AT 2012 Volume 32 Issue 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Postmodernism and the need for story and promise: how Robert Jenson's theology addresses some postmodern challenges to faith
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Verhoef, A. H.
    Modernity’s belief that we live in a narratable world (a world with a story) and its confidence in progress (a world with a promise), are terminated by postmodernism’s insights. This is how the American Lutheran theologian Robert Jenson understands the impact of postmodernism. If this is true, it poses great challenges for the Christian faith to be communicated and accepted within this context. This article assesses how Jenson’s theology attempts to address postmodernism’s need for a new story and promise. It concludes that Jenson’s theology, as a Trinitarian theology, forms a coherent answer to these challenges because it is a narrative and eschatological theology. This article indicates, amongst other things the importance of Jenson’s understanding in his theology of the relation between God and time. The significance of Jenson’s approach is that it, firstly, understands the church as a narratable world, with a visible promise, and that it, secondly, follows a characteristically postmodern methodology in addressing these challenges.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The function of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" in Matthew's gospel
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Erdey, Zoltan L.; Smith, Kevin G.
    On six occurrences (8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30), Matthew recorded Jesus pronouncing judgment, using the idiom “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Each occurrence played a central role in the development of Matthew’s theology, by communicating not only a fundamental component of the theme of judgment, but also an increasing force and potency of the event itself. It was discovered that the phrase may have four possible functions, namely (a) a system by which Matthew hoped to make the message of the particular passage unforgettable; (b) a prophetic anticipation of an aspect of the larger shape of history; (c) a linguistic device to increase the degree of emphasis or heighten the force given to the message of eschatological judgment; and (d) a literary connector holding together a number of specific passages of Scripture. In Matthew’s case, the phrase glues together the passages that communicate a holistic theology of end-of-time judgment.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pastorale begeleiding aan die persoon met dissosiatiewe identiteitsversteuring
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Du Plessis, A. L.
    A person with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is someone who was exposed to intense trauma impacting that person’s life negatively at various levels. Although dissociative identity disorder is described as a mental disorder in the DSM-IV, there are still unresolved issues regarding the phenomenon. Assistance should take place with care and sensitivity in order to guide the person with dissociative identity disorder taking into consideration integral dimensions of personal humanity. It is submitted that guidance in this respect can therefore not be unilaterally psychological or pastoral by nature. Effective assistance to the person implies an approach where different disciplines are part of a multidisciplinary support team. The question this article explores is how pastoral counselling may contribute to this approach in guidance of the person with dissociative identity disorder. A case study is discussed in which the conclusion is made that pastoral care has an effective role in the healing process of the person with dissociative identity disorder.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Gebed in die liturgie: 'n prakties-teologiese verkenning
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Wepener, Cas
    For many worshippers, prayer in the worship service is not always appropriated positively. In this article, a practical theological exploration regarding prayer in the liturgy is undertaken. By means of a spiral movement between theory and praxis, the phenomenon is scrutinised. After a description of the current practice and an attempt at explaining this state of affairs, the work of three liturgists is presented for a more normative perspective. Finally, some guidelines are formulated for a renewed theory for praxis in the light of the preceding exploration. In essence, it is argued that prayer is an essential part of the Reformed liturgy for which good preparation is essential and that a re-appreciation of the rightful place and meaning of (different forms of) prayer in the liturgy can contribute to enrich the practice for both worshippers and those leading in worship.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Michel Foucault se historiografiese benadering as lens in historiese ondersoeke
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012)
    In the article the author argues that Foucault’s insights on the archaeological historiography, genealogy and discourse analysis can be used as a lens to write history as well as to deconstruct the existing historical sources. Foucault’s main thesis is that history is largely an illusion. Foucault contrasts effective historiography with traditional historiography. He is against the traditional scheme of historical research. Foucault’s archaeological historiography is a method of historical analysis that is free from the anthropological theme. In the article the following themes will be discussed: Foucault and post-structuralism, Foucault and the archaeological historiography, Foucault and the genealogical historiography, Foucault and discourse analysis, Foucault and the formation of objects of discourse, Foucault and the reading process and Foucault knowledge and truth, Foucault and power and discipline. Attention will also be given in this paper to Ricoeur’s notions on historiography.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die self-sny fenomeen onder jongmense: perspektiewe vanuit die Praktiese Teologie
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2011) Coetzer, W.
    Statistics around the phenomenon of self-injurious behaviour show a rise in numbers. Self-injury has been described as the anorexia and bulimia of the new millennium. The church must be equipped to guide and counsel young people affected by this problem. It is not a ‘teenage problem’ that people simply ‘outgrow’. We can therefore no longer pretend that this is a fringe issue that occurs in only the most extreme cases. This article, in the first instance, focuses on reasons for the increase in cases as well as on a number of misconceptions regarding this theme. Secondly, the focus shifts to the important role of emotions, the dynamics of the process, as well as a treatment programme. In conclusion, a number of pastoral perspectives are highlighted and guidelines provided to prevent possible slips and setbacks.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die ring: in diens van onderlinge sorg
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2011) Celliers, A.
    Congregations of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa are facing various challenges which they cannot meet on their own. The classis or presbytery was born in the sixteenth century when reformed congregations also went through very difficult times. Its aim was to help congregations fulfil their needs. Neighbouring congregations that are close enough to understand each other’s needs and able to meet as often as needed, constitute this governing body. It has its roots in the sense of unity and concern that existed between the congregations of the first century. Throughout the history of the classis in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, this same sense of unity and concern about the welfare of the congregations constituted the presbytery. Today it is still an integral part of the church’s organization and can help congregations to fulfil their God-given calling in their own context.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die Pastor as fluisteraargedagtes oor pastorale identiteit en arbeid na analogie van die perdefluisteraar
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Nel, Danny
    Generally, note have been taken that the work of pastoral care and the pastoral counselor are surrounded by identity issues for the latter part of the previous century and in the first decade of this century. In some circles it is even described as a profession without a place or position, looking and struggling for recognition, experiencing a crisis. In this article some of the reasons underlying these identity issues are mentioned or described. Comparing it with the work of a horse therapist, a horse whisperer, the unique position and emphasis of pastoral counseling and the pastoral counselor are pointed out with specific reference to the use of scripture, shared woundedness, the pastoral relationship, the moments of pastoral silence with distinct meaning and a particular sort of externalization. Keeping this in mind, the pastoral therapist can be still be deemed pastor aeturnus.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Can Christian ethics be used to engage business?: a (South) African consideration
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Fourie, Willem
    Business enterprises are in a position to exert a significant influence on society – particularly in the context of developing countries. Businesses no longer simply influence shareholders, employees and customers, but also play a role in strengthening (or weakening) political institutions and contributing to the wellbeing of other stakeholders. The result is that business enterprises are increasingly accountable to a growing number of stakeholders. In this article the possibility of utilising Christian ethics to engage business is investigated. The question is whether it is at all possible for the church to address the business world by applying its particular ethical resources, and – should this be possible – what form such engagements could take.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Is the expulsion of women as foreigners in Ezra 9-10 justifiably covenantal?
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Usue, Emmanuel
    A surface reading of Ezra 9-10 gives the impression that the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants’ codes concerning foreigners justify the expulsion of the so-called foreign women by Ezra and his associates. Consequently, the story has generated various viewpoints among Old Testament scholars. However, in this article, the author has attempted to show that Ezra and his associates did not provide convincing reasons for these massive expulsions. Rather, it appears, the expulsion was based upon a partial or narrower view and interpretation of the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants’ codes concerning foreigners. A close reading of the story and the purported covenants’ codes concerning foreigners reveals that first, these women were not foreigners as presupposed by Ezra and his associates; second, had the reformers adopted a more holistic or broader perspective and interpretation of the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants’ codes about foreigners, it would have yielded a more positive, accommodating and inclusive disposition towards the so-called foreign women.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Research on the letter to Galatians: 2000-2010
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Tolmie, D. F.
    This article is devoted to an overview of research published on the Letter to the Galatians from 2000 to 2010. An attempt is made to paint as detailed a picture as possible of the research on the letter, but in such a way that the gist of the contributions that have been selected is also communicated, albeit very briefly. Research on Galatians in the following five areas is discussed: introductory issues (e.g., authorship, opponents and recipients), the Wirkungsgeschichte of the letter, interpretative approaches to the letter, studies of particular verses/passages in the letter and the theology of the letter. The aim of this study is to present an overview of the research published on the Letter to the Galatians from 2000 to 2010. The large number of studies falling within this period (more or less 450 articles and books!) makes it impossible to discuss – or even to mention in passing – all the work that has been done in this regard, in a brief overview such as this. A possible way out of this dilemma would be to restrict this overview to only those contributions that have brought fundamentally new insights to bear on the interpretation of the letter. However, such an approach also has a disadvantage, since one would be constrained to omit many valuable contributions which are indeed based on sound scholarship, but which have not really brought about major changes in the interpretation of the letter, for example, in cases where such contributions have clarified only a minute detail of the text, or have merely added another possibility to an already large range of existing interpretations of a particular issue. A further disadvantage of such an approach is that it would not really provide an overall picture of developments pertaining to the research on the letter. Accordingly, I have opted for another approach, namely to paint as detailed a picture as possible of the research on the letter, but in such a way that the gist of the contributions that I have selected is also communicated, albeit very briefly. I will thus refrain from entering into detailed discussions and evaluations of these studies. Instead, the aim of this overview is to offer the reader a broad orientation of the research conducted on this letter. I have divided the overview into five main areas (with subdivisions). I have attempted to place studies according to the area which received the most emphasis in each case; but in some instances it was difficult to decide on the category under which a particular study should be discussed. Furthermore, in some instances so many studies have been devoted to a particular issue that I had no other option than to restrict the overview to representative examples of the type of research that has been done. Lastly, I have decided not to discuss any commentaries in this overview, since it is impossible to summarise the contribution of a commentary in a few sentences.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Corruption: how should Christians respond?
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2012) Theron, P. M.; Lotter, G. A.
    The results of the 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International indicate the seriousness of the worldwide corruption problem. Although recent decades have witnessed a global public awareness and an increase in attempts to eradicate corruption, it is an ongoing problem. It is evident that legislation is not an effective deterrent and it should therefore also be tackled at grass roots level by involving ordinary citizens, including Christians. On an individual level, it entails personal honesty and the living of exemplary lives. The golden rule of Jesus Christ can serve as a guiding principle for everyday life, namely do to others what you would have them do to you. On the public level, it requires the willingness to act as whistle-blowers. Christians are called and sanctioned by God to participate actively in society’s transformation. They need to think ethically and to act with the proper attitude.