities for the purpose of sustainable people development. <![CDATA[<b>Biblical principles as an answer to the African people's questioning of witchcraft</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100026&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Witchcraft is still an enormous and serious issue in African culture. The media, including the entertainment component (e.g. African Magic programmes on satellite television), portray witchcraft as an issue that needs to be addressed. Witchcraft has in a sense been integrated into the system and context of the Nigerian community because most of the programming originates from this country. The same can be said of the South African milieu. It would be remarkable to read a tabloid such as the Daily Sun without at least one reference to witchcraft. Between 1994 and 1996 several hundred people were killed in the Limpopo Province on suspicion of witchcraft, to which the response from the Christian sector was diverse and varied. De Vries (2010:35) argues that Christians believe that upon becoming a member of this faith, witchcraft is powerless; yet there are indeed Christians who consider bewitchment possible, despite a belief in God. This being the case, the question that arises is, 'What does the Bible teach in this regard'? The most compelling evidence for the existence of witchcraft is its mention in both the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). Although all Christians read the same Bible, the interpretation of its teachings on witchcraft differ greatly. This article has attempted to identify, from a historical-grammatical exegetical point of view, a number of biblical principles on witchcraft that could be set as guidelines for addressing witchcraft-related matters and to obtain a clearer picture on Scripture's teachings regarding witchcraft. (This topic has also been explored from a meta-theoretical perspective in a follow-up article.) <![CDATA[<b>Christ Apostolic Church women in dialogue with 1 Corinthians 14:34-36</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100027&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The command for women to be silent in church worship in 1 Corinthians 14 has generated much debate. After examining the controversies, this article has adopted the view that the sanction in verses 34-35 was a punishment for certain local offences of the female Christians in Corinth. The contention of the article is that interpretations of the text which criticise women 'talking to the congregation' when under inspiration in worship services, and which universalise such local rules are unfair. The article attempts to correct the sexist interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34-36 by re-interpreting the text in the context of women founding new assemblies, preaching, teaching, and leading congregational prayers in the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), a Nigerian initiated Pentecostal denomination. <![CDATA[<b>The Church mission relative to socio-political issues in Francophone Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100028&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The Church mission relative to socio-political issues in Francophone Africa requires a paradigm shift in both practice and teaching. To revitalise the Christian mission and pave the way for the positive transformation of Francophone Africa, a method review and mission strategy is relevant. The Church's mission is to create disciples, to evangelise people, bring them to a deeper faith, promote truth, justice, peace, reconciliation, reconstruction, development and defend the poor and oppressed. Thus, people should always be central to the Church's commitment regarding evangelism and social advancement. This article has provided a missiological overview of the Christian mission to gain a better understanding of the role of the Church in Francophone Africa today. <![CDATA[Local congregations as facilitators of collective grieving]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100029&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Local congregations as facilitators of collective grieving. Since 1990 South Africa has been characterised by far-reaching change in all spheres of society. A recent PhD dissertation completed at the University of Pretoria described the loss members of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) experience because of the rapid change. Experiences of loss are common enough to be described as collective experiences of a community. Resulting grief processes are long standing and unresolved. Grieving is the normal human response to loss, but many DRC members (and probably the denomination and the whole Afrikaans community), got stuck because of unresolved grief dynamics. The main contribution of this article is to argue that local communities of faith can serve its members and the community by accepting the task to initiate and guide collective grief processes. Intentional grief is seen as a ministry of hope, resulting in a new and more appropriate identity. <![CDATA[<b>Financially resourcing the ministry in the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa in the 21st century</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100030&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt From 1994 the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa has increasingly encountered tremendous challenges in financing its ministry on a just and equitable basis across all communities. This issue peaked when the Presbyterian Church of South Africa and the Reformed Presbyterian Church united to form the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) in 1999. The union produced tensions concerning the financial support of the ministry. These centred on as yet unresolved proposals for the centralisation and equalisation of ministerial stipends, which have been discussed at every biennial General Assembly of the UPCSA from 2006. This article has briefly analysed the theological, ecclesiological, missional, economic, sociological and practical administrative issues that it believes should inform the final decision and may help to establish a new ministerial, missional and congregational support paradigm for many other churches in the new South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The journey to church unification between the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100031&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article gives a historical overview of judicial problems that the Dutch Reformed Church (DRMC) and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA) encountered in their journey to church unification. On 14 April 1994 the DRMC and the DRCA merged and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) came into being. Firstly, attention is given to a historical overview of the unification process. Secondly, the resolutions of the General Synod of the DRCA (1991), the judicial problems that surfaced shortly after the unification between the DRMC and the DRCA, the objections against the unification process and the lawsuit that followed, will be attended to. The unification between the DRMC and the DRCA was tested in court and in 1998 the Supreme Court gave judgment in favor of the DRCA. The verdict indicated that all decisions with regards to church property were ultra vires and that the DRCA as a legal corporate entity remains. The article concludes with a few legal aspects that may be derived from the judgement. The verdict highlights the administration of justice according to established rules and principles, namely that a juristic person cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards. The article proposes that Reformed churches in the South African context should seriously take cognisance of the judgement. This article attempts to identify the important criteria for and characteristics of administration of justice with regard to church unification. <![CDATA[<b>Karl Barth and the Belhar Confession</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100032&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article gives a historical overview of judicial problems that the Dutch Reformed Church (DRMC) and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA) encountered in their journey to church unification. On 14 April 1994 the DRMC and the DRCA merged and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) came into being. Firstly, attention is given to a historical overview of the unification process. Secondly, the resolutions of the General Synod of the DRCA (1991), the judicial problems that surfaced shortly after the unification between the DRMC and the DRCA, the objections against the unification process and the lawsuit that followed, will be attended to. The unification between the DRMC and the DRCA was tested in court and in 1998 the Supreme Court gave judgment in favor of the DRCA. The verdict indicated that all decisions with regards to church property were ultra vires and that the DRCA as a legal corporate entity remains. The article concludes with a few legal aspects that may be derived from the judgement. The verdict highlights the administration of justice according to established rules and principles, namely that a juristic person cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards. The article proposes that Reformed churches in the South African context should seriously take cognisance of the judgement. This article attempts to identify the important criteria for and characteristics of administration of justice with regard to church unification. <![CDATA[<b>Perspectives on the Belhar Confession</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100033&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article gives a historical overview of judicial problems that the Dutch Reformed Church (DRMC) and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA) encountered in their journey to church unification. On 14 April 1994 the DRMC and the DRCA merged and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) came into being. Firstly, attention is given to a historical overview of the unification process. Secondly, the resolutions of the General Synod of the DRCA (1991), the judicial problems that surfaced shortly after the unification between the DRMC and the DRCA, the objections against the unification process and the lawsuit that followed, will be attended to. The unification between the DRMC and the DRCA was tested in court and in 1998 the Supreme Court gave judgment in favor of the DRCA. The verdict indicated that all decisions with regards to church property were ultra vires and that the DRCA as a legal corporate entity remains. The article concludes with a few legal aspects that may be derived from the judgement. The verdict highlights the administration of justice according to established rules and principles, namely that a juristic person cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards. The article proposes that Reformed churches in the South African context should seriously take cognisance of the judgement. This article attempts to identify the important criteria for and characteristics of administration of justice with regard to church unification. <![CDATA[<b>Karl Barth's reflections on the Filioque</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052012000100034&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article gives a historical overview of judicial problems that the Dutch Reformed Church (DRMC) and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA) encountered in their journey to church unification. On 14 April 1994 the DRMC and the DRCA merged and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) came into being. Firstly, attention is given to a historical overview of the unification process. Secondly, the resolutions of the General Synod of the DRCA (1991), the judicial problems that surfaced shortly after the unification between the DRMC and the DRCA, the objections against the unification process and the lawsuit that followed, will be attended to. The unification between the DRMC and the DRCA was tested in court and in 1998 the Supreme Court gave judgment in favor of the DRCA. The verdict indicated that all decisions with regards to church property were ultra vires and that the DRCA as a legal corporate entity remains. The article concludes with a few legal aspects that may be derived from the judgement. The verdict highlights the administration of justice according to established rules and principles, namely that a juristic person cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards. The article proposes that Reformed churches in the South African context should seriously take cognisance of the judgement. This article attempts to identify the important criteria for and characteristics of administration of justice with regard to church unification.