AT 2006 Volume 26 Issue 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Die etiek van regstellende aksie
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Vorster, J. M.
    English: This article addresses the ethics of affirmative action in South Africa from a Christian ethical perspective. It firstly evaluates the Biblical teachings of redistributive justice and the implications of these teachings for a modern ethical view of affirmative action. The judicial foundation and the outcome of the process of affirmative action thus far is evaluated in the light of the deontological and consequential theories of ethics. The conclusion is that although affirmative action can be justified in principle, the outcome of the process has many deficiencies and does not serve the purpose of reconciliation. The article concludes with a presentation of guidelines for fair and justifiable affirmative action in South Africa within the context of Christian ethics and legal philosophical principles.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Space, trinity and city: a theological exploration
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Venter, R.
    English: The article addresses the neglect of space in theology. It is argued that any retrieval of space requires a transcendent referent and practical application. Hence, space is treated in relation to the doctrine of the trinity and the crisis of contemporary city life. The first part of the article attends to scholarly voices from various academic disciplines who made insightful contributions on the subject of space, and its relationship to trinity and the city. Informed by this groundbreaking work, the article offers in the final place a personal proposal of a trinitarian spatiology that might impact on the way social organisation in the city is approached. Especially the notions of plurality, perichoresis, gifting, and beauty are emphasised. The research is motivated by an ethical concern about the public relevance of theology.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Conceptualisation of evil in African Christian theology
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Wethmar, C.
    English: The aim of this article is to give an account of the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion found in African Christian theology. The comparison is made with special reference to the respective conceptualisations of evil present in each of these traditions. The paper commences with a brief survey of the manner in which the notion of evil features in the Christian Scriptures and tradition. A brief outline of the African world and life view is then presented in order to provide the back-drop against which an analysis of the notion of evil in African Traditional Religion can be attempted. This analysis is mainly made with reference to recent research on witchcraft and spirit beliefs and is followed by a portrayal of the interaction between the traditional Christian views on evil and those found in African Traditional Religion. This interaction exhibits the twofold structure of rejection on the one hand and accommodation on the other.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Calvyn oor natuurrampe
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Potgieter, P. C.
    English: Severe natural disasters such as the tsunami off Indonesia in 2004 often lead to a demand for theological enlightenment. This article explores how John Calvin’s reasoning in this regard could be a relevant contribution towards deeper insight in the extremely difficult issue of a theodicy. Contrary to a popular idea that Calvin adopted an extremely harsh line on providence according to which God becomes responsible for every kind of disaster, it is argued that he maintains a fine balance between the loving grace of our heavenly Father and his righteous judgment over mankind who undermined his intended order of nature by sin. Therefore the faithful should respect both God’s revelation in this regard as we find it in Scripture, and his hidden plan which we will not be able to fathom in this life. Thus they should be pastorally guided to humble patience and perseverance in sincere hope on God’s unquestionable faithfulness
  • ItemOpen Access
    Theologische hermeneutiek en de postmoderne uitdaging
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Ouweneel, Willem J.
    English: Some theologians have reacted negatively to the postmodern challenge (Wells, Groothuis), others more positively (McGrath, Thiselton, Vanhoozer, Grenz). The latter have taken up Ricoeur’s concept of the “masters of suspicion” (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud), i.e., suspicion with respect to the motives behind, and the functions of, our views. Foucault and Lyotard have pointed out the social circumstances, power games, mental self-deception and prejudices that play a role in our views. I assert that, basically, all these insights were anticipated by the Christian philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd, so that he may be called the “master of suspicion” par excellence. Theological hermeneutics has gained more importance nowadays than ever before. It is therefore essential to recognise it as basically of a philosophical nature. This underlines again the necessity of a Christian-philosophical framework for doing responsible theology. In this respect, Dooyeweerd is not outdated; on the contrary, he has anticipated many of the present hermeneutical developments.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Onward Christian soldiers! Christians in the army
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Van de Beek, A.
    English: On the topic of Christians in the army, the author compares two traditions in Christian theology, one of which being Eusebius. In this tradition, soldiers are praised as warriors for the sake of God. A recent sermon from the USA and one from nineteenth-century Germany are analysed, compared and positioned within the tradition of Eusebius. The second tradition, characterised as pacifist, was dominant in the early church. Texts of Tertullian and Origen are analysed. It is argued in the third section that war can only be justified within a religious framework. A memorial ceremony in the Netherlands serves as the eye opener. The conclusion is drawn that both traditions dealing with holiness in respect of soldiers in the army exclude each other. This implies that much homework will be required from theologians in order to clarify the Christian theological position.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Genesing en bevryding in Suid-Afrika: teologies nagedink oor die bydrae van Johan Heyns
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Van Wyk, J. H.
    English: On 5 November 1994 the well known theologian Johan Heyns was brutally murdered in Pretoria — an event which was commemorated ten years later on 5 November 2004. In this article the author investigates the (immense) contribution which Heyns made to the South African society with regard to healing and liberation, not only through his versatile activities but also through his comprehensive theological investigations. Special attention is paid to Heyns’s anthropology, ecclesiology and eschatology
  • ItemOpen Access
    "Bevrydende waarheid?" Nagedink oor die aard van die Gereformeerde belydenis
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Smit, D. J.
    English: This article pays tribute to the honouree by reflecting on the nature of Reformed confession, including confessional documents as well as rich and complex ways of confessing. A first section argues that the Reformed tradition is by its very nature a confessional tradition, although confession is to be taken in a broad sense, and confessional documents can serve many and diverse purposes and needs. A second section discusses some aspects of the nature of Reformed confession by focusing on issues related to the authority of confessional documents — their relation to Scripture, their historical, contextual and linguistic nature, the fact that they are human products and therefore fallible, as well as the need for ongoing confession and the possibility of new situations calling for new forms of confession. A final section underlines the intimate relationship between confession and embodiment — both ecclesiologically and ethically— according to the Reformed understanding of the nature of confession.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Gee die Bybel nog vandag aan ons morele oriëntering oor kwessies soos homoseksualiteit?
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) De Villiers, E.
    English: In the introduction to this article an attempt is made to indicate why this issue has become relevant, if not urgent, in the so-called Afrikaans churches. The next section highlights the emphasis by contemporary biblical scholars on the influence of the context within which the various books of the Bible were written. Some less convincing proposals regarding the way in which the moral guidance of Scripture can today be affirmed are then discussed. A more satisfactory affirmation is proposed, with the basic moral orientation in the Bible as point of departure. This proposal is then applied in an attempt to answer the question “What moral guidance does the Bible provide regarding the contemporary issue of homosexuality?”
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sonde met die wese van die sondeleer-versteurde daad, verhouding of toestand?
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Doubell, F. B.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Bullinger am Kap der Guten Hoffnung? Theologische Bemerkungen zum Einfluss Bullingers in Südafrika
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) D’Assonville, V. E.
    English: Articles regularly feature the notion of a forceful influence that was exerted by Heinrich Bullinger (sixteenth-century church reformer and successor of Zwingli in Zurich) on the early settlement during the first sixty years since Van Riebeeck’s arrival at the Cape. Various publications conclude by stating Bullinger’s theological influence on the jurisprudence and social structures in the community. The issue as to whether and to what extent Bullinger’s theology and writing played a role in the Cape during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and that of dealing with, interpretating and treating historical sources and texts are of historical concern. Furthermore, the importance of discerning between historical and theological texts has theological and historiographical consequences. This article points out that the issue of theological influence during the first half of the history of settlement at the Cape is more complex than it may seem at first glance, on the one hand, and that it is difficult to gauge the importance of Bullinger’s direct or indirect influence during this period, on the other.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Calvyn en die eenheid van die kerk
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Coetzee, C. F. C.
    English: The subject of church unity remains one of the most relevant and most important subjects that Reformed churches have to deal with. We believe the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. But we also experience the tragic disunity of the church. Church unity therefore is not only a gift but also a calling. From a reformed perspective it is always important to take note of the viewpoint of John Calvin. He was called a “champion of church unity” (Wendel). For Calvin, the primacy of the Word of God and therefore the emphasis on the truth of the doctrine was not negotiable. But he distinguished between fundamental and mediocre matters. He was also willing to accept differences in liturgy and church order provided that there was unity in doctrine. The viewpoint of Calvin can definitely benefit the striving for unity amongst the different Reformed church communities in South Africa.
  • ItemOpen Access
    'n Gereformeerd-narratiewe pastorale terapie
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2006) Bezuidenhout, J. P.; Janse van Rensburg, J.
    English: Narrative therapy is usually connected with a post-modern paradigm like Social Constructionism. However, for some researchers and therapists post-modernity is not acceptable, since the use of such a narrative therapy could construe many contrasting points of departure in contrast to a biblical based pastoral therapy. Is it possible to deconstruct the basic elements of narrative therapy and reconstruct a pastoral narrative therapy that makes use of strategies of narrative therapy without accepting the paradigm that underlies it? This article proposes a new and exciting possibility for pastoral narrative therapy that could benefit from the many advantages of narrative therapy without being unfaithful to the unique nature of a pastoral and reformed approach.