In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441
COETZEE, Callie F.C.. Doctrine on God and doctrine on scripture: Focus and challenge. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.2, pp.1-10. ISSN 2305-0853.
The choice of the title for this article must be seen against a specific background. In the first place it had to do with the place and task of dogmatics, in which the doctrine on God and the doctrine on Scripture are most important. Dogmatics can be defined as the scientific system of the knowledge of God and God reveals Himself in particular in Scripture. Secondly, it had to do with the actuality of the topic. In the current debate there is an emphasis on a new view of God as far as his relationship with creation is concerned. The term used is panentheism. And as far as the doctrine on Scripture is concerned, the question of the authority of Scripture is always on the agenda. As far as the term panentheism (all in God and God in all) is concerned, distinguished from deism, pantheism and theism, it was concluded that in Scripture we do not find any identity or fusion between God and creation, as the advocates for panentheism (the New Reformers and Julian Müller inter alia in South Africa) plead. As far as the doctrine of Scripture is concerned, the focus is on the question whether the Bible is the Word of God or the experience of man. The author of this article found himself in full agreement with the Reformed confession as formulated in the Belgic Confession, Articles 2 - 7. On the other hand, the advocates for a new view about God (panentheism) deviate radically from the Reformed tradition. The focus and challenge for Reformed dogmatics lie in the maintaining of the Divine authority of Scripture. In his Word, God reveals Himself as both the transcendent and immanent God (theism). This truth has specific implications for the doctrine on providence inter alia. When Reformed dogmatics is practised in cooperation with other theological disciplines, philosophy, literature studies, et cetera, theology in the end becomes doxology.