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Love founded in God: The fruits of love in Kierkegaard’s ‘Works of love’  [cached]
Jos Huls
HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies , 2011, DOI: 10.4102/hts.v67i3.1117
Abstract: This article discussed the use of the Bible in ‘Love’s hidden life and its recognizability by its fruits’, which is the first reflection of S ren Kierkegaard’s book, Works of love. Firstly, this article discussed Kierkegaard’s lack of clarity about the fruits of love, even though he stresses their divine origin. Secondly, it reflected on his argument that, even though deeds are more important than words, words remain necessary because of the need to express love to others. In a following section he points out that neither specific words nor particular works of love can demonstrate that love exists. One needs to distinguish between works of love and the attitude with which works are done. Thirdly, it pointed out how Kierkegaard argues that the inability to demonstrate love unconditionally does not negate that love is to be known by its fruits. It is rather a personal incitement to love for the sake of love itself. Noting that there is no direct relationship between the fruits of love and the actual effects our love has on others, he points to the fact that the result of love is in the hands of God. He then argues that though fruits of love may be invisible, they become apparent in the strength of our love. The only responsibility we have is to follow love as the divine movement of our heart. In the final part of his reflection, Kierkegaard notes that there is no other way to enter into the reality of love than to believe in it. This implies that one should be careful of making demands on someone in a loving relationship. What is needed is to become rooted in love as the divine source of the heart so that one will understand that this unseen reality is the foundation of existence in which one is known by the Other, whose essence is love. How to cite this article: Huls, J., 2011, ‘Love founded in God: The fruits of love in Kierkegaard’s “Works of love”’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 67(3), Art. #1117, 10 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i3.1117
Origen of Alexandria: The study of the Scriptures as transformation of the readers into images of the God of love
Paul B. Decock
HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies , 2011, DOI: 10.4102/hts.v67i1.871
Abstract: For Origen, the purpose of reading the Scriptures is to be transformed more and more into the likeness of God, who is Love, through the Logos embodied in the Scriptures. This article first situated Origen’s approach to the Scriptures in the broad agreement over the centuries that the Scriptures are meant to address the present readers and not merely the original readers. This has led to various approaches to actualise the text up to the present varieties of contextual exegesis. Secondly, the article showed how, for Origen, the aim of actualising the text is the transformation of the readers. It will be necessary, therefore, to briefly present some of the key aspects of Origen’s pre-understanding. The third part focused on Origen’s understanding of the reading process as a movement from the letter to the spirit, a process that involves the transformation of the reader. This process is a struggle to understand what love, which is both the mystery of God and the aim for which every being is created through the Logos, is. How to cite this article: Decock, P.B., 2011, ‘Origen of Alexandria: The study of the Scriptures as transformation of the readers into images of the God of love’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 67(1), Art. #871, 8 pages. DOI: 10.4102/hts.v67i1.871
Christianity to Me: Approaching God in Love
Xiao-yuan ZOU
Canadian Social Science , 2007,
Abstract: In the history of humanity, numerous kings and emperors founded their empires upon force, which caused untold human disasters, but Jesus Christ, who lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity, founded his empire upon love, which brings people hope, peace, and joy. Jesus Christ is the founder of Christianity. Jesus Christ, the Lord and savior of humanity, is the greatest central fact in the world’s history. As we all know, the whole world uses the birth year of Jesus Christ as a standard for our calendar. The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of past scientists, philosopher have come and gone; but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Christianity has brought humanity new hope, and can save people from moral decay. Christians are the messengers of God’s love and peace to the world. Christ showed us what love is, and we are justified by his love, grace and sacrifice. Our hearts are purified by His love and we are no more the hopeless. Christianity plays a very important role in human civilization. The cornerstone of Christianity is love, and as we know, love conquers everything and in love, leaders and common people are equal in dignity, comrades and dissidents respect each other, and victors and losers coexist peacefully. Love is the sole hope and power to change this world into a better place. With love and piety, people can approach God and live their lives perfectly. Key words: love, peace, God, Jesus Christ, Christianity Résumé: Dans l’histoire humaine, d’innombrables empereurs ont fondé de vive force leur royaume, tout en apportant à l’humanité des douleurs indicibles. Mais Jésus- Christ, qui est né dans la misère et a grandi dans une famille humble, a établi son propre royaume dans l’amour et a apporté à l’homme de nouvelles espérance, paix et joie. Bien que l’Eglise chrétienne n’ait pas été fondée, non par Jésus-Christ lui-même, mais par ses ap tres et disciples, il est le ma tre de l’Eglise. Le prêcheur britannique réputé Charles Spurgeon indique de fa on pénétrante que Jésus-Christ est le fait central le plus important dans l’histoire humaine. Aujourd’hui, le monde entier considère l’année de sa naissance comme la première année de l’ère chrétienne et le jour de sa renaissance le jour de repos, ce qui est unique dans l’histoire humaine. Les noms de grands hommes politiques de la Grèce et du Rome ont déjà disparu, ceux des scientistes et des historiens célèbres se sont effacés, mais cet homme, les gens qui connaissent son nom sont de plus en plus nombreux. Jésus, tout en délivrant l’homme de
Does God So Love the Multiverse?  [PDF]
Don N. Page
Physics , 2008,
Abstract: Monotheistic religions such as Judaism and Christianity affirm that God loves all humans and created them in His image. However, we have learned from Darwin that we were not created separately from other life on earth. Some Christians opposed Darwinian evolution because it undercut certain design arguments for the existence of God. Today there is the growing idea that the fine-tuned constants of physics might be explained by a multiverse with very many different sets of constants of physics. Some Christians oppose the multiverse for similarly undercutting other design arguments for the existence of God. However, undercutting one argument does not disprove its conclusion. Here I argue that multiverse ideas, though not automatically a solution to the problems of physics, deserve serious consideration and are not in conflict with Christian theology as I see it. Although this paper as a whole is {\it addressed} primarily to Christians in cosmology and others interested in the relation between the multiverse and theism, it should be of {\it interest} to a wider audience. Proper subsets of this paper are addressed to other Christians, to other theists, to other cosmologists, to other scientists, and to others interested in the multiverse and theism.
Detecting God in practices: Theology in an empirical–theological research project  [cached]
Rein Brouwer
HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies , 2010, DOI: 10.4102/hts.v66i2.805
Abstract: What is the nature of reality in theological research and how can this ‘theological’ reality be known? Can we empirically research God’s performance in reality? This article tries to find some common ground on this contested issue by presenting a debate between three Dutch practical theologians: Van der Ven, Immink, and Ganzevoort. Their positions on the theological dimension of empirical reality are traced, followed by some thoughts on critical realism and on a ‘cataphysic’ approach to empirical theological research, inspired by the theologian Alister McGrath and the philosopher of science Roy Bhaskar. This results in three concluding remarks. Firstly, realisme and social constructionism are not excluding options. Social constructions presuppose the existence of reality. Secondly, a stratified model of reality, perceiving the nature of reality as emergent, layered, and complex, points in the direction of multidisciplinary discourses and helps to avoid forms of reductionism. Thirdly, prioritizing the ontology of a stratified reality that reflects revelation, creates a common ground for the debate on the nature of theological reality. How to cite this article: Brouwer, R., 2010, ‘Detecting God in practices: Theology in an empirical–theological research project’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 66(2), Art. #805, 5 pages. DOI: 10.4102/hts.v66i2.805
Exodus, Psalms and Hebrews: A God abounding in steadfast love (Ex 34:6)
A Groenewald
HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies , 2008,
Abstract: The author of Hebrews heavily depends on the Pentateuch and the Psalms. The Pentateuch, for the most part, offers him material for reflection on redemptive history, and the Psalms provide his Christological material. The great debt the book of Hebrews owes to the Old Testament, however, is not simply a matter of general background and copious quotation, but also extends to fundamental Old Testament ways of thinking which are constantly presupposed and which underlie all passages in the book. The concept of hesed (“faithfulness, kindness, grace, steadfast love, solidarity” etc) is one of those. According to the Hebrew Scriptures, God revealed God self to God's people at Sinai. This article will deal specifically with the reference to the Sinai revelation as it appears in three Psalms. This discussion will be followed by a short overview of this specific text in the Pentateuch. This article will be concludes by briefly indicating a possible influence these Old Testament texts on the book of Hebrews. HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies Vol. 64 (3) 2008: pp. 1365-1378
Faith in the One God in Christian and African Traditional Religions: A Theological Appraisal
F Nwaigbo
OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies , 2010,
Abstract: The Second Vatican Council has led the contemporary Church out of the desert of an arid doctrinal point of view, which sometimes rejects all questions and any kind of critical research. In contemporary Christian Catholic theology, any critical research or questioning is no longer seen as lack of faith in God and the Church, but as the part of the Anselmian programme of theologizing as an act of faith seeking to understand the depth of the mystery of God in salvation history. In the search for the mystery of God in salvation history, how should the African Christians understand the relationship between revelation of the one God in the Christian and African Traditional Religions? In response to this critical question, this paper examines the Christian revelation of the one God in the Bible, on the one hand, and the knowledge of God in African Traditional religions on the other hand. Finally, it draws a theological appraisal.
Detecting God in practices: Theology in an empirical–theological research project
R Brouwer
HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies , 2010,
Abstract: What is the nature of reality in theological research and how can this ‘theological’ reality be known? Can we empirically research God’s performance in reality? This article tries to find some common ground on this contested issue by presenting a debate between three Dutch practical theologians: Van der Ven, Immink, and Ganzevoort. Their positions on the theological dimension of empirical reality are traced, followed by some thoughts on critical realism and on a ‘cataphysic’ approach to empirical theological research, inspired by the theologian Alister McGrath and the philosopher of science Roy Bhaskar. This results in three concluding remarks. Firstly, realisme and social constructionism are not excluding options. Social constructions presuppose the existence of reality. Secondly, a stratified model of reality, perceiving the nature of reality as emergent, layered, and complex, points in the direction of multidisciplinary discourses and helps to avoid forms of reductionism. Thirdly, prioritizing the ontology of a stratified reality that reflects revelation, creates a common ground for the debate on the nature of theological reality.
The Triune God who speaks: Calvin’s theological hermeneutics
J.B. Krohn
Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship , 2001, DOI: 10.4102/koers.v66i1&2.387
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to make a contribution to the theme of “Calvin as servant of the Word” by exploring some hermeneutical implications of Calvin’s theological commitment to the doctrine of God as Triune. In doing so, it seeks to follow a hermeneutical principle Calvin himself held, that Biblical interpretation had to pass through three distinct but related phases; exegesis (represented by his commentaries), dogmatics (represented by the Institutes), and preaching (represented by his sermons). For Calvin, if any of these phases were omitted, the text would not be interpreted properly, and the message of Scripture would not rightly be applied to the life of the church. The place and importance of the doctrine of the Trinity in Calvin’s theology (often neglected in Calvin scholarship) are first explored, followed by displaying the importance Calvin attached to the integration of doctrine into the hermeneutical process (often disregarded by modern-day exegetes), and finally, all three phases of the interpretational process are brought to bear on Calvin’s sermonic treatment of John 1:1-5. Through expository preaching of the Scriptures, hermeneutics finds its completion, and believers will have a personal encounter with God. As such, Calvin will be shown to be a most excellent servant of the Word.
God our king
J Muis
HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies , 2008,
Abstract: This article discusses whether the metaphor of “king” can still be used in Christian God-talk. Firstly, it is argued that the “king” metaphor for God is an indispensable key metaphor in both the Old and the New Testament. “King” has become a root metaphor in the canonical text of the Old Testament and Jesus' proclamation of the coming kingdom of God presupposes that God is king. Secondly, the Biblical meanings of the metaphor are explored. God's kingship implies his authority and power to fight the forces of evil, to liberate and lead his people and to control the events of history. Modified by Jesus Christ, God's kingship is universal, non-violent and in accordance with his love. Then, the use of the metaphor in contemporary God-talk is considered. Because “king” is the only metaphor that can give expression to God's ultimate highness and authority, it cannot be replaced by others. In the concluding section the “king” metaphor for God is conceptually explained in terms of the relationship, the agency and the power of God it implies. HTS Theological Studies Vol. 64 (1) 2008: pp. 269-288
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