Hervormde Teologiese Studies
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 0259-9422
Published by SciELO [680 journals]
- Contemporary prophetic preaching theory in the United States of America
and South Africa: A comparative study through the lens of shared
Abstract: In this article two homileticians - one from the United States of America (USA) and one from South Africa (SA) - enter into a dialog regarding how the task of prophetic preaching today might be revived, reframed and redefined in light of the Reformation principle of the viva vox Evangelii [living voice of the gospel]. Each author begins by summarising four contemporary approaches to prophetic preaching set forth by Reformed and Lutheran homiletical scholars in their respective contexts. Then each addresses the questions: Where do I particularly see Reformation themes and emphases at work in the work of these homileticians? And how might those Reformation emphases continue to challenge and reframe preaching practices today? Finally, each gives initial reflections on how a comparison between the perspectives deepens and expands his or her understanding of prophetic preaching and its role in church and society.
- Practical Theology and providing service: The service through love of
the Mamas Africa in the South African society
Abstract: A fundamental principle of the Christian faith is that man is saved by the grace and by faith in the Triune God, not by deeds. Yet, James emphasises the importance of works after the Christian has been saved. Jesus said during his ministry on earth that he did not come to be served, but to serve. Faith is therefore seen in deeds, specifically deeds of love, that is, deeds that indicate that the Christian is not leading an egocentric life anymore, but a life characterised by considering his or her fellow human beings and reaching out to them. Eighteen years after apartheid, South Africa is still a country striving to build a nation and to be healed. Marches and protests against poor public service deliveries have become a well-known sight in society. Despite the larger picture of inadequate service, there are those who serve their fellow humans and society every day. The Mamas Africa utilising the minimum resources available, are examples of people who make a difference in society every day. The concept Mama Africa indicates all women from all races who are making a difference in the South African society by promoting mutual bonding. The motivation for their deeds is a deep faith in God, who is the source of hope and a conviction that a Christian has to serve others.
- A pastoral examination of the Christian Church's response to fears of
and reactions to witchcraft amongst African people in the Limpopo province
of South Africa
Abstract: ABSTRACT Amongst other things, African culture (societies) has been characterised by its perception and fear of witchcraft. Even though the belief in witchcraft is an old phenomenon, its growth is revealed and to some extent mitigated by videos, films and accounts and stories of church ministers. Whilst some Christian worship services have been turned into witchcraft-centred campaigns against witchcraft, a second group perceive witchcraft as a way of getting rid of one's enemies and a third group see it as the root of human misfortune. Indeed ministers (including preachers and pastoral caregivers) are almost 'measured' by their ability to successfully ward off demons (believed to have been sent by witches), as a yardstick for determining whether they are good ministers with a good following or congregation. The first group of people attend church to pray for protection against 'the enemy', the second group approach native doctors to protect their households from attacks by witches, and the third group rid themselves of witches by burning them along with their personal belongings. This article investigates the impact and consequences of a fear of witchcraft amongst Christians in African societies, particularly those in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It also offers pastoral guidelines for a theological response to witchcraft and its life-threatening influence on people in the affected communities.
- The DNA of prophetic speech
Abstract: Having to speak words that can potentially abuse the divine connotation of prophetic speech for giving authority to the own manipulative intent poses a daunting challenge to preachers. The metaphorical images triggered by 'DNA' and 'genetic engineering' are deployed in illustrating the ambivalent position in which a prophetic preacher finds himself or herself; ambivalence between anticipation of regeneration at the deepest level of humanity on the one hand, and disquiet about the possibility of forcing a human being against his or her will into meeting certain prescribed expectations on the other hand. In reflecting on possible responses to this ambivalence, the theological positions of two prolific scholars in the research field of Homiletics, Gijs D.J. Dingemans and Charles L. Campbell, are critically considered from the point of view of the relationship between Christology and Pneumatology. In reflecting on theological markers for a sensible response, the author argues for a pneumatology in which the work of the Spirit consists of grafting the very DNA of our humanity and all its faculties into Christ, the only One who can open up the true life that is intended for humanity by divine grace. It will be in the very genes of a prophet to speak graceful words, because the prophet will have seen the wonder of the working of divine grace in his or her own life and will have embraced it willingly and joyfully.
- A practical-theological reflection on coaching and equipping children
for service as a way to emulating the attitude of Christ
Abstract: The hypothesis for this research is that the youth is an inherent part of the church. The church, which includes the children, received spiritual gifts from God. The edification of the church is the main purpose in the utilisation of all the gifts. The church received a significant responsibility in equipping and convoying children to be obedient in their calling to be followers of Jesus Christ. Parents and children must use their gifts for their own diakonia. The word diakonia gives expression to the fact that diakonia must take place in accordance to the calling by God. In recent research the expression diakonia also received a more comprehensive meaning. The research field will be explored in four phases and, in doing so, try to come to grips with the current practical-theological situation. In phase one the authors tried to offer a descriptive reflection on research in the practical theology. In phase two the authors undertook exploratory research from the field of the social psychology in order to indicate the prominent role of wrong attitudes and insufficient convoying of children in the praxis. Therefore the authors undertook an intra-disciplinary conversation with the development psychology. In phase three the authors offered basic-theoretical perspectives from Scripture in order to show how the praxis must be. In the last phase of this research practical-theoretical perspectives are explored in order to underline the responsibility of churches in this regard of equipping children in fulfilling their own diakonia. The authors drew a conclusion from their research that children who serve in diakonia and also in obedience to Christ, are also people that are enabled to show the attitude of Jesus Christ towards the world. Parents and other believers must serve in mentoring children. By mentoring children in their diakonia, they enable children and also contribute towards spiritual maturity in their lives.
- Seeking feasible reconciliation: A transdisciplinary contextual
approach to reconciliation
Abstract: In South Africa scholars in the broad field of practical theology are currently faced with a daunting challenge: to rethink the reconciling role of the institutional church in the light of continued challenges facing reconciliation within post-apartheid and post-Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) South Africa. This contribution investigates whether the transdisciplinary, region-centred scientific research approach with a focus on the Hölderlin perspective on reconciliation could assist scholars in practical theology to address reconciliation in a post-apartheid and post-TRC society. The article proposes a contextual and constructive approach to reconciliation in order to assist South African scholars in the field of practical theology and the institutional church to address the challenges of reconciliation in a postapartheid and post-TRC society. The contribution confirms that this approach does indeed assist the field of practical theology to contribute to reconciliation without the risk of speaking a language that nobody beyond theology can understand.
- The ongoing challenge of restorative justice in South Africa: How and
why wealthy suburban congregations are responding to poverty and
Abstract: South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world and any discussion around poverty and the church's response cannot exclude this reality. This article attempts to analyse the response of wealthy, 'majority white' suburban congregations in the southern suburbs of Cape Town to issues of poverty and inequality. This is attempted through the lense of restorative justice, which is broadly explored and defined through a threefold perspective of reconciliation, reparations and restitution. The first part explores a description of the basic features of poverty and inequality in South Africa today, followed by a discussion on restorative justice. This is followed by the case study, which gives the views of clergy and lay leaders with regard to their congregations' perspectives and responses to poverty and inequality within the context of restorative justice. Findings from the case study begin to plot a tentative 'way forward' as to how our reality can more constructively be engaged from the perspective of congregational involvement in reconstruction of our society.