Scielo RSS <![CDATA[In die Skriflig ]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2305-085320190004&lang=en vol. 53 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic witness in weakness</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article addresses the possible link between prophetic witness and weakness (one can also speak of vulnerability), and expands on reasons why this connection holds much promise for a theological engagement with the question regarding the prophetic role of Christians and churches in the public sphere in South Africa today. With this in mind, the various sections underscore the need for a form of prophetic witness that emphasises respectively prophetic solidarity, prophetic imagination and prophetic performativity. In the process, the article puts forward three statements or theses as invitation for further reflection and conversation, drawing on, among others, the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Giorgio Agamben, Emmanuel Katongole and Judith Butler. <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic witness in weakness: A response to Prof Robert Vosloo from a Pentecostal perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In his article about the prophetic witness of the church, Vosloo emphasises the necessity that it should always be done in solidarity with society to represent the perspective of weakness as a form of performative resistance. In response to Vosloo, this article utilises a Pentecostal perspective to think about the church's prophetic witness. 'Prophecy' means something else for Pentecostals. They hold a non-cessationist or continuationist approach to the Bible, implying that they are committed to a Spirit-centred, miracle-affirming, praise-oriented version of Christian faith where prophets still play an important role. The role of the prophet is defined in two ways: bringing a word from God related to the present situation, and engaging in prophetic politics to help solve society's challenges. <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic witness in the Eucharist: A response to Robert Vosloo's 'Prophetic witness in weakness'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In his article, 'Prophetic witness in weakness', Robert Vosloo asks what it means for believers, faith communities, churches and ecumenical bodies to be authentic witnesses in the public sphere in light of the life-denying realities we are faced with on a daily base. He articulates three aspects of authentic prophetic witness, namely prophetic solidarity, prophetic imagination and prophetic performativity. In response, this article focuses on the sacrament of the Eucharist, especially in terms of the notion of prophetic solidarity that Vosloo illuminated. In particular, this response article is informed and shaped by liberation theologians. It is argued that one valuable form of qualification is to take the Eucharist as our point of departure and to argue that authentic prophetic witness can be born from the 'weakness' celebrated in the Eucharist. <![CDATA[<b>The African background of Pentecostal theology: A critical perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en African Traditional Religion (ATR) represents a primal worldview that encapsulates a certain culturally-innate sense of the world of transcendence and involves belief in a sacramental 'enchanted' universe in which the physical is indicative of spiritual realities, in contrast to western Christianity, that to a certain extent abandoned belief in malevolent powers. The assumption is that Africans live in an 'intentional world' where nothing happens by chance; all events have spiritual causes. Negative events can be resisted by imprecatory prayers and curses. Sacred and secular realities are inseparable. For this reason, it is argued that pneumatic Christianity is close to the grain of African culture and its worldview resonates with the indigenous worldview. In this article, the African background of Pentecostal theology is investigated. By operating within a worldview that allows ample space for the invisible world determining what happens in the visible world, African Pentecostalism was endeared to Africans. For Africans, what happens on earth is directly interrelated with what happens in the dimension of the spiritual, agreeing with the cosmic principalities and powers that provide the mystical causality of a worldview found in the New Testament. The African Pentecostal narrative is concerned with the solution of personal and societal problems that is interpreted in terms of the African view of rulers, authorities, evil powers, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces in the heavenly realm that focuses on how the spirit world impinges on the visible world to hinder or foster human flourishing. Pentecostalism's pneumatic spirituality is discussed from a critical theological perspective. <![CDATA[<b>Perspectives from the Christ hymn in Colossians 1:13-20 on cosmic powers and spiritual forces within an African context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The central argument of this article is that the way in which the author of Colossians makes use of this Christ hymn can provide useful perspectives within the African context where people often struggle with assumed threats of cosmic powers and spiritual forces. The author of the letter positions and utilises a Christ hymn in a strategic and functional way. This hymn forms a pivotal point in his letter and mentions the crucial theological issues that are at stake. The Colossians were threatened by false teachings according to which they were subjected to different forces and powers. Christ is, however, exalted and praised as superior to all these powers. As such, the hymn lays the basis for the refutation of all the deceiving arguments. The hymn describes the significance of Christ. He is the mediator of creation, the reconciler of the world, and the head of the church. Dependence on Christ sets one free from ties to all the proposed powers. The author assumes that his readers would also associate with the contents of the hymn regarding the supremacy of Christ. If so, the author in effect wins his argument. He, therefore, does not need to convince them of his theological viewpoint anew, but can immediately continue warning them about the dangers of false teachings threatening their community. <![CDATA[<b>The relevance of Reformed perspectives on demonology for Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In the debates about lacunas in Western theological education and the need to decolonise Reformed theological education in South Africa, the necessity of understanding demonology has been pointed out as an important area for more research and contextualisation by several researchers. Witchcraft still causes major social problems in South Africa and Africa. On the other hand, there are Reformed theologians in South Africa who expressed opinions and even Reformed denominations that have made synodical decisions that the Devil does not exist as a person and that the existence of demons are myths. Therefore, it is necessary to reconsider the subject of demonology that deals with Satan and his fallen angels from the perspective of traditional Reformed systematic theology and hermeneutics. This article wants to point out that a Reformed hermeneutical study and interpretation of relevant biblical perspectives may enrich the lives of Christians and bring some balance between current extremes in the understanding and application of biblical data on demonology. <![CDATA[<b>The 'anatomy' of The temptation: How to address the occult among non-Christians and persons who profess Christianity in congregations</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Christian church in its present formation needs to understand the revealed 'anatomy' of the (original) Temptation (Gn 3) in order to discern this temptation's historical trajectory through biblical and world history. This historical reflection is urgently needed if the Christian church wants to be able to equip Christians and non-Christians in Africa for an appropriate defensive response against occult temptation that is part of this 'new age spirituality'. This article wants to: (1) Teach to understand: The anatomy of 'The temptation' (from God's revelation); (2) Help to discern: Recognise the historical trajectory of 'The temptation'; (3) Prepare to be vigilant: To be defensively prepared for the current offensive. <![CDATA[<b>Important missiological perspectives from the acts of Dordrecht for a missional church in the 21st century</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Christian church in its present formation needs to understand the revealed 'anatomy' of the (original) Temptation (Gn 3) in order to discern this temptation's historical trajectory through biblical and world history. This historical reflection is urgently needed if the Christian church wants to be able to equip Christians and non-Christians in Africa for an appropriate defensive response against occult temptation that is part of this 'new age spirituality'. This article wants to: (1) Teach to understand: The anatomy of 'The temptation' (from God's revelation); (2) Help to discern: Recognise the historical trajectory of 'The temptation'; (3) Prepare to be vigilant: To be defensively prepared for the current offensive. <![CDATA[<b>North-West University conference: Evil spirits in Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Christian church in its present formation needs to understand the revealed 'anatomy' of the (original) Temptation (Gn 3) in order to discern this temptation's historical trajectory through biblical and world history. This historical reflection is urgently needed if the Christian church wants to be able to equip Christians and non-Christians in Africa for an appropriate defensive response against occult temptation that is part of this 'new age spirituality'. This article wants to: (1) Teach to understand: The anatomy of 'The temptation' (from God's revelation); (2) Help to discern: Recognise the historical trajectory of 'The temptation'; (3) Prepare to be vigilant: To be defensively prepared for the current offensive. <![CDATA[<b>'n Huldiging: Tjaart van der Walt</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Christian church in its present formation needs to understand the revealed 'anatomy' of the (original) Temptation (Gn 3) in order to discern this temptation's historical trajectory through biblical and world history. This historical reflection is urgently needed if the Christian church wants to be able to equip Christians and non-Christians in Africa for an appropriate defensive response against occult temptation that is part of this 'new age spirituality'. This article wants to: (1) Teach to understand: The anatomy of 'The temptation' (from God's revelation); (2) Help to discern: Recognise the historical trajectory of 'The temptation'; (3) Prepare to be vigilant: To be defensively prepared for the current offensive. <![CDATA[<b>A time to confess? An ecclesiology of vulnerability in light of <i>#metoo</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article draws on Robert Vosloo's call for an 'ecclesiology of vulnerability' in order to bear faithful theological witness to a vulnerable God. He is concerned that prophetic witness avoids a cheap triumphalism and rediscovers painful solidarity with the crises of our times, embodies a hope grounded in lament and mobilises the vulnerable 'body' of the church to perform resistance-in-action. South Africa's kairos tradition of prophetic witness was addressed to the church, calling for a vulnerable self-critique that acknowledged its theological complicity in the face of the sin of apartheid and calling the churches beyond pious words to acts of embodied resistance. This article draws on this trajectory in light of the evidence regarding churches complicity in relation to sexual violence against vulnerable women and children. It explores the Dutch scholar, Leo Koffeman's claim of 2009 that the church is 'morally vulnerable' and that as a result, violence plays an ongoing role in its life. This institutional complicity needs to be acknowledged if authentic prophetic witness is to emerge from current places of lament. In this task, a 'pneumatology of vulnerability' may help disrupt abusive theological power-claims. Churches must risk admitting their own institutional vulnerability to embody public practices of confession and lament, if they are to refuse an ecclesiology of denial for one of disruption for the sake of justice. This is an essential theological task if they are to enable the vulnerable body of the church to admit #metoo. <![CDATA[<b>Prophets praying for, or preying on people's faith: A reflection on prophetic ministry in the South African context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In mainline churches, the ministry of prophecy or the prophetic ministry involves the proclamation of the gospel. This, in turn, is related to the every-believer ministry. However, there is now a resurgence of the prophetic ministry as a special office as evidenced by the establishment of neo-prophetic churches. This article argues that neo-prophetic churches are tapping into people's longing for the fresh divine word to speak directly into their personal situations. The article also probes whether neo-prophets in the prophetic activities are not also preying on people's faith. <![CDATA[<b>African spiritual phenomena and the probable influence on African families</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532019000400013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en African spirituality is a holistic concept that stemmed from the historical, cultural and religious heritage of Africa, and includes among others, folktales, beliefs, rituals and culture. African spiritualities must be understood as originated from Africa's soil, but also developed through contact with people from other countries and continents. The African independent or indigenous churches play an important role in the establishing of African Christian spiritualities. This article distinguishes and gives attention to the influence of African traditional spiritual phenomena as well as a 'globalised Africa spiritual' phenomenon on African families. When the influence on African families are discussed, it is done from a Christian point of view, and for this reason the article concludes with the role of the missional church and parents in the spiritual formation of their children.