Doctoral Degrees (Missiology)

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  • ItemOpen Access
    ’n Missiologiese ondersoek na die rol van vaders in die morele agteruitgang van jongmense in die Dwarsrivier Vallei
    (University of the Free State, 2023) Keet, Eugene Elmar; Baron, Eugene
    Die afwesigheid van ’n vader of vaderfiguur binne die gesinsisteem is ’n groot probleem aangesien dit ’n vakuum in die ouerskapsrol laat ontstaan en ’n negatiewe invloed het op ’n gesin se vermoë om doeltreffend te funksioneer. Die navorsing fokus eerstens op die rol van biologiese vaders van jongmense tussen die ouderdomme van 12 tot 23 jaar. Die navorsing maak gebruik van ’n World Café navorsingsmetode, asook persoonlike onderhoude wat met leiers van vyf gemeentes gevoer is om die data vir die studie in te samel. Tydens die navorsing het die navorser ook vaderfigure ingesluit (moeders, voogde, ander agente wat die rol vertolk), wat toegelaat word binne ’n kritiese realis paradigma, en probeer vasstel hoe vyf gemeentes in die Dwarsrivier Vallei (DRV) vaders en vadersfigure bemagtig om hulle taak as missionale leiers en die bekamping van die morele verval van jongmense aan te spreek. Die bevinding van die studie sluit in: dat gemeentes ’n rol kan speel in die bemagtiging van vaders en vaderfigure deur onder andere die prediking, liturgie, en in wese ’n missionale gemeente te wees wat as ’n transformasieruimte vir vaders en vaderfigure kan dien.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sola ecclesia? : 'n kritiese verantwoording van die kerkbegrip van die gemeentebouteologie in die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk
    (University of the Free State, 1994) Erasmus, Lourens Marthinus; Kellerman, J. S.; Britz, R. M.
    Gemeentebou bet in die Ned. Geref. Kerk 'n huishoudelike woord geword. Dit staan enersyds in verband met 'n bepaalde prob/ematiek van die gemeentelike lewe en andersyds met die op/ossing claarvoor. As 'n konsep en prakties-teologiese benadering is dit oor die afgelope aantaljare in die geledere van die kerk aangegryp as 'n manier om die gemeentelike struktuur en praktyk grondliggend te vernuwe. Dit het nuwe rnoontlikhede, uitdagings en vergesigte geopen vir talle predikante en lidmate wat 'n onvergenoegdheid met die praktiese kedclilce lewe ervaar bet. En, gesorg vir 'n beduidende invloed in die Ned. Geref. Kerk. Daar kan nie oor die konternporere teologie in die Ned. Geref. Kerk gepraat word, sonder om ook die gemeentebouteologie te verreken nie. Orn die beslag van die gemeenteboubeweging behoorlik in kaart te bring, moet dit in verband gesien word met die belangrike besinningsproses wat gedurende die sewentigerjare in die Ned Geref. Kerk op gang gekorn het Veel klem is in hierdie tyd geplaas op die getuienis en diens van die indiwiduele lidrnaat. Dit het konkrete gestalte gevind in die omvattende sending-en evangelisasieprogram van 1970, die landwye Jeug-tot-Jeugaksie van 1974 en die werlcsaarnhede van die Dinamiese Gemeentebou-Studiegroep van 1978. Die klern op die indiwiduele lidmaat is mettertyd verskuif na die kollektiwiteit van die gemeente as geloofsgemeen­ skap. Die verwerking van die konsepte van "dinarniese gerneentebou" deur Bybelkor se Gemeenteboureekse en Lidmaattoerustingsprogramme in die tagtigerjare, het "gemeentebou" vierkantig op die tafel geplaas. Dit het 'n benadering in die Ned Geref. Kerk geword wat doelbewus gcywer het vir die goeie en optirnale funksionering van die gerneente. Sinodale Kornmissies, soos die Algernene Kommissie vir Arnpsbediening en Evangelisasie en die Algemene Jeugkommissie, bet hierin 'n belangrike rol gespeel. Die vakwetenskaplike beoefening sowel as die kurrikulering claarvan in die amptelike teologiese opleiding van die Ned Geref. Kerk teen die middel van die tagtigerjare, het verdere stukrag aan die gemeenteboubeweging verleen en die ontwikkeling vakwetenskaplik bestendig. Gemeentebou het dus uitgegroei tot 'n teologiese dissipline met 'n ornvangryke invloed in die Ned. Geref. Kerk. Met entoesiasme, aangevuur deur die snel veranderende konteks waarrnee die kerk sedert 1980 gekonfronteer is, is saamgewerk, beplan, geeksperirnenteer en onderling verslag gelewer. Vera! in die Ned. Geref. Kerk was iets nuuts aan die gebeur. Gewapen met die kennis aangaande die gerneenteboubeweging en 'n aanvoeling vir veral die missionere dimensie van die "diakonale gemeente," was dit aanvanklilc die voorneme om 'n bedieningsmodel te beredeneer waarin die missionere diakonaat van die plaaslilce gemeente tereg moes kom. Die "Diakonale gemeente in koninkryksper­spektief' het horn as 'n aktuele terna voorgedoen om in 'n doktorale studie aangepak te word Die bediening van die "diakonale gemeente" moes die omvangryke eksistensiele nood in die wereld aanspreek en verlig. Vanselfspre­kend het dit 'n "struktuurbenadering" vereis om deur middel van basis-en praktykteoretiese ontwerpe gevolg te gee aan 'n nuwe en meer dinamies-diakonale inrigting van die gerneentelike bediening. Ook sou empiriese navorsing en analise die geldigheid en haalbaarheid van nuut ontwerpte teoriee bevestig.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rethinking the priestly formation of St. John Vianney Seminary: A critical practical theological analysis
    (University of the Free State, 2022) Mokone, Puseletso Clementina; Pali, K. J.
    St John Vianney Seminary was established in response to the requirements made by Pope Benedict XV in 1919 to have indigenous priests trained and formed in their own countries. He emphasised that European missionaries train and value indigenous clergy so that one day they can be able to take spiritual leadership of their people. However, in South Africa, the apartheid laws brought in racial formation. This is why St John Vianney Seminary initially was established for white priest candidates only. But later on, when the political climate was conducive, in 1978, it merged with St Peter's Seminary, which had been for black candidates only. In its history, St John Vianney shared the sufferings, struggles, and liberation of South Africans. Since democracy in 1994, formators and seminarians have dominantly been black, and this has encouraged and enriched Inculturation. The encouragement of Pope Benedict XV, therefore, has borne fruit because today African priests get adequate faith formation to be missionaries of accepted quality. To enrich their pastoral ministry in taking the laity seriously in the Church, recent priestly formation documents encourage the holistic integrated priestly formation aimed at empowering priests for the fulfilment of their mandate in the mission of the Church and formation of the laity. The findings of this study revealed a gap between formation of parishioners, priests, and formators, implementation, and involvement in the mission of the Church in South Africa. In their position within the structure of the Church, participants were asked to define their call as parishioners, priests, and formators to locate their role in the mission of God and the mission of the Church. Participants provided suggestions to be considered for change in priestly formation to enable priests to fulfil their mission and ministry efficiently in the multicultural democratic South African society. For the Church to be relevant and practical in society, all her members are called to participate in her mission. Priests are responsible to see this realised and the mission of the Church accomplished.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The theological reflection on the divine in the African context: a possible basis for dialogue with Islam
    (University of the Free State, 1998) Namukoa, Edward Wanyama; Verster, Pieter; Nel, P. J.
    𝑬𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉 The countries of Africa are experiencing important changes and development forms a major part of their political agenda. It is a period of economic awakening. This Renaissance of Africa is impossible to achieve without a new social order. This new social order is one that goes beyond sectional and ethnic hatred. This also implies a need for religious tolerance based on an acceptable concept understood equally by all religions and ethnic groups of Africa. In this thesis, the researcher sought to contribute to religious tolerance by looking at similarities and differences between the conceptions of the Divine held by the major religious traditions of Africa, viz. African traditional religion, Christianity and Islam. The thesis also explored the possibility of employing the conception of the Divine as a unifying factor and a possible basis for dialogue between religious communities in a multi-religious society. The investigation articulated the following three basic convictions which are central to the study: (a) The concept of the Divine in the African context is a complex one. (b) Christian theology in Africa has relevance for the ecumenical church. (c) Islam, like Christianity, also suffers from a religious ethnocentrism. In Chapter 1 attention was devoted to the problem and scope of the study, the conceptualisation of the problem, and the purpose and relevance of the study. The chapter contains a historical survey of African traditional religion, Christian Mission and the Islamic Da'wah in Africa. Lastly the researcher spelled out his personal stance as regards the subject under discussion and concluded with a discussion of African traditional religion, Christianity and Islam in Kenya. In Chapter 2 attention was devoted to the theological views on the Divine. This took the form of a general definition followed by specific attention to the way in which the concept is understood from the African, Christian and Islamic points of view. Attention was paid to the way in which these religions understand the attributes of God and the names of God and to how these views may contribute towards preparing the stage for dialogue. The African conception of the Divine has been misunderstood by Western writers, especially by the missionaries who initially had a pre-conceived notion of Africans and their understanding of God. The researcher discussed these views critically and concluded that Africans, like the Jews, believed in one God and that their concept of the Divine was evolving from simple to complex in a similar way as Yahweh of Israel and Allah of the Arabs also evolved from simple to complex up to the level at which the concept comes to us in the Bible and the Qur'an. In Chapter 3 the respective attitudes of African traditional religion, Christianity and Islam towards the Divine were explored. Emphasis was laid on the African Christians who take the gospel to their fellow Africans and who can therefore be regarded as missionaries among their own people. The Muslim attitude towards Allah and the Da'wah was also discussed. In Chapter 4 the theological views of the three religions on Monotheism, the Trinity and Predestination were explored. The findings revealed that the religions differ in this regard. The differences are more pronounced between Christianity and Islam. It was argued that, in order to achieve a religious symbiosis, the differences should be left to the adherents of the respective religions while emphasis should be laid on the concept of the Divine which is understood in a similar fashion in these religions. This could serve to effect a working togetherness in a multi-religious society. In Chapter 5 attention was devoted to the condition of sin. Sin was discussed as the major reason for the separation between man and the Divine. The views of the three religions on sin and the resulting strained relationship with the Divine were investigated .. The researcher believes that sin is the main cause of religious animosity between the adherents of these religions in Africa and specifically in Kenya. The remedy lies in looking to the Divine for a complete restoration and the possibility of dialogue. The question of salvation was investigated in Chapter 6. In discussing the theology of salvation in the African traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam attention was devoted to the way in which the theology of salvation relates to the perception of the Divine in these religions. The differences between the ways in which Christianity and Islam understand of salvation were discussed critically and the responses of each of the religions were articulated. Chapter 7 contains a few concluding remarks and a way forward was discussed. It was stressed that a social order based on the concept of religious tolerance is necessary in a multi-religious society. It is possible for people of different religions to work together under the umbrella of the concept of the Divine. Religious animosity is unnecessary in the 21st century and beyond, and quite untenable if Africa is to be developmentally conscious. There are common areas where African traditional religion, Christianity and Islam agree - especially with regard to the concept of the . Divine. This should be emphasised in order to promote peace; yet the individual religious differences should be respected as such. Attention was also devoted to the Christian witness in a multi-religious society and it was pointed out that Christians should learn to listen to other religions in order to be understood and accepted in their witness to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. ___________________________________________________________________
  • ItemOpen Access
    Developing a church planting movement in India
    (University of the Free State, 2004-11) Fowlkes, Dane Winstead; Verster, Pieter
    English: This dissertation acknowledges the need for Church Planting Movements among the unreached peoples of India. Of particular concern to this study is the application of Church Planting Movement strategy to forward caste Hindus of India. It traces the historical development of group or people movement strategy and then compares that strategy with traditional missionary approaches in India. It shows that evangelizing households is the primary strategy of the New Testament and the most appropriate strategy for initiating Church Planting Movements. The thesis carefully examines salvation understanding in the Hindu context and its relationship to the caste system. All of this lays a foundation for a proper approach to evangelization of forward caste Hindus in light of the fact that there have been no documented Church Planting Movements among forward caste Hindus in all of India. The paper concludes that the best approach to facilitating a Church Planting Movement among forward caste Hindus is by not planting churches. As contradictory as this sounds, the paper shows that Christian disciples remaining within Hindu culture and familial systems holds the potential for the most indigenous approach to establishing multiplying churches among forward caste Hindus.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Leadership in African context: a missiological approach
    (University of the Free State, 2002-06) Afeke, Bright; Verster, Pieter
    English: Good leadership is of utmost importance for the people of Africa and the political future of the continent. In the African context it is clear that important new directives for sound leadership is needed. From the missiological perspective an overview of leadership and biblical guidelines are given. In chapter one an outline of the context, scope and purpose of the thesis is given In chapter two leadership is defined in the secular literature and given theories on leadership is discussed. In chapter three a biblical overview of leadership is put forward. The Old Testament’s view of king, prophet and priest is discussed. According to the New Testament Jesus replied to the environmental problems of his time and age. Jesus himself was a shepherd of his people, servant and steward. Paul’s views are also discussed. In chapter four the context of Africa is reviewed. Africa is a continent with as terrible past and important aspects of the pre-colonial and colonial rule is discussed. However, the problems of Africa are not only as a result of its colonial past. Leadership is often lacking and dictators and military leaders often bring about disaster to their people. In chapter five the socio-economic an political stance of the church is discussed. The church has an important role to play in Africa to help the continent on a new way. In chapter six the churches’ involvement in Africa’s revolution is defined and discussed. The church must influence the leadership of Africa. The way in which the worldview must be influenced is also important. Chapter seven ends of with a short evaluation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die bemagtiging van die amp van die gelowige in missionêre konteks
    (University of the Free State, 2006-11) Pienaar, Roelof Johannes; Verster, P.
    English: In chapter one the thesis is that the church, in a time of change and paradigm shift, can maintain its identity as a missionary faith community if it focus on the role that believers who do not serve in a special office of the church, play. The church must enable believers to live in a missionary way in every sphere of life. To be able to do this more is needed than just the equipping of believers. A more comprehensive approach is needed to enable the local congregation to reach out to the community and fallen world of which it is part. This more comprehensive approach is described by the term “empowerment”. In chapter two the missionary context in which the church finds itself is formulated as the church’s involvement in the Missio Dei. Missions happens where the church crosses boundaries, visible and invisible, between the gospel and the lost world in such a way that the world may share in the hope that is in Jesus Christ. The third chapter is devoted to the contribution that reformed theology makes to the definition of what missions is. Mission is Missio Trinitatis and must be a dimension of all the activities of the church. The fourth chapter focus on the role of the special offices in the church. These offices works mostly within the borders of the congregation and has a missionary function in the way that it equips believers for their missionary call. The term “office of the believer” is not used in the three Creeds of Unity and yet the call that rests on every believer is connected by these creeds to the official work of Jesus Christ. The Biblical content of the vocation of every believer in the Missio Trinitatis is the field of study of chapter five, as well as the interaction between the special and general offices of the church. The focus of the latter is mainly outside the borders of the congregation. Before general science is utilized in chapter seven to obtain a definition of the term “empowerment”, chapter six asks the question whether Missiology may use these general sciences and what they may contribute to the formation of theology. From a study of the use of the term “empowerment” in different fields, within and outside of the church, the conclusion is reached that the most basic meaning of empowerment is to give a new sense of belonging to anybody who was excluded by one or another structure or system. The church must empower believers in such a way through a new sense of belonging that they may be encouraged to enter the world with all its challenges and make a difference through their participation in the message of hope on all terrains of life.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cultural sensitivity in Christian mission to resistant people: an historical perspective: the link between mission praxis and theological presupposition
    (University of the Free State, 2007-10) Coleman, Marc; Verster, P.
    A thesis of approximately 73,000 words that deals with subject of historical approaches to the mission of the church. The title is indicative of the often-sensitive nature of theological discussions concerning culture in missions. It is also indicative of the fact that missionaries throughout the history of Christian mission have each had to decide how to be sensitive to the culture of the evangelized. The main thesis of this research is that in the history of Christian mission to resistant people theology predisposes to a particular set of mission principles and methodologies. Stated otherwise, there is a link between what one believes about the Bible and other Christian doctrines and how one goes about the task of doing mission. I argue that history bears out this assertion and that the link is more than as casual one. In this study, I take a descriptive look at the factors leading up to, facilitating, and hampering a variety of mission movements in Christian history. The progress of the study follows, in a general way, the timeline of church history. The goal is to find possible trends and links between the three Mission Praxis Paradigms (MPP) and theology. For that reason, a selection of prominent mission movements in the history of the church is employed for study. I hypothesize that there are a variety of theological variables that underpin mission methodology. These are weighed for each mission movement in light of the MPP adopted by the missionaries. Questions about how much one should include pagan or non-Christian elements in mission, what one believes about eschatology, soteriology and the Bible are all examined. This study demonstrates that the responses to these questions have manifested themselves in three broad-based approaches which I call mission praxis paradigms (MPP). These MPP’s are practical approaches to cross-cultural mission that encompass almost all mission endeavors (with a few exceptions) since the beginning of the Christian Church. These three approaches; the authoritative MPP, the inclusivist MPP, and the Neo-inclusivist MPP hold many ideologies in common while concurrently holding many conflicting theological positions. This study demonstrates that mission approach or methodology in its broadest sense throughout history has been a function of theological orientation. It is not a critique of any one approach but rather demonstrative of the tendencies to one’s approach or particular theological leanings Among other things, the study reveals several trends in several keys areas of belief that may useful indicators of one’s likely mission methodology. It ends with recommendations for more detailed study of the finding that views of inspiration and place of the Bible in Christian mission is the factor most likely to determine mission methodology.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The SADF conscript generation and its search for healing, reconciliation and social justice
    (University of the Free State, 2015-01) Bezuidenhout, Pieter Hendrik Schalk; Verster, P.;
    English: The former (Afrikaner) SADF-conscript generation is to a large extent experiencing an identity crisis. This crisis is due to two factors. First of all, there is a new dispensation where Afrikaners are a minority group. They feel alienated and even frustrated and confused. Secondly, their identity has been challenged and some would say defeated. What is their role and new identity in the current SA? They fought a war and participated internally in operations within a specific local, regional and global context. This identity had been formed through their own particular history as well as certain theological and ideological worldviews and frameworks. The Tempe shooting incident in Bloemfontein in 1999 was the clash of two ideological worlds. It showed how fragile peace and relationships between different diverse groupings still are. The responses to a questionnaire completed by this generation indicate a certain degree of confusion, woundedness, ignorance and an unwillingness to embrace the changes taking place in this country. This Afrikaner identity (beliefs, attitudes, worldview), as argued in this study, should be Biblically and Christologically reoriented. The Church as an agent is in the unique position to facilitate a spiritual process of taking responsibility of its part in the past and present, to confess to it and thus starting the process of being healed of the scars of the past, experiencing forgiveness and being in the position to bring a positive contribution to our country. It is the only way to adapt, survive and to make meaningful contributions towards the new South Africa. A spiritual process, their own ‘TRC’ can contribute to real reconciliation in the country.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The impact of media programmes in evangelising Sunni Islam in West Africa
    (University of the Free State, 2014-12) Kassoule, Z.; Verster, Pieter
    English: It is a big challenge to present Jesus through the impact of media programs to Muslims in general and Hausa Sunni Muslims of West Africa in particular. The goal of this project is to design a strategy for using media in the cross-cultural context to accomplish mission among Hausa Sunni Muslims of West Africa. The dissertation presents an analysis of mission challenges on the reaction of Muslims when they hear the gospel message in their context. This analysis focuses firstly on the premise that mission is from God. God as first missionary reached out to people in the garden and later to them who believe in Him and accept His plan through ages, and then to share this initiative. The study traces the development of that mission from creation to the present time. It shows that through history each people group needs a special strategy in a cross-cultural context to accept and adapt the gospel message in their life without yielding to syncretism. The project examines, secondly, the history of Sunni Muslims from the foundation of the religion to the present time, as well as their key doctrines and worldview. It also establishes some determinant factors, as culture and worldview, for an effective communication, that can influence positively the conversion of Sunni to the true gospel. Historical, social context and cultural analyses of Hausa Sunni Muslims were then undertaken and the influence of media is ascertained in the project. After exploring the contextual and audience analysis of Hausa Sunni Muslims, this study suggests that a bridge be built by using the Qur’an, especially the first chapter called Al fatiha (opening), when presenting the message. This strategy can break many existing barriers and can provide opportunities to facilitate the gospel penetration and expansion among this people group. The result of this study can be used by any church member who has the desire to preach the Gospel through media among Hausa Sunni Muslims or wherever it can be useful. Such work can be established by well-trained teamwork composed by volunteer members, full of the Holy Spirit and totally engaged for mission. These strategies can maintain Hausa Sunni Muslims in the church despite persecution.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The role of ancestors in African Christology: an evaluation
    (University of the Free State, 2015) Papu, Deppington Jongimpi; Verster, Pieter
    English: In this thesis the role of ancestors in African Traditional Religions are evaluated from the perspective of African Christology. From a general literature study approach African Traditional Religion in African theology is explained. The concept of Jesus as ancestor is also discussed. From this view and other aspects of African theology, Christology is explained. African Christianity is also evaluated. The role and ontology of ancestors in African Traditional Religion are then discussed. From a Christian, and especially a Christological perspective, biblical aspects concerning the debate on ancestors are explained. Monism rather than dualism regarding the human being is suggested with the implication that the dead “sleep” until the resurrection.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ministry to nomads: a comprehensive missiological approach
    (University of the Free State, 2011-05) Petersen, Gideon Phillip; Verster, Pieter
    English: Immanuel, our God is with us. Somehow Christianity has struggled with this very basic Christian belief. There has not been a theological struggle. The struggle has been the application among a people different from those influenced by the Graeco-Roman thinking of the West. In so doing it became easy for the Western missionary to impose his/her own understanding of God upon others and hence they were able to impose doctrines that would outline such thinking. This thesis argues that this application of Christian teaching did not coincide with the belief that God comes to all humanity. A group that was isolated by this kind of practice are the nomads of the world. Nomads have not rejected Christianity per se, however, they have questioned the need to change to something they are not in order to be Christian. Thus this thesis proposes that Christians enter a nomadic environment with the goal of allowing God to be one with nomads by using their communication styles and lifestyle. This requires a deep study of the people before embarking on such a journey. It also requires that the mission practitioner learn to become a learner and respect the people. In the end the mission practitioner will not dictate what and how the new believer ought to understand God. To achieve the stated goal this thesis suggests an incarnational approach that would connect the nomads to God through a demonstration of God’s presence in the life of the missionary. Such an approach will address the heart issues of the people and demonstrate a coming of God to humanity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Towards a christological missiology for Africa: on-going relevance of Jesus Christ in missions in South Africa
    (University of the Free State, 2013-07) Ngubane, Siegfried John; Verster, Pieter
    English: In the multi-faith, multicultural context of South Africa today, we need Christological missiology that will orient the church and missions to an understanding of Christ as the centre of Christian missions in South Africa. This missiology should witness in a non-judgemental manner, without compromising and without losing its critical edge. This is a missiology that will acknowledge and respect, in a spirit of honest openness, the reality of the context of South Africa and the world today and the reality of other religions and their mission endeavours. This research thesis has eight chapters. The first chapter serves as an introduction to the research. It deals with the background of the research and proposal. My hypothesis is that Christological missiology will guide the church in South Africa in continuing to see the relevance of Jesus Christ in missions. The church and missions will have a healthy understanding that her calling to missions is centred on the person and work of Jesus Christ protecting and preventing her from syncretism and entanglement in politics. In order to test this hypothesis, three questions were raised: How does an evangelical church respond to this quest? Have the evangelicals in South Africa orientated themselves enough to an understanding of Christ-centred missiology to be able to help the church in missionary work? What is the importance of the person and work of Christ in missions? The second chapter is dedicated to the definition of terms that are used in this study. Chapters 3 and 4 look at Christology and missiology. Chapter 5 reveals the findings of interviews with three missionary organisations: AIM (Africa Inland Mission), OM (Operational Mobilisation) and SIM (Serving In Mission). Contextualisation in missions is dealt with in Chapter 6, while Chapter seven deals with missions in South Africa, focussing on Jesus as the centre of missions. Chapter 8 concludes with final remarks and recommendation for further study in related fields.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Aspects of the coming of the Kingdom of God in the ministry of deliverance from the occult and idolatry: a perspective from the RCA
    (University of the Free State, 2013) Denysschen, Gregory Hilton; Verster, Pieter; Sukdaven, Maniraj
    𝑬𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉 People converted from polytheistic religions face spiritual and physical challenges that impact adversely on the quality of their Christian experience in their new-found faith, as found within the ambit of the Reformed Church in Africa (RCA) and its ministry. Is this due to the inadequate attention given to addressing and dealing with the possible spiritual bondage suffered by converts from these religions? What are the implications of reference to bondages brought about by the influence of spirit entities, called demons in the Christian scriptures, and which manifests itself in the form of physical, emotional and spiritual affliction perpetuating their suffering? What is the meaning of the hope of deliverance the Gospel hold out to them? This research thesis has an introduction followed by six chapters. The introduction broadly spells out the challenge the research faces in terms of the nature of the subject matter. The first chapter serves to clarify the purpose, research questions and define terms as used in the study. It deals with question-problem statement, the field to be focussed on in terms of what it hopes to achieve and the state of research. My hypothesis is that the purpose of the Gospel in the coming of Christ amounts to the restoration of the Kingdom of God among the nations on earth. The kingdoms of this world, represented by the idols, stand in direct antithesis to the kingdom of heaven. Emerging from a world saturated in animism and idolatry has had certain specific social and physical consequences for the members of such a community, which can be shown to have impacted adversely on the quality of their Christian experience in their new found faith. A ministry tailored to effectively address trauma experienced directly as a result of the spiritual implications of idolatry is desperately needed. In order to test this hypothesis, certain questions were raised: Will developing a comprehensive counselling and prayer therapy in ministry to deal specifically with this unique challenge, effectively solve the problem of meeting the need for each new believer to fully experience the actual physical and spiritual liberty that are theirs in Christ in real terms? Can a specialised approach be developed and presented to clergy and related counsellors, to equip the church to minister to the new believers from animistic and polytheistic religions, and would this dramatically impact on the quality of Christian life experienced in the RCA? Would equipping the ministers of the gospel with the findings of this research render them more capable to effectively serve this community in the way envisioned? The second chapter is dedicated to my methodology and research mode. Chapter three covers hermeneutical and theological perspectives and chapter four examines Biblical passages illustrating the broad spectrum of spirit influence and consequences. Chapter five deals with case histories phenomenological observed and analysed. I propose a responsible and appropriate counselling and prayer therapy in Chapter six and then conclude with final remarks, a summary of insight and present an aspect of transforming mission celebrating the triumph of Christ over the forces of darkness.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Religious dualism in South Africa: consequences of inadequate mission theology of the spirit world
    (University of the Free State, 2005) Froise, Harald; Verster, Pieter
    English: This thesis has been written to address the reality that we tend to arrive at philosophical positions based on our worldview which is largely affected by our culture and background. This is so ingrained into our system that it is difficult for us to break away from that position. In a Christian context, this affects the way we interpret scripture, and it is only when we step back and objectively examine carefully what we believe against what is written in scripture that we begin to question how accurately our worldview reflects biblical teaching. This tendency to base our beliefs on our culture has enormous significance when we come to export our faith to other cultures. The thesis examines the beliefs of people in an animistic society, and attempts to differentiate between what is purely cultural and what is religious. It takes note of the fact that heavy emphasis is being placed on respecting the existing cultures in societies in which the Christian faith is being propagated. But in so doing there is a blurring of what is cultural and what is religious, so that demands are made to add Christianity to an existing religion rather than to switch from serving foreign gods to worshipping the one true God. The thesis also examines western evangelical Christianity which has been strongly influenced by enlightenment thinking, so that the supernatural events of the New Testament have given way to scientifically explained alternatives. It notes that much of the Christian faith that has been taken to pe ople of different cultures has carried the baggage of that western culture. This has had serious deficiencies when dealing with societies that have been steeped in animism, which the thesis contends is nothing more than demonic influences. The brand of Christianity that has been brought has been inadequate to deal with these phenomena. The result of this is that people have not been liberated from the influences of their animistic past. It is postulated that the Christianity of the Bible does indeed deal w ith issues of animism, and that to a significant degree. It was faced in New Testament times and powerfully dealt with by the Christian’s authority over the demonic forces. It further holds that this New Testament ministry is still valid for today, and tha t the results of missionary activity could have been very different if this biblical theology had been understood and practised. Instead, the failure to equip emerging churches with the ability to deal with these forces, has led them to attempt to deal wit h them in their own way. The only way they knew was to continue the practice of appeasing the spirits. This is why there is such a strong appeal to include appeasement of the spirits, referred to as ‘ancestors,’ in the enculturated Christianity of the emerging churches. This has contributed to religious dualism in South Africa, since a demonstration that the Christian faith is powerful enough to deal with the demonic forces would have obviated the need to find solutions elsewhere. It is also noted that where it has been possible to break out of the limitations of western enlightenment theology, evangelism has been more effective.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Towards a christological missiology for Africa: on-going relevance of Jesus Christ in missions in South Africa
    (University of the Free State, 2013-07) Ngubane, Siegfried John; Verster, Pieter
    English: In the multi-faith, multicultural context of South Africa today, we need Christological missiology that will orient the church and missions to an understanding of Christ as the centre of Christian missions in South Africa. This missiology should witness in a non-judgemental manner, without compromising and without losing its critical edge. This is a missiology that will acknowledge and respect, in a spirit of honest openness, the reality of the context of South Africa and the world today and the reality of other religions and their mission endeavours. This research thesis has eight chapters. The first chapter serves as an introduction to the research. It deals with the background of the research and proposal. My hypothesis is that Christological missiology will guide the church in South Africa in continuing to see the relevance of Jesus Christ in missions. The church and missions will have a healthy understanding that her calling to missions is centred on the person and work of Jesus Christ protecting and preventing her from syncretism and entanglement in politics. In order to test this hypothesis, three questions were raised: How does an evangelical church respond to this quest? Have the evangelicals in South Africa orientated themselves enough to an understanding of Christ-centred missiology to be able to help the church in missionary work? What is the importance of the person and work of Christ in missions? The second chapter is dedicated to the definition of terms that are used in this study. Chapters 3 and 4 look at Christology and missiology. Chapter 5 reveals the findings of interviews with three missionary organisations: AIM (Africa Inland Mission), OM (Operational Mobilisation) and SIM (Serving In Mission). Contextualisation in missions is dealt with in Chapter 6, while Chapter seven deals with missions in South Africa, focussing on Jesus as the centre of missions. Chapter 8 concludes with final remarks and recommendation for further study in related fields.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Marketplace missiology
    (University of the Free State, 2011-11) Carstens, Johan; Verster, P.
    Abstract not available