Scielo RSS <![CDATA[In die Skriflig ]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2305-085320210002&lang=en vol. 55 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Contextual pastoral counselling: Paradigm shifts in practical theological development since the middle 20th century</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en There have been many changes in pastoral care and counselling and pastoral theology since the middle 20th century. At first, the changes were viewed as an evolutionary process as the discipline evolved into an authoritative science. Although it seems as if pastoral care and counselling followed the footsteps of psychology, there were important paradigm shifts towards contextual pastoral counselling based on the Word of God. The major question of this article is, what important paradigm shifts in the development of practical theology since the middle 20th century can be distinguished that are in line with the requirements for contextual pastoral counselling? In an attempt to answer this question, a thorough subject-specific literature study was conducted by looking at prominent scholars' view on the development of pastoral theology. The article is divided into five main parts. The first part focused on the development of practical (and the subdivision, pastoral) theology, with emphases on important paradigm shifts and the work of prominent scholars. The second part focused on the current challenges facing pastoral theology. The third part focused on paradigmatic positions, scientific research markers and approaches, and different layers of meaning unique to pastoral theology. The fourth part focused on diakonia with a religious consciousness of transformative moral or ethical orientation. The article concluded with a reflection on how the paradigm shifts are in line with the requirements of contextual pastoral counselling. The conclusion of the article is that together with the normative deductive aspects of pastoral theology, the inclusion of context-specific empirical experiences is an aspect that must be taken into consideration. CONTRIBUTION: The primary contribution of this article is that a systematic description of the important paradigm shifts in the development of practical theology since the middle 20th century was given and brought in evaluation against the requirements for contextual pastoral counselling. The objective was to enhance appropriate theory formation with the aim to focus on the distinctive character of pastoral counselling, and its connectedness to the broader field of practical theological science. These insights link to the focus and scope of the journal, because it contributes to the epistemological dialogue of practical theology <![CDATA[<b>Anagnorisis (processing forgiveness): The mystical praxis-space of diaconal reaching out to the Other/others (the hopeful case of Joseph and his brothers)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The following question is at stake: What entails forgiveness and reconciliation within processes of healing regarding schisms in a very diverse and polarised society? Despite the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission the burning question that still prevails: What is meant by a praxis of forgiveness and a spirituality of reconciliation within a post-apartheid dispensation? It is argued that forgiving and reconciling are not instant or merely 'handsome pardoning'. Both are embedded in processes of reaching out to the pain and hurt of the other. As a process, forgiveness starts with self-acknowledgement and should manifest in modes of compassionate being-with and diaconal acts of reaching out, creating spaces of 'mystical encounters'. In this regard, the notion of anagnorisis, as captured by narrating the encounter between Joseph and his brothers, should be read as an exemplification of reconciliation, directed by the missio Dei, promissio Dei and passio Dei. Within a Christian paradigm, Ernst Bloch's notion of docta spes, very aptly captures the core of pastoral, reconciliatory care: Hope care to the human soul (nēphēsh) - the search for life and meaning. 'Dum spiro - spero' [While I Breathe, I Hope]. CONTRIBUTION: It is often the case that reconciliation is viewed as an instant event. The case of Joseph and his brothers illustrates the fact that reconciliation is in fact a mode of life, embedded over many years. In this way, reconciliation could be rendered as part of one's life story; as a mode of journeying through life, exemplifying the how of authentic human encounters. Reconciliation then becomes an ontic feature of relational integrity and indication of the quality of the human soul: Habitus as feeling from the hurt being of the other. <![CDATA[<b>Breed's biblical pastoral model Scripturally grounded in 2 Peter 1:3-11: An exegetical elucidation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In his recent research, Gert Breed has formulated a biblical pastoral model. From his own publications as well as from publications of other researchers, it is clear that Breed's model is of great value to pastoral counsellors. Although elements of the model are included in other people's research publications, Breed has not yet published a complete description of his model. The purpose of this article is to provide Breed's pastoral model with a biblical foundation from 2 Peter 1:3-11 within the context of the entire letter. The method used in this study was to do exegesis of 2 Peter 1:3-11 according to the grammatical-historical model, and to use the results of the exegesis to biblically ground the different elements of Breed's pastoral model. The article found that seven important elements of Breed's model can be Scripturally grounded in 2 Peter 1:3-11, namely: (1) the meta-theoretical starting point regarding the Bible as the Word of God; (2) the need for someone receiving counselling to be born again; (3) the importance of a counselee's relationship with God; (4) change in the life of a counselee through insight; (5) external and internal motivation of a counselee; (6) perseverance in a new life; and (7) the counselee as diakonos of Jesus Christ. Breed's pastoral model is already useful for pastoral counsellors. The exegetical grounding presented in this study increases the usefulness of the model. CONTRIBUTION: This article makes a contribution to the usefulness of Breed's pastoral model by providing it, on the basis of exegesis, with a closer biblical foundation <![CDATA[<b>A more comprehensive comprehension and appropriate application: An answer to dwindling faith commitment from the book of Hebrews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Closely linked to the phenomenon of the decline in church member numbers in the Western church, is the phenomenon of dwindling their faith commitment. This is the phenomenon in which church members do not show the same vitality and zeal as before and are in danger of abandoning their faith. The current article contributed to the arsenal of studies, aimed at addressing the phenomenon by presenting the solutions deduced from a single biblical book, namely the book of Hebrews. The book of Hebrews is arguably one of the most fitting biblical books to shed light on how the phenomenon can be addressed, as Hebrews was written to a church that experienced a decline in faith commitment. The primary aim of the article was to determine what solutions the writer of Hebrews proposes for addressing his addressees' dwindling in their faith commitment, while the secondary aim was to reflect on how the writer's solutions can be applied in the 21st century church. In order to achieve these aims, reconstruction by means of exegesis and a detailed literature study is used in the article. It begins with the reconstruction of the context of the addressees, specifically to determine the reason(s) why they dwindled in their faith commitment. This was followed by reconstructing the writer's solution for his addressees' dwindling faith commitment. Next, the writer's solution was fleshed out in the light of the whole of Hebrews by tracing the major themes and broad lines found in the book. It is noted that the writer addresses the issue by guiding and exhorting his addressees to come to a more comprehensive comprehension and appropriate application of their confessed faith. This he does by shaming, frightening, reminding, guiding and assuring them. By means of reflection, it is suggested in the conclusion that the same strategy can be applied in the church today to address the phenomenon of dwindling faith commitment. CONTRIBUTION: The article indicated the relevancy of the book of Hebrews for the church in the 21st century, especially in terms of addressing the issue of dwindling faith commitment. As such, the article gives practical suggestions on how the issue can be addressed from the book of Hebrews by pastors, ministers, pastoral counsellors, Bible students, and church members. <![CDATA[<b>Fight, flight or faith: A pastoral model for spiritual coping</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article is dedicated to Professor Gert Breed who had an indelible influence in the expansion of Pastoral Theology in South Africa: first as minister, and second as Professor in Practical Theology. In line with Professor Breed's keen interest in the interdisciplinary approach between Theology and, for instance, Physiology and Psychology, the main aim of this article is to show how utilising spiritual coping strategies could help the Christian to cope with stress from a faith perspective. Spiritual coping was defined as an individual's ability to utilise faith in God and Judeo-Christian religious beliefs, as well as active practices to appraise, understand and effectively cope with stressful life events. A literature study was conducted on human defence response and spiritual coping to demonstrate the adverse effects of chronic defensiveness and stress. Spiritual coping was assessed from a scriptural approach to determine what biblical perspectives regarding coping, defensiveness and spirituality may be revealed. Effective coping strategies were explored to indicate how positive spiritual coping skills could be utilised as an alternative to chronic defensives. The Believe-Belong-Behave pastoral model was proposed for the utilisation of spiritual coping methods and skills that could improve psychophysiological well-being. The Believe-Belong-Behave model consists of three categories that each highlight different individual skills, corporate practices, and practical action steps, which, when applied consistently, could all function in harmony to promote psychophysiological well-being. The components of the proposed pastoral model could offer a harmonious contribution towards spiritual coping and the Christian's spiritual formation within the local church. CONTRIBUTION: This article assessed theological perspectives and biblical practices within the basic tenets of Reformed theology to identify resemblances to stress appraisal and human defensiveness throughout the historical course of Scripture. This study in Practical Theology highlighted the importance of combining a strong scriptural or theological foundation with certain practical skills to respond to stressors from a faith-in-action perspective. The proposed pastoral model showed the modern-day Christian how faith in God could be used to cope with stress more effectively <![CDATA[<b>Mentoring fathers who grapple with fatherhood issues in a faith-based context: A pastoral-theological review</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Fathers find themselves increasingly in a social crisis, the fatherhood dilemma, and are misrepresented in various studies and theories intended to shed light on the relationship between mothers and children. Fathers were once considered the pillar of the family, but, over time, society has begun to grapple with father absence as a family issue. This issue has caused a decline in the role and status of fathers. The decline in active fatherhood is a major driving force and one of many issues in society alongside social ills such as crime, violence and poverty. Research has showed that absent fathers affect the development of masculinity in boys and femininity in girls. Families and faith-based communities are directly challenged by father absence. The absence of fathers is a destructive phenomenon and tendency that society has to deal with globally. The role of the father has been devalued and degraded because of father absence. The purpose of this article was to minimise the effects of absent fathers through mentoring which can be a valuable platform for fathers, and it has a biblical nature to solve family issues. Furthermore, mentoring results in a relationship of trust and meaningful commitment, and it provides a helpful and supportive approach to helping fathers who grapple with fatherhood issues. The literature review as a methodology in this article, provided significant knowledge and rich insights to help and support fathers who grapple with fatherhood issues. In addition, the mentoring principles discussed in this study are useful and part of the solution for fathers with fatherhood issues. Mentoring and its process in the paradigm of pastoral theology can be a workable and a possible solution in the confines of households to restore relationships within broken families. This conceptualised from a biblical viewpoint as a solution for Christian fathers. In conclusion, mentoring is a decisive necessity for fathers who grapple with family issues. Relationships are an attribute of families, and mentoring is about relationships. Fathers can be mentored to become great assets to family and society. CONTRIBUTION: The fatherhood issue is a serious problem in the South African context and no fatherly presence is a negative and devastating trend in many South African homes. Consequently, mentoring as an approach can be a significant contribution to fathers who grapple with fatherhood issues <![CDATA[<b>A call for peacemaking: A perspective from the Sermon on the Mount</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In a country burdened by violence and intolerance where many citizens claim to be Christians, a call to respond to a Christian ethics of peacemaking is appropriate. This article explores the instruction of the Matthean Jesus that his followers should be peacemakers amidst their exposure to violence. The point of departure is taken from the seventh beatitude 'blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God' (Mt 5:9). The motif of peacemaking is followed through in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount and then contextualised within the broader Matthean narrative. In the article the strenuous environment is considered in which the Gospel was written and the frequent occurrence of resistance, antagonism, violence and strife in the narrative. Instead of the endless and escalating chain of violence spawning yet more violence, Jesus breaks this chain. He instructs his disciples to be peacemakers. Peace starts with peace with God but ripples out to peace in families and among neighbours, until it comes to the most difficult part, peace with enemies. CONTRIBUTION: Based on this investigation, the article offers pastoral guidelines for Christians on how they ought to deal with a violent and intolerant environment <![CDATA[<b>Breed's understanding of a biblical pastoral model: An exploratory, descriptive perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article was aimed at providing a perspective on Professor Gert Breed's theoretical contribution to pastoral studies by exploring and describing his understanding of a biblical pastoral model. Breed's model is the product of decades of research, practical experience as a minister in the Reformed Churches in South Africa and over a decade of theoretical knowledge and experience in training and tertiary academic education. Breed's model currently forms the foundation of and framework for Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA) (Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika [GKSA]) candidate students' training in pastoral studies at the Theological School in Potchefstroom, as well as for equipping other prospective practitioners for pastoral ministry. Although Breed has been using this model with great success in his own ministry, as well as in tertiary training, a comprehensive perspective on his model had not yet been published. CONTRIBUTION: The aim of this article was therefore to provide an explorative and descriptive perspective on the content of Breed's understanding of a biblical pastoral model <![CDATA[<b>Reconstructing communities and individuals after conflict and violence: An avant-garde quest for a forgiveness process that includes <i>koinonia</i> and <i>diakonia</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Overwhelming feelings of resentment and revenge by individuals in emotionally wounded and traumatised communities inflicted by injustice, violence and oppressive systems, often become a way of life, and people seldom deal with forgiveness in their healing process. Too often, the story of traumatic experiences surfaces as an indication of societies struggling to achieve lasting peace. This article explored a process of spiritual healing and life fulfilment that relates to a forgiveness process which includes koinonia and diakonia as indispensable elements on the road to reconstructing communities and individuals following conflict and violence. The point of departure in this article was taken from scriptural and academic literature to provide a forgiveness process to contain revenge and violence without resorting to it, and to protect individuals, communities and the social order within larger systems in society. The imperative to forgive could raise a persistent attitude and a way of life to encourage communities' and individuals' resilience. CONTRIBUTION: The article offers an avant-garde quest for a forgiveness process that includes koinonia and diakonia as indispensable elements on the road to reconstructing communities and individuals following conflict and violence. <![CDATA[<b>Confessions of a YouTube preacher: Prelimaniry autoetnographical reflections on the recording and conducting of a digital worship service</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Digitalisation as part of a ministry strategy was already high on the agenda of communities of faith prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. When considering possible ministry strategies, references to, among others, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its potential systemic influence were evaluated in reflections on the nature of future congregations. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, considerably complicated and accelerated these trajectories, as the digitalisation of congregations took place, as it were, overnight. An autoetnographical exploration presents a personal, intimate and subjective reflection of this dynamics as well as the significance of digitalisation for communities of faith as can be seen in die conducting and recording of a digital worship service. CONTRIBUTION: In these critical-evaluative autoetnographical reflections, the author sensitively considers, from a practical theology perspective, the possible significance of perspectives for future worship practices of communities of faith <![CDATA[<b>Liturgy as an anti-racist praxis for Reformed Churches in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The sin of racism severely and deeply affects the victims. The response in many instances is to remain silent to survive. The result is traumatic and even becomes symptomatic unless addressed. This article discussed the role that liturgy could play as an anti-racist praxis. However, firstly is discussed the underlying struggle of two Reformed Churches to become not only in polity but in praxis, non-racial through the liturgy as an anti-racism praxis. Liturgy is defined in the article not only as referring to the liturgical elements of a worship service, but also within its broader sense as the covenant people's actions when they meet, listen to, worship and glorify the triune God within all contexts. This is also true when they mutually meet each other for edification. The authors focused partly on some liturgical elements in the worship service; however, the broader context - referring to the liturgy of life - received serious attention. CONTRIBUTION: The article holds that liturgy within the church service context, but mainly with what happens outside in life, would play a crucial role in helping Christians become anti-racist. The article follows a discourse analysis on the journey of two reformed denominations, on how they could, through the liturgy of life, establish an anti-racist praxis <![CDATA[<b>Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of a relationship founded by God - </b><b>—’“–•’– (<i>shalom</i>) in Isaiah and Micah</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In theology and in general, there are perceptions about peace as the absence of war and strife. However, if these perceptions are measured against what the prophets Isaiah and Micah teach explicitly about it, a different reality is sketched. Isaiah 2:1-5 is widely seen as a vision of peace. However, the concept —’“–•’– (shalom [peace]) does not appear in the pericope, but only later in Isaiah 9:5 and then further on throughout the book. The thought of Isaiah 9:5 is repeated in Micah 5:4. The question that needs to be answered is: What is the real meaning of —’“–•’– in the Isaiah and Micah passages? To answer the question, all the verses in Isaiah and Micah in which the concept —’“–•’– occurs, were first identified in the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensia. Thereafter, it was placed in cohesive groups. With this information in mind, the way peace was lost in Isaiah and Micah is described. Then the new beginning that God has made, is discussed exegetically in the passages where —’“–•’– occurs to show how peace was returned. It was found that —’“–•’– is never described in Isaiah and Micah in terms of the absence of a modality such as war, but in terms of relationships. Peace is therefore not a condition established by people, but exists primarily within a relationship between God and people. What the prophets, Isaiah and Micah, teach us about peace should influence our thinking in such a way that our perception of it should be reviewed. CONTRIBUTION: The reality of peace, as seen from the perspective of Isaiah and Jeremiah, calls for a line of thought that is not currently at the forefront. Peace should therefore not be seen as a situation that people create. Instead, the biblical view is that it emanates from a relationship that begins with God and is then expressed in relationships with fellow human beings <![CDATA[<b>A more comprehensive comprehension and appropriate application: An answer to dwindling faith commitment from the book of Hebrews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532021000200013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Closely linked to the phenomenon of the decline in church member numbers in the Western church, is the phenomenon of dwindling their faith commitment. This is the phenomenon in which church members do not show the same vitality and zeal as before and are in danger of abandoning their faith. The current article contributed to the arsenal of studies, aimed at addressing the phenomenon by presenting the solutions deduced from a single biblical book, namely the book of Hebrews. The book of Hebrews is arguably one of the most fitting biblical books to shed light on how the phenomenon can be addressed, as Hebrews was written to a church that experienced a decline in faith commitment. The primary aim of the article was to determine what solutions the writer of Hebrews proposes for addressing his addressees' dwindling in their faith commitment, while the secondary aim was to reflect on how the writer's solutions can be applied in the 21st century church. In order to achieve these aims, reconstruction by means of exegesis and a detailed literature study is used in the article. It begins with the reconstruction of the context of the addressees, specifically to determine the reason(s) why they dwindled in their faith commitment. This was followed by reconstructing the writer's solution for his addressees' dwindling faith commitment. Next, the writer's solution was fleshed out in the light of the whole of Hebrews by tracing the major themes and broad lines found in the book. It is noted that the writer addresses the issue by guiding and exhorting his addressees to come to a more comprehensive comprehension and appropriate application of their confessed faith. This he does by shaming, frightening, reminding, guiding and assuring them. By means of reflection, it is suggested in the conclusion that the same strategy can be applied in the church today to address the phenomenon of dwindling faith commitment. CONTRIBUTION: The article indicated the relevancy of the book of Hebrews for the church in the 21st century, especially in terms of addressing the issue of dwindling faith commitment. As such, the article gives practical suggestions on how the issue can be addressed from the book of Hebrews by pastors, ministers, pastoral counsellors, Bible students, and church members