Scielo RSS <![CDATA[In die Skriflig ]]> vol. 52 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The covenantal trinitarian alternative to the scholastic dilemma</b>]]> This article sets out what it calls the 'scholastic dilemma' about whether God's relation to the world is necessary or contingent - the former is based on a view of God primarily as intellect and the latter on a view of God primarily as will. In his dictum, Deus legibus solutus est sed non exlex, John Calvin rejects both these positions. The trinitarian basis for this dictum was spelt out more fully by later Calvinistic thinkers, including Abraham Kuyper and Cornelius van Til. Implicitly for Calvin and explicitly for Kuyper and Van Til, the love of the Persons of the Trinity for one another is the basis for God's covenantal trustworthiness in his dealings with the world. Recognising this trinitarian basis allows us to conceive of God as at once faithful in his dealing with the world, and yet not dependent on the world for his existence. This has profound and far-reaching implications for our understanding of society, including the universal and institutional church and a recognition of the priority of relationships, both theoretically and practically. <![CDATA[<b>The decline of reformed church polity in South Africa</b>]]> Church polity in South Africa is one of the smaller theological disciplines. Different reasons for this position of the discipline maybe indicated as inter alia bad experiences with church polity with regard to church schisms, the influence of the Zeitgeist, and the lack of development in church polity in comparison to other theological disciplines. This article suggests that the impetus for the decline of reformed church polity should be found within the dominant collegialistic concept of church since the acceptance thereof in South Africa. The effect is a secularised view of the church with regard to its government, the office, the church and the church's relationship with the state. It is suggested that a new discourse about the church and its polity should be initiated in South Africa to the benefit of the church and its polity, but also to that of the different fields which are involved with ecclesiology in various ways. <![CDATA[<b>The application of Ephesians 4:11 in the recent missional debate with reference to Scripture</b>]]> The church is prominent in the letter to the Ephesians in the sense that the absence of the local church is highlighted with all the attention focused on the headship of Jesus Christ over everything, and therefore also over the church. The textual reference to Ephesians 4:11 refers to a range of gifts which require interpretation, especially in light of the recent appeal to the church to be a missional church as a contemporary direction for the present-day church. <![CDATA[<b>The reformation of space for public worship: Past and present - Continuing the discussion</b>]]> In the light of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this article will explore a neglected area of Reformation studies namely the reformation of space for public worship in the past and the present. The article has three parts: first, a general survey of worship space at the eve of the Reformation; second, the response of the Magisterial Reformers (with a focus upon those who would be classified as reformed) to the space for public worship by principle and actuality; and third, the ongoing use of space for public worship chiefly in the evangelical and reformed tradition. On this final point specific examples will be included concerning public worship space in the contemporary context. The article is an introduction in what is really a broad interdisciplinary approach raising matters related to church history, theology, liturgics, aesthetics, stewardship and architectural design in a general manner and will make suggestions for further ongoing discussion. This article endeavours to help by providing an historical context for further discussion of the subject matter of the use of space in public worship and it is hoped that further articles will follow from this introduction to the subject. <![CDATA[<b>Respect for privacy and confidentiality as a global bioethical principle: Own reasons from a Protestant perspective</b>]]> In the development and acceptance of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (UDBHR or also refer to as 'the Declaration'), the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) did not involve the Protestant faith tradition in the consultation process (other traditions were consulted). This given brings the universality (UNESCO perspective) as well as the acceptability of the Declaration and its principles (democratic perspective) into question. In order to address this issue, it is necessary to involve the Protestant tradition in the discourse by presenting own reasons that support the universal principles in the Declaration (theological perspective). This discourse shows that respect for privacy and confidentiality as universal shared values can be grounded from a theological perspective. Therefore, the appeal of the Declaration to consider this principle seriously in the field of bioethics can be supported by the Protestant religious tradition. <![CDATA[<b>The theological ethics of human enhancement: Genetic engineering, robotics and nanotechnology</b>]]> The recent advances made by biotechnology have been swift and sundry. Technological developments seem to happen sooner than they can be ethically reflected upon. One such trend is the endeavours launched to try and enhance human beings and what it means to be human with movements such as transhumanism, advocating strongly that we should overcome our natural limitations by any means available. With both critics and advocates utilising the expression 'playing God', the question of human enhancement is one in which the interplay between church and society comes compellingly to the fore. In this contribution, I wish to examine the bioethical challenges that technologies such as genetic engineering, robotics and nanotechnology raise, specifically from a theological perspective on human enhancement and indicating some paths that future research might take. Christian anthropological views on what it means to be human, especially to be created imago Dei [to the image of God] will provide the doctrinal and theological support to this contemplation.