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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.77 n.1 Pretoria  2012




A vision of and for love: Towards a Christian post-postmodern worldview


'n Visie vir en van liefde: Op weg na 'n Christelike post-postmoderne werklikheidsvisie



James H. Olthuis

Philosophical Theology, Institute for Christian Studies, Canada





The theme of this article has to do with the identification of distinctive features that need emphasis in a biblical worldview attuned to the postmodern world of the 21st century. The first of these features is the embrace of difference as non-oppositioiial, as challenge to meet, rather than a threat to resist. The second is that with a postmodern understanding of the existence of limited rational knowledge (Reason and Science) and of the crucial role of faith, worldviews need to be seen, not in the first place as conceptual systems, but as faith-oriented, sensory expectancy filters, operating implicitly and largely beneath our conscious awareness. The third is the recognition that responsibility-to the other rather than freedom-from the other needs to be emphasised. Such responsibility involves recognising that voluntary suffering-with the other is crucial to a post-postmodern biblical worldview. Indeed, the final feature proposes that such a worldview needs to be rooted and grounded as a vision of and for Love. As God is Compassionate Love, and as God is with us (Emmanuel), so we, image-bearers of God, are to embody love and resist evil, living out our confession that we live by Grace and not by Blind Chance.


Die tema van die artikel was die identifisering van die onderskeidende kenmerke wat beklemtoon moet word in 'n bybelse werklikheidsvisie wat ingestel is op die postmoderne wereld van die 21ste eeu. Die eerste van hierdie kenmerke is die omarming van verskil as nie-opposisioneel, as 'n uitdaging om te ontmoet eerder as 'n bedreiging om te weerstaan. Met 'n postmoderne verstaan van beperkte rasionele kennis (Rede en Wetenskap) en van die kritieke rol van geloof, is die tweede kenmerk dat werklikheidsvisies nie in die eerste plek gesien moet word as konseptuele sisteme nie, maar as geloofsgeoriënteerde, sensoriese verwagtingsfilters wat implisiet en grootliks onder ons bewuste besef werksaam is. Die derde kenmerk is die erkenning dat verantwoordelikheid-teenoor, eerder as vryheid-van die ander beklemtoon behoort te word. So 'n verantwoordelikheid behels die erkenning dat vrywillige Ty met' die ander beslissend is vir 'n post-postmoderne bybelse werklikheidsvisie. Die laaste kenmerk stel inderdaad voor dat so 'n werklikheidsvisie gewortel en gegrond moet word in 'n visie van en vir Liefde. Net soos wat God Medelydende Liefde en God met ons is (Emmanuel), so behoort ons liefde te beliggaam en boosheid te weerstaan en so ons belydenis, dat ons deur Genade en nie deur Blinde Toeval leef nie, uit te leef.



Full text available only in PDF format.



The author wishes to acknowledge that he received a KIC grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) in 2011. The funds received contributed to his conference and travel costs, as well as the page fees for this article.

Competing interests

The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationship(s) which may have inappropriately influenced him in writing this article.



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James Olthuis
204 Ashdale Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4L 2Y9

Received: 05 July 2011
Accepted: 21 Oct. 2011
Published: 12 Oct. 2012

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