Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2074-770520130001&lang=pt vol. 34 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Thinking as a crisis area in the phenomenon of the declining traditionally Afrikaans 'sister churches'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Since little can be done, humanly speaking, to address the numerous factors influencing the decline of churches, it is obvious that everything humanly possible must be done. Thinking plays a major role in ecclesiology. This article focuses on human thinking as crisis area and as variable in ecclesiology. Because thinking is the determining factor controlling human activities, it is necessary to transform and change thinking when imbalances appear under the microscope of the last command of Jesus. Through the Great Commission, the Christocentric paradigm is revealed which serves as a corrective guideline for the imbalances created by the institutionalistic (I-paradigm) or the spiritualistic (S-paradigm) paradigms. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is rediscovered as Scripture-based approach regarding change in thinking and the resulting change in the ecclesiastic crisis area, thus focussing on a more complete obedience to the Great Commission and promoting the possibility of natural church growth. <![CDATA[<b>Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness</b>: <b>Sharpening the ethical dimension of prophetic preaching in a context of corruption</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The prevalence of corruption has enormous negative consequences for the ideal of an orderly and peaceful society. Corruption does not only have a destructive impact on socio-economic life, but also on human relationships, value systems and vision for life. With this research the authors described the role of the ethical dimension of prophetic preaching in addressing the apparent lack of righteousness as it manifests in a context of corruption in the South African society. The problem field was explored with the focus on an apparent lack of vision and willingness to hunger and thirst for righteousness in the current manifestation of corruption in the South African society. Normative perspectives from Scripture (attempting to voice the impact of Jesus' words in the Beatitudes, with the focus on Matthew 5-6) were discussed. It is reasoned that Jesus' words pneumatologically proved to be essential in developing a sharpened and action-inducing vision of the righteousness of the kingdom of God breaking through in the praxis of a society struggling with the effects of corruption. The research culminated in the formulation of preliminary homiletic theory with a view to a vision for a kind of prophetic preaching that will be able to activate the consciousness of hungering and thirsting for the righteousness of God's kingdom and lead the believer in a life culminating in blessed nourishment. The ethical dimension of prophetic preaching is anchored in the eschatological sphere, aimed at making the perceiver conscious of the distinct presence of the King, calling his people to a blessed presence in this world and empowering them with his promise of restoration of an abundant life for all. <![CDATA[<b>Pitfalls in 'Biblical' leadership</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article is about the pitfalls involved in writing a Christian handbook on leadership. By analysing some elements of the Rule of Benedict it is argued that it is impossible to write such a handbook without using non-Biblical sources. Moreover, there are typical pitfalls when authors attempt to develop a pure Biblical leadership theory. The first pitfall is typical of Christians representing Niebuhr's type of 'Christ against Culture'. As early as 1951, Niebuhr claimed that in the field of leadership in particular the radical exclusive Christians reintroduced rules from non-Christian cultures. Examples from the last decade support Niebuhr's observation. The second pitfall, referred to as reconstruction, is typical of those authors who are open to secular sources but who seek to give Biblical evidence for their leadership theory. This pitfall is illustrated by analysing the process in which the secular concepts of transforming leadership and vision statements found their way into evangelical books on Christian leadership. Reconstruction typically consists of four steps: Perception (a secular model of leadership becomes popular), Acceptance (this model is examined and accepted for the context of the church) Assimilation (it is claimed that leaders in the Bible worked exactly as described in the model, books are written about Biblical leadership, exemplifying the model. The secular source becomes obsolete.) and Standardisation (this model of leadership is declared to be the Biblical norm for every Christian leader). I argue that step 3 is at least problematic and step 4 is a fatal error. <![CDATA[<b><i>Kenōsis</i></b><b> in sexuality</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Recent decades have witnessed both a shift in sexual standards, and the loss of the Biblical authority which has traditionally motivated them. This has been the case even with Christians. It is therefore necessary to suggest a new motive for morality, especially in this area. A possibility is the idea of the imitation of Christ, adopting the principles on which he acted, which can be summed up as kenõsis, or self-limitation. Jesus was fundamentally limited through being incarnate; human beings are likewise limited, also with regard to their sexuality. Jesus adopted the practice of self-limitation, seen in his humility; Christians, in imitation of him, likewise should practise self-limitation. Indeed, the manifestation and practice of sexuality is fundamentally limited in any case by its very nature. If the principle of kenõsis is applied in the areas of marriage and divorce, and in related issues such as homosexuality or chastity, it serves to underpin what is a traditional set of practices in a way consistent with a Christian world-view. <![CDATA[<b>Scriptural perspectives on the effect of baptism on forgiveness</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article focused from a Scriptural perspective on the question of whether baptism can and should have an effect on forgiveness and reconciliation in the South African society. This aspect was examined because in one of the most widely used confessionals of the worldwide church, the Nicene Creed, the following words are found: 'We believe in ... one baptism for the forgiveness of sin'. Another reason for investigating the effect that baptism should have on forgiveness and reconciliation is the connection between God's forgiveness and the calling on the baptised to forgive. The article highlighted the following five key points: God acts in baptism; the Triune God works in baptism; the covenant relationship is expressed in baptism; baptism is a baptism in Christ's death and resurrection; God's forgiveness and reconciliation in baptism call the baptised to forgive. <![CDATA[<b>The Lukan covenant concept</b>: <b>The basis of Israel's mandate in Luke-Acts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Upon analysis of Luke's Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles conjoined theoretically in the reading event, the basis of Israel's mandate became pellucid in Lukan terms. This kind of analysis required the viable assumption of conceptual unity behind the gospel and Acts, and the application of the appropriate methodological approach of structural criticism. Morpho-syntactical analysis yielded positive results that suggested text-based evidence concerning Israel's calling. It was observed that the covenant concept presented in its operative aspect of service to God was the basis of Israel's mandate. Luke and Acts appeared to agree that Israel was called to live in obedient righteousness following the call to Abraham to walk blamelessly. The covenant-based calling was affirmed by Isaianic allusions to Israel's mandate to be a light to the nations in her righteousness. The mandate's disruption had disabled Israel, requiring the resolution of God's deliverance. <![CDATA[<b>Burial society versus the Church in the Black society of South Africa</b>: <b>A pastoral response</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article attempts to provide insight to the church councils of mainly Black churches, regarding members' absenteeism during Sunday church services and also the lack of financial contributions to the church. A number of church-going members are often absent on the last Sunday of the month or the first Sunday of the month because of their commitments to burial societies - burial societies prefer to meet on Sundays. Because the meetings take place at the end of the month and funding is one of the main issues at these meetings, the members' tithing to the church is negatively impacted. Our research found that members considered their contribution to the societies to be more important than their tithing to the church. In some cases members belonged to more than one burial society, and these members spent more money so as to receive greater support in the event of a death. Unfortunately this left them with nothing to give to the church. Another reason given for belonging to burial societies was that their membership helped them to prepare for death, would enable them to have a decent funeral service and would ensure that those who attended the funeral service did not go home hungry. <![CDATA[<b>Liturgy and Literature - An Autumn liturgy for Easter in the Southern Hemisphere</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The aim of this article was to explore possibilities regarding the liturgical inculturation of the Easter liturgy in the Southern Hemisphere. The Easter liturgy originated in the Northern Hemisphere, where it was and is celebrated during Spring with all its concomitant symbolism of new life. That symbolism seems to be lacking in the Easter liturgy in the Southern Hemisphere, where Easter occurs during Autumn. In order to address this issue an interdisciplinary exploration of the themes of both the Easter liturgy and the liturgical ordo was undertaken, as well as a study of Afrikaans poems about Autumn. An example of a liturgy making use of the ecumenical-protestant fourfold order of worship [ordinarium] and enriched with liturgical elements based on the poems studied here as well as some traditions relating to the Easter liturgy [proprium] is presented. As a whole this article serves as an example of how Liturgical Studies can seek alliances with other disciplines in order to address its own questions and for its own purposes. <![CDATA[<b>Jesus' halakhic argumentation on the true intention of the law in Matthew 5:21-48</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In the time when Matthew wrote his gospel, the interpretation of the Torah became a feature of division. Matthew frequently presented Jesus as being in debate with the Pharisees and scribes on the true intention of the Law. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was presented as using the halakhic form of argumentation to counter false assumptions about the meaning of the Torah. Six theses about the Torah were set, followed by Jesus' antitheses. Jesus' alternative interpretations were presented as an authoritative explanation of the true, intended meaning of the Law. Matthew argued that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but bring them to fulfilment. In this argument Jesus formulated the higher level of righteousness that is required of his followers. <![CDATA[<b>The remarkable cell</b>: <b>Intelligently designed or by evolutionary process?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The objective of this article was to deal with the challenging theme of the Origin of Life. Science has been arguing the when and how of the beginning of life for centuries. It is a subject which remains perplexing despite all the technological advances made in science. The first part of the article dealt with the idea of a universe and earth divinely created to sustain life. The second part dealt with the premise that the first life forms were the miraculous work of an intelligent designer, which is revealed by the sophisticated and intricate design of these first life forms. The article concluded with an explanation that these life forms are in stark contrast to the idea of a random Darwinian type evolution for life's origin, frequently referred to as abiogenesis or spontaneous generation. <![CDATA[<b>Repositioning the use of the Bible towards a mission-oriented theological education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It is an undeniable fact that mission remains the cardinal essence of the Church. However, in Africa and in Nigeria, the Church seems to have lost focus regarding the main reason for its existence, namely mission. One of the factors responsible for this may be the form of theological education in vogue. In view of this anomaly, this paper reflects on how the study of the Bible, which serves as the primary basis for theological education in some institutions, can be repositioned to enhance a mission-oriented theological education. The importance of proper interpretation of the Bible in enhancing missions can be premised on the fact that a sound biblical hermeneutics is prerequisite to the formulation of an effective and functional theology of missions. If our theology of mission is faulty, the practice cannot be anything but flawed. In view of this, the paper explores ways in which the Bible can be meaningfully studied in order to promote a mission-oriented theological education. <![CDATA[<b>The use of the Delphi survey as a research tool in understanding church trends</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In the practical theological research process, as in most disciplines, extant literature is vital in assisting a researcher to formulate a foundational understanding of the topic under review. A literature review is also valuable in understanding the meta-theoretical aspects of the research topic. What does a researcher do, though, if there is little current literature on the topic under scrutiny? If there is a small corpus of literature around a subject, the Delphi method can serve as an extremely helpful research tool. This article discussed the use of the Delphi survey in a practical theological research endeavour and surveyed its history from inception to current usage. The article also reviewed the various types of Delphi survey and supported the use of the Lockean Delphi survey in this particular example of practical theological research. The article finished with an actual Delphi survey of Canadian Evangelical church pastors as an example of how the Delphi method can be used as a research tool in practical theology. The article concluded that the Delphi survey is an extremely useful research tool across the wide domain of social science research. <![CDATA[<b>Ruth who uncovered Boaz's 'feet' and had laid there with him</b>: <b>The significance of this symbolic act in Ruth 3:7 in the light of Exodus 4:25</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article investigates the possibility that Ruth 3:7, where Ruth went to lie at Boaz' 'feet', can be read in an intertextual way in the context of Exodus 4:25. In Exodus 4:24-26, whilst at a camping place on their way to Egypt, the Lord came to kill Moses. Then Zipporah, his wife, took a sharp stone (or stone knife), cut off the foreskin of her son and touched Moses' 'feet' with it. Because of the circumcision she said to Moses: 'You are a bridegroom of blood to me'. And so the Lord spared the life of Moses. Zipporah took the initiative and because of this, God's will and plan for Moses could still be reached. The covenant duty of circumcision, according to Genesis 17:10-14, could also be accomplished through her intervention. This section also clearly illustrates that God welcomes non-Israelites to enter into the community of Israel. In Ruth 3:7, the same word for feet is used as in Exodus 4:25, namely <img src="/img/revistas/vee/v34n1/13f01.jpg">. The analogous use of this word clearly emphasises the importance of the functioning of the covenant of God with Israel. There are also other similarities between these verses of Scripture. It is indicated that Ruth, like Zipporah, also took the initiative and intervened to ensure that God's covenant plan for Israel will be accomplished. It is also indicated that Ruth, like Zipporah, is accepted into the community of Israel and that she will play an important role ensuring the future of the offspring of Mahlon/Boaz. <![CDATA[<b>The Bible and evolution</b>: <b>Opinions amongst southern African clergy and theologians from the Reformed church tradition</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The main objectives of the present study were to determine the opinions of southern African clergy and theologians (from the Reformed church tradition) about evolution and faith and to assess their degree of knowledge regarding the biological theory of evolution. A total of 1720 structured electronic questionnaires were sent out via email to all clergy belonging to the 'Nederduitse Gereformeerde' and 'Hervormde' churches, of which 89 were received back. The SPSS 20 statistical program was used to conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses of these data. Most participants were positive about the theory of biological evolution, but expressed the belief that evolution should be seen as a process guided by God. However, most participants failed to appreciate the fact that this view was contrary to the non-teleological nature of the biological theory of evolution and failed to distinguish between what should be accepted in faith and what can be demonstrated or 'proved' (e.g. as is common in intelligent design circles). Many participants were not clear about the finer aspects of evolutionary theory and therefore often believed common misconceptions about it. In conclusion, one could say that participants were positive about evolution and, at least nominally, agreed with nonfundamentalist views of the Bible. <![CDATA[<b>Opinions about science and faith amongst Southern African clergy and theologians from the Reformed church tradition</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The main objective was to determine the opinions of Southern African clergy and theologians (from the Reformed church tradition) about science and faith. A secondary objective was to do an initial exploration amongst other church denominations. A total of 1770 structured electronic questionnaires were sent out via Email to all clergy belonging to the 'Nederduitse Gereformeerde' and 'Nederduitsche Hervormde' churches of which 108 were received back. The SPSS 20 statistical program was used to analyse the data. Most participants expressed a positive opinion about science. This positive opinion was closely linked to the general conviction that science and faith are not hostile towards each other, that science and faith can be reconciled and that the cosmos shows clear signs of divine intelligent design. Most participants nominally expressed strong anti-fundamentalist views regarding the authority of the Bible, but they did not necessarily appreciate the full implications of such a view, that is, given the prescientific cosmology of the Bible, it is highly unlikely that the biblical and scientific views of the natural world would be compatible. In conclusion, one could say that most participants were positively inclined towards science but arguably for the wrong reasons. <![CDATA[<b>'My tongue is the stylus of a skilled scribe' (Ps 45:2c): If so in the Scriptures, then why not also in translation?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this study, I survey seven characteristics of the poetic-rhetorical style of Psalm 45, with special reference to the 'sound effects' (phonological features) of the Hebrew text. This leads to a brief discussion of the translation of this psalm in Chewa, a Bantu language of southeastern Africa. How 'skilful' does this version sound in the vernacular, and why is this an important aspect of the translator's task in order to ensure that the 'good word' of the Bible is faithfully as well as forcefully transmitted? Suggestions will be offered to indicate how the current standard Chewa versions might be improved so as to 'stir the heart' of listeners also today. The results of the present study may be instructive and/or applicable in varying degrees to similar projects that aim to render the biblical text poetically, rhetorically and oratorically in the language of translation. <![CDATA[<b>Effects and impact of witchcraft on Sotho Reformed Churches and the Biblical view of witchcraft</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100017&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The aim of this article is to analyse the effects and impact of witchcraft on members of the Basotho Reformed Church who ascribe to witchcraft. From the literature, it is clear that some members of the Basotho Reformed Church practise various forms of witchcraft. Some Christians do not directly involve themselves with practices linked to witchcraft but do participate in healing practices. This article highlights a number of such instances and provides a number of guidelines to churchgoers who are adhering to practices of witchcraft. These guidelines should be relevant to them when they are reflecting on their relationship with the Lord with the aim to live in obedience to God's Word. <![CDATA[<b>Is it still possible to study religion religiously today?</b>: <b>Mircea Eliade's religious apologetic account</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100018&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article reflects on the question whether it is still possible to study religion religiously today or not? This is due to the variety of disciplines' interest in religion and its phenomena. Such interest influenced the study to adopt a new approach that is different from that of religious studies. Both religion and its phenomena, especially myths according to the reductionists, should be treated lesser than they are professed to be. Mircea Eliade on the other hand argues differently, as he stresses on the point that religious phenomena can only be studied under religious spheres alone. <![CDATA[<b>Shattered stories</b>: <b>Healing and reconciliation in the South African context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100019&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Sharing our stories has been described, by those in the field as well as by popular opinion, as a way to foster healing and reconciliation following violent conflict. This article argues that sharing stories is in itself not necessarily helpful. It is when our stories are shattered by the story of another that meaningful change can begin to take place and new stories can emerge. This idea will be explored in the South African context, with reference to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as current events. It will consider storytelling and reconciliation using John Lederach's four-part model of justice, truth, mercy and peace. <![CDATA[<b>The rhetorical purpose of Israel's notion of the 'whole body' as the ideal body in the psalms</b>: <b>A comparative study of selected psalms from four different genres</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100020&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The authors of the psalms implemented body rhetoric, especially the notion of the 'whole body' as the ideal body, in the various genres of psalms, with specific purposes in mind. The whole body as ideal body served as a defining paradigm within the ancient Israelite culture. In this article, the relationship between the embodied God-concept, the ideal societal body and the individual body is investigated in order to determine the purpose of the implementation of this ideology of whole-bodiedness in selected psalm genres. In Psalm 2, the political body as cultural construct plays a prominent role in directing the individual to think of the body in a specific manner. In Psalm 6, the 'broken body' drives the lamentation of the psalmist towards recovery. Psalm 29 reflects the poet's ability to sketch, in hymnic-embodied language, God's relationship with his creation and his people and the poet's worship for God's fullness of existence and activity. Psalm 32, as a psalm of thanksgiving, pictures God as the whole body in terms of the saviour, protector and healer of the broken (sinful) body. <![CDATA[<b>'Belonging before believing'</b>: <b>Some missiological implications of membership and belonging in a Christian community</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100021&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In the final stages of the modern period the power of hegemonic ideologies is coming to an end as people identify less with grand ideologies and more with subcultures related to technology and social and economic networks of different kinds. The post-Christendom phase has begun and is radically challenging Christendom notions of membership and ministry. We have to assume that in a post-Christendom society, the familiarity with Christian concepts will fade as the decline of Christendom has meant that Christian discourse has been losing its status as a lingua franca. It is therefore important that the church will anticipate longer journeys towards faith and not move on to disciple new converts too quickly. Post-Christendom evangelisation will consequently take longer, start further back and move more slowly. For these reasons the authors propose that the question of standards for membership be reconsidered where churches are planted in postmodern contexts. They propose that the old order of 'believing before belonging' be replaced by 'belonging before believing'. <![CDATA[<b>Living out a calling to teach: A practical theological engagement</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100022&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt South African teachers are confronted with a plethora of stressors on a daily basis. Often their experience of having a calling to teach is silenced by the realities they have to face. Becoming more aware of the presence of God in their classrooms might turn them into practical theologians. This in itself does not eliminate the factors that cause stress, but it becomes the driving force that keeps them coping in times of duress. Through a constant migration between theory and praxis within the habitus of practical theology, the academic discourses about teachers and about calling are explored. This specific context creates a moment of praxis where they can explore their identity as Christian teachers and their endeavours to create schools driven by their calling. The realisation that they are practical theologians has a profound effect on the different relationship-spheres in which teachers function. Thus they become empowered to be the hands and feet of God in their classrooms and, in turn, serve as agents of hope for their learners and for one another. <![CDATA[<b>Adversity in pastoral leadership: Are pastors leaving the ministry in record numbers, and if so, why?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100023&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt As churches in the West grapple with the rising tide of secularism, post-modernism and individualised spirituality, the leaders of those churches become casualties of these macro-environmental factors. Statistics show that three pastors in North America leave the vocational ministry every day to move into a different career path. This ongoing loss of leadership must prove detrimental for churches, which in turn are confronting declining attendance figures, declining income and low volunteerism from the membership. It would seem that pastoral leadership is vital to the health and sustenance of the church, and yet churches all over North America are losing pastoral leadership on a daily basis. This article attempts, through the use of Osmer's heuristic, to review why it is that pastors are leaving the ministry and what might be done to stem that tide. A missional ontology in contrast to a Christendom ontology together with a review of workplace adversity and the Scriptural data on suffering in the ministry are developed for the reader as potential solutions to stem the tide. <![CDATA[<b>Teaching Open Distance Learning undergraduates in Theology to become effective change agents</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100024&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Teaching Theology in the African context presents unique challenges. In general, living conditions in South Africa did not improve much since the first democratic elections were held in 1994. Students have to cope with extreme living conditions whilst also focusing on their distance learning activities. Reflexive research that started in 2010 showed that opportunities could be created to make a greater impact on the students' lives through innovative and interactive study material and teaching methods. The second year course 'World Christianity and ecumenism' provided ample opportunity to be used in an experiment to interact with students during the course of the semester in such a way that they could be challenged to act as change agents in their congregations and communities. By helping students to practise the values and skills learned and to transfer the knowledge gained from the course, they could be motivated to see themselves not only as learners, but also as teachers and educators. This motivated students to take greater responsibility for their own learning and also help to create a more favourable learning environment for others by acting as educators and leaders in their respective communities. By advocating, planning and implementing actions to promote positive change, students could become actively involved in ecumenical activities, upliftment projects and environmental awareness programmes. The positive impact of this study could be expanded into the wider B.Th. programme at University of South Africa through the current process of re-curriculating. <![CDATA[<b>The need for a canonical reading of the Exodus narratives in finding its present-day theological significance</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100025&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article deals with the approach to exegesis of biblical narrative, especially in Exodus, in finding its theological significance for contemporary and relevant biblical interpretation. It shows that the historical-critical method is unable to span the divide between the original context and our contemporary context, and to provide the present relevance of Scripture. After arguing for the validity of a set canonical text, this article shows that biblical narrative in general, and the Exodus narratives in particular, are best explored theologically by means of a canonical approach. It shows that the theological significance translates more easily into life-application. It demonstrates how the Exodus narratives are employed canonically for its theological significance throughout the Bible. It concludes that the Church needs teachers who recognise their responsibility to accurately interpret their whole Scriptures, the Bible, with the necessary historical, linguistic (rhetorical) and theological considerations, and that this is best done in a canonical context - whether we use a synchronic or a diachronic approach <![CDATA[<b>Applied Ethics and tertiary education in South Africa: Teaching Business Ethics at the University of South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100026&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article explores how Applied Ethics, especially Business Ethics, is taught at the University of South Africa (Unisa). This discussion refers to the content of a particular Unisa module, Theoretical and Applied Ethics, which serves as an introduction to Bio-medical Ethics, Business Ethics and Environmental Ethics. The fundamentals of this course are: defining ethics; providing methods for moral decision-making; describing the role of ethics in a particular field and addressing common dilemmas in a specific context. The intention is to empower students to identify issues they are likely to face in the workplace, and to grow in confidence in their ability to make sound moral decisions when required to do so. The aim of this article is to contribute to the ongoing discussion between tertiary institutions about how the teaching of Business Ethics can be promoted, how moral decision-making in the workplace can be encouraged and what role theological ethics can play in this regard. <![CDATA[<b>Daniel 9 as part of an apocalyptic book?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100027&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Daniel 9 relates how Daniel studies the Hebrew Holy Scriptures and finds the prophecy of Jeremiah that Jerusalem will lie desolate for seventy years. He reacts by devoting himself to prayer and fasting in order to remind God of this promise of restoring his people. The better part of the chapter is dedicated to the contents of his prayer. During the prayer, the man, Gabriel, appears with the intent to give Daniel an understanding of the meaning of the seventy years, which is the measure of the punishment of Israel's transgression and sin and which will end with eternal righteousness, when the Holy of Holies will be anointed. The Book of Daniel consists of two sections: the tales of the first six chapters and the visions of the last six chapters. This article asked the question: what role does Daniel 9 play as a part of the apocalyptic section of the book? Is Daniel's prayer and Gabriel's revelation apocalyptically conditioned? Why did the author or compiler include it in the book and, especially, in the second, apocalyptic section of the book? The conclusion of this article was that Daniel 9 was placed intentionally by the compiler in the latter half of the book because of the revelation about the seventy weeks, which is in line with the last three chapters' indication of the end times and Israel's elevation to become the ruler of the earth. Several arguments were formulated to support this conclusion. <![CDATA[<b>The Ephesian elders come to Miletus: An Annaliste reading of Acts 20:15-18a</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100028&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In his recent study on Ionia, A. Greaves adopts an Annaliste approach following the pioneering work of Fernand Braudel. Greaves attempts to move beyond a text-based understanding of sites and events by also considering the related landscape and geographical data. This study adopts Greaves' methodology in examining a text in Acts related to the Ionian cities of Ephesus and Miletus. Acts 20:15-18a records that Paul bypassed Ephesus, but later summoned the Ephesian elders to meet him in Miletus. This summons sets up one of Paul's most important speeches and the only one in Acts delivered to a Christian audience. This study will examine the landscape and geography related to this stage of Paul's third journey as well as the journey of the Ephesian elders to Miletus. It will also look at how recently published Bible atlases have incorrectly illustrated this segment of Paul's journeys. An Annaliste reading will bring fresh insights into Paul's travel habits and his decision making related to ministry as depicted in this pericope in Acts. <![CDATA[<b>The challenges facing Lutherans in South(ern) Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100029&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article seeks to discuss what the future appears to hold for Lutheranism in South Africa. In order to do this, it is important to look at the past through the history and involvement of Lutheranism in South Africa. This will show the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities for Lutheran theology and the Lutheran churches in South Africa in relation to Lutheranism in its global context. Accordingly the article starts off by providing a brief history of Lutheranism in South Africa, examining the role of missionaries from Germany, Norway and Sweden in establishing Lutheranism in South Africa. The article also looks at how apartheid divided the faithful along racial lines, thereby pointing to the challenges, weaknesses, as well as the strengths of the mission of Lutheran churches in this part of Africa. It then moves on to discuss some challenges before Lutheranism in South Africa today. Some of the challenges discussed in this article are as follows: (1) efforts to unite the Black and White Lutherans have so far not succeeded, (2) the role of Lutheran theological education in equipping ministers to address current societal challenges, (3) financial sustainability, (4) African Religious Pluralism, (5) the promotion of gender sensitivity and equality amongst Lutheran congregants, (6) ethnicity and (7) the role and status of self-supporting ministry. And, finally, the article highlights few issues about the changing world of Lutheranism globally.<hr/>Go tšwa historing ya Kereke ya Lutere, go molaleng gore kereke ye e theilwe tabeng ya go nyakana le kereke ya mmakgonthe, go e fapantšha le kereke ya bofora (Kistner & Buthelezi 1976:21ff.). Go molaleng gape gore bobedi kereke ya therešo le ya bofora di šomiša Lentšu la Modimo dithutong tša tšona. Le ge go le bjalo, go tšwa go dikanegelo tše di lego gona, go laetša nke nepo ya Luther ya go thoma kereke ye e be e le matšapa a go kwešiša 'ka fao kereke e hlangwago le go nošetšwa ka gona,' (Kistner & Buthelezi 1976:22) gape o be a dumela kudu gore taba e kgolo ke ya Lentšu la Modimo leo ka lona Kriste a šomago le go ba gona ka gare ga kereke. Nepo ya taodišwana ye ke go ahlaahla se se bonalago e le bokamoso bja Bolutere ka Afrika-Borwa. Go dira seo, go bohlokwa go lebelela go tše di fetilego ka histori le seabe sa Bolutere mo Afrika-Borwa. Seo se tlo laetša maatla, mafokodi, ditlhohlo le dibaka tše botše tša Thutatumelo ya Lutere le dikereke tša Lutere ka Borwa bja Afrika¹ tšwalanong le Bolutere ditšhabatšhabeng. Ka yona tšela yeo, histori ya Bolutere ka Borwa bja Afrika e tlo ba motheo wa taodišwana ye. <![CDATA[<b>Absence, presence, remembrance: A theological essay on frailty, the university and the city</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100030&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This essay is reflecting on frailty, the university and the city, in relation to each other. It seeks to transcend the binary concepts of presence and absence, proposing remembrance as the frail work of making absence present, of reweaving what is dismembered, and of a politics of hospitality. It considers the task of remembrance in the 'studio of life', disrupting or transcending the confines of laboratory and asylum. <![CDATA[<b>Collection stewardship constrained by resources: The management of religious archives in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal region</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100031&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt A survey using questionnaires, observation and interviews was conducted in 2011 to ascertain the collection stewardship strategies of archival repositories with religious archives in Pietermaritzburg. The study concluded that there was a need to establish a religious archives group in order for the voice of ecclesiastical archives to resonate across South Africa. Through this group, it is hoped that there will be greater coordination and networking amongst the archival repositories. The help of associations such as the South African Society of Archivists, the Oral History Association of South Africa and the South African Preservation Group could greatly assist in fostering best practices in archival management. To champion this worthwhile cause, it would be ideal to come up with an Open Day on religious archives to serve as an advocacy platform. These recommendations are made against a backdrop of the poor state of religious archives in Pietermaritzburg, resulting from acute underfunding and which threatens the survival of this record in the long term. <![CDATA[<b>An evolutionary perspective on the Confessio Bélgica: A systematical-theological exploration</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100032&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The aim of this study is to point out that the Confessio Bélgica creates the opportunity to listen to both the voices of the natural sciences (especially in regard to the process of evolution) and the findings of the historical sciences. The important point of this discussion is that the human being is an evolutionary part of the process of creation. Man can no longer be seen as the ruler of creation in a personal and static sense. In the light of this we have to truly listen again to the witness of the Bible and the way in which it is formulated in the confessions of the church. The views of Wentzel van Huyssteen, Rob Bell and N.T. Wright are examples of how to respond, against the background of the science-theology debate, to the questions: 'Who was Jesus?' and 'What did He do?' Their insights might help us to proclaim the cosmic meaning of the message of the Gospel with integrity in a modern and postmodern world. <![CDATA[<b>The influence of dwelling in the Word within the Southern African Partnership of Missional Churches</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100033&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt 'All of creation dwells within the Word of God, the Word who created us, the Word who redeems us' (Ellison 2009:91). The article evaluated the influence that the communal spiritual practice of dwelling in the Word had in the missional transformation of congregations that formed part of the Southern African Partnership of Missional Churches. It investigated the background, hermeneutic and methodology of dwelling in the Word on the participating congregations. The article concluded that the practice had a profound effect on the theology and missional practice of most of the participating congregations as it had a positive influence on the attitudes and beliefs, minimum knowledge base, and skills of a number of churches leading to spontaneous missional activity, the discernment of a specific missionary calling, and the integration of theory and practice. However, it had not always led to the formation of new faith communities. <![CDATA[<b>Qohelet's concept of deity: A comparative-philosophical perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100034&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article discusses the concept of deity in the book of Ecclesiastes (Qohelet) from the perspective of issues of interest in analytic philosophy of religion. Of concern are assumptions in the text about religion, the nature of religious language, religious epistemology, the concept of revelation, the attributes of the divine, the existence of God, the problem of evil, the relation between religion and morality and religious pluralism. A comparative philosophical clarification is offered with the aim of discerning similarities and differences between popular views in Christian philosophical theology and what, if anything, Qohelet took for granted on the same issues. <![CDATA[<b>Engaging with the book of Ruth as single, African Christian women: One African woman's reflection</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100035&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In their quest for knowledge, biblical scholars make the Christian Bible the object of scrutiny, analysis and critique. However, in the African-South African context dealt with in this article, the Bible is accessed not only for knowledge, but mainly for nurturing faith and for life. Hence, the character of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible is still viewed by some widows as providing a model of courage and steadfastness in a context in which heterosexual unions remain a norm. As the book of Ruth portrays some points of resemblance between the cultural milieu that produced it and many African contexts, this article has also benefited by investigating the kind of reading which might emerge if the book is read from the perspective of traditional African women. Questions addressed by this article were: which prospects may the story have if read in a traditional African female setting? Are there any prospects for knowledge, for belief and for life if the book is read from the perspective of single African Christian women in South Africa, women for whom the Bible remains important for their spiritual nurturing? If there are prospects, are these really knowledge-worthy, faith-nurturing and life-enhancing? <![CDATA[<b>Invited by God onto the worship stage: Developing missional communities through participation in Theo-drama</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100036&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt When the front of the church begins to resemble a stage and the preacher, musicians and other leaders act like performers whilst the congregation takes on the role of an audience, then something is wrong with worship. But not only with worship: something is wrong with the church. A church longing to be missional - that is, a church in which all Christians are participants in the mission of God - needs to express that participation in its worship. Theological dramatic theory shows us how the Trinity acts out a grand narrative in creation, redemption and glorification, and invites us to participate in the Story being performed. This same narrative can be present in worship and can invite our immediate participation. But this cannot happen if either God or the congregation is relegated to the role of mere audience. However, when the Story is told and performed in worship and when the worshipping community is able to participate alongside the Trinity in the Theo-drama of worship, then worship takes on the ability to form that community missionally. Worship is a habit repeated week after week; therefore, its power to transform a community into a missonal congregation is immense. <![CDATA[<b>Relational leadership and the missional church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100037&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The global realities regarding cultural shifts and the transition between traditional, modern and postmodern world perspectives have particular implications for leadership in general. In several institutions, including those in commercial, educational, medical and religious circles, leaders face the challenges of constant change in lifestyle, relational intelligence and responsibility. The combined impact of these changes in thought and culture, information technology, globalisation and racial, ethnic and religious pluralism has displaced the historic role the church has traditionally played. In this article it was argued that the church would have to take a hard look at relationships, in order to be the successful missional church which was demonstrated by Jesus Christ. The church needs to change, evolve and advance in relational intelligence and leadership - and leaders should set the pace. This implies that a paradigm shift is necessary; it is believed that this can be achieved through the proposed relational leadership style, as clearly demonstrated in the Trinitarian discussion. The Trinity, especially a relational Trinity, revealed the core understanding of missional ecclesiology and leadership and showed that as a result of the total 'oneness' of God, there is no hierarchical order in the Godhead and as such the church should function and operate with the Trinity as its model and example. <![CDATA[<b>Bioethics without boundaries and human dignity: A Reformed-ethical assessment</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100038&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights(UDBH) seeks to guide the world community in ethical principles with regard to medicine, life sciences and related technologies. Human dignity as a principle was requested by the world community and serves as a point of departure in most human rightsinstruments, as well as in the UDBH. Human dignity serves as a foundation for ethical principles and human rights. In this article, attention was given to the question of whether human dignity could be accepted as part of the Biblical message. Human dignity as a principle and grounding in the UDBH was accepted by most major religions of the world. There exists today a universal consensus that human dignity is an extremely important concept in bioethics. In light of the Reformed tradition, all human beings have dignity, as they had been created in the image of God. Because God is absolute value, humans have derived, but definite value. Human dignity is not just a status, but also a command. All the ethical principles and human rights in the UDBH should be regarded as a way of giving expression to the dignity of man. When the dignity of the humans beings is infringed upon, an undignified image of God is revealed, and serves as a direct insult to God. <![CDATA[<b>The psychology of poverty</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100039&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article investigates the psychological experience of poor people and the pastoral responsibility to guide them towards poverty transition. A qualitative analysis of the narratives of three participants is compared to the enthralling history of Florcy Mabuza who in her book, Poverty mentality: The root of poverty, explains the dangers of a spiritual and emotional mindset that precipitates and feeds the plight of poverty. Using a literature study to interpret the narratives as well as a method of encoding, basic mindsets of poverty and factors that influence this mindset are identified. The study culminates in conclusions to encourage further research and pastoral involvement. <![CDATA[<b>Gendered representations of fatherhood in contemporary South African church imagery from three Afrikaans corporate churches</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100040&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The South African secular media do not frequently portray men in parental roles; on the other hand, it seems that media and visual culture created by the Christian sector is more likely to engage with issues of fatherhood. Accordingly, it is relevant to explore representations of fatherhood in the Christian context, as these constitute some of the few examples of men's parental roles in the South African visual culture landscape. Through a Barthean visual semiotic analysis, this article describes and problematises the representation (and non-representation) of certain aspects of fatherhood in the recent visual culture of three Afrikaans corporate churches in the Pretoria-Centurion area. It further establishes that strong connections between breadwinning, male headship and fatherhood exist in images created by these churches. Fathers are mainly shown as patriarchs, heads of households and as active outdoor adventurers. We argue that although men are depicted as involved parents, there are certain limitations and exclusions to this involvement. <![CDATA[<b>Missions in the Southern Caribbean</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100041&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The South African secular media do not frequently portray men in parental roles; on the other hand, it seems that media and visual culture created by the Christian sector is more likely to engage with issues of fatherhood. Accordingly, it is relevant to explore representations of fatherhood in the Christian context, as these constitute some of the few examples of men's parental roles in the South African visual culture landscape. Through a Barthean visual semiotic analysis, this article describes and problematises the representation (and non-representation) of certain aspects of fatherhood in the recent visual culture of three Afrikaans corporate churches in the Pretoria-Centurion area. It further establishes that strong connections between breadwinning, male headship and fatherhood exist in images created by these churches. Fathers are mainly shown as patriarchs, heads of households and as active outdoor adventurers. We argue that although men are depicted as involved parents, there are certain limitations and exclusions to this involvement. <![CDATA[<b>Caribbean society</b>: <b>Elite networks in Suriname</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100042&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The South African secular media do not frequently portray men in parental roles; on the other hand, it seems that media and visual culture created by the Christian sector is more likely to engage with issues of fatherhood. Accordingly, it is relevant to explore representations of fatherhood in the Christian context, as these constitute some of the few examples of men's parental roles in the South African visual culture landscape. Through a Barthean visual semiotic analysis, this article describes and problematises the representation (and non-representation) of certain aspects of fatherhood in the recent visual culture of three Afrikaans corporate churches in the Pretoria-Centurion area. It further establishes that strong connections between breadwinning, male headship and fatherhood exist in images created by these churches. Fathers are mainly shown as patriarchs, heads of households and as active outdoor adventurers. We argue that although men are depicted as involved parents, there are certain limitations and exclusions to this involvement. <![CDATA[<b>Die klank van aanbidding</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052013000100043&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The South African secular media do not frequently portray men in parental roles; on the other hand, it seems that media and visual culture created by the Christian sector is more likely to engage with issues of fatherhood. Accordingly, it is relevant to explore representations of fatherhood in the Christian context, as these constitute some of the few examples of men's parental roles in the South African visual culture landscape. Through a Barthean visual semiotic analysis, this article describes and problematises the representation (and non-representation) of certain aspects of fatherhood in the recent visual culture of three Afrikaans corporate churches in the Pretoria-Centurion area. It further establishes that strong connections between breadwinning, male headship and fatherhood exist in images created by these churches. Fathers are mainly shown as patriarchs, heads of households and as active outdoor adventurers. We argue that although men are depicted as involved parents, there are certain limitations and exclusions to this involvement.