Verbum et Ecclesia

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1609-9982 / 2074-7705
Published by: AOSIS Open Journals (10.4102)
Total articles ≅ 1,699
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Latest articles in this journal

Erna Oliver
Published: 30 September 2022
VERBUM et Ecclesia, Volume 43;

The fourth revolution world turned our comfortable lives into a rollercoaster ride of challenges, changes and choices. Apart from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Fourth Communication Revolution and the Fourth Self-awareness Revolution brought major disruptions to our world to which we were just coming to terms with when coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) struck and brought a firm halt to almost everything, including the way we were used to practice our faith. This confluence of circumstances has provided Christians in South Africa with an opportunity to do introspection and carve a new way forward for being followers of Christ and doing what their faith requires from them to be true to their religion and regain credibility in a time when the institutionalised churches are struggling to survive. The need to redefine what it means to be church, and the role Christians should play in society are on the table since the last decade of the previous century. This article identified four basics and, to a great extent, neglected pillars – two from the New Testament Scriptures and two from the Reformation movements – that could form the foundation for a transformed and alternative way of being ecclesia in the current fast-paced, demanding world. This article serves as an introduction and broad overview to stimulate debate and further development of the ideas presented to contribute towards positive reformation and transformation of South African Christianity. The study was conducted through historical research and document analysis. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: A call to discuss the pillars of faith that could assist the traditional or mainstream institutional churches to do introspection at the current crossroads. Four pillars of faith are identified to assist in carving a new path forward for South African Christianity, drawing from the disciplines of Church History, Practical Theology and Missiology.
Almarie van Rooyen, Johan M. van der Merwe, Tanya van Wyk
Published: 27 September 2022
VERBUM et Ecclesia, Volume 43;

Transformation in the diverse Afrikaner society in the postapartheid era: Four case studies. Since the end of apartheid in South Africa, Afrikaner people have been faced with disentangling their culture from Afrikaner nationalism. This article argues that the transformation of the Afrikaner people, or the lack thereof, will influence the future and place of Afrikaners in postapartheid South Africa. This article investigates the transformation within the Afrikaner community, considering four case studies: The aftermath of the death of Matlhomola Moshoeu in Coligny, the aftermath of Brendin Horner’s death near Paul Roux, in the court at Senekal, the inequality in SA highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the organisation and movement called Betereinders. Unresolved racial tension was a driving force in Coligny and Senekal. In Coligny, Afrikaner individuals and other community members helped to transform the destruction left by the protests and addressed some burning issues of inequality. In the Senekal protest, some Afrikaners were responsible for most of the destruction. None of the big Afrikaner organisations or churches openly condemned these actions. The pandemic exposed how little economic transformation actually happened on ground level. The Betereinders movement is driven by Afrikaners who believe in a better future for all South Africans. They act, are hands-on, and won’t give up. Unwillingness to face the postapartheid SA and turning a blind eye, have prevented Afrikaners from being part of transformational efforts. However, Afrikaners can, with intentional effort, disentangle their culture from Afrikaner nationalism and are capable of being part of the transformation needed in SA. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The interdisciplinary implications of this article involved the subjects of church history, general history, and a dogmatic approach.
Collins I. Ugwu, Uchenna V. Eze
Published: 22 September 2022
VERBUM et Ecclesia, Volume 43;

Corruption has undoubtedly become a familiar concept that has almost paralysed the whole gamut of our private and cooperative lives. The rate at which it occurs is described as unprecedented. There is no gainsaying that corruption is one of the severest social threats to society, especially in developing countries like Nigeria. In this article, the authors appreciate the efforts of the Nigerian government in curbing corruption but note the prevalence of this menace despite all efforts. The authors wish to provide a model with which the trend of corruption can be reduced to the barest minimum, if not entirely eradicated. This model was styled out of the theology of maggots on the excess manna amassed by some misguided Israelites during their wilderness journey into the promised land in Exodus 16:20. The method adopted was a secondary method of data collection, which was a library source. Also, as this was a biblical study, hermeneutical tools were employed to interpret the concepts and analyse the text properly. It was discovered that corrupt people are not people in need; rather, they are driven by greed. In addition, the authors discovered that when this model was employed, corruption was reduced drastically, at least within the period of the wilderness journey of the Israelites. This model comes from a biblical background and will go a long way in redirecting the Nigerian populace towards shunning corruption and the people perpetrating it. This is because a great percentage of the Nigerian population adheres to this biblical faith or religion. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article contributes to theology and ethics. It investigates the pericope found in Exodus 16:20 and directly deploys its approach in solving the menace of corruption bedevilling Nigerian society. The article is apt because the pericope of Exodus 16:20 provides a lucid response to the problem of corruption.
Kivatsi J. Kavusa
Published: 16 September 2022
VERBUM et Ecclesia, Volume 43;

Song 4:12–15 depicts the body of the bride as a ‘locked garden’ filled with fruits, exotic and medicinal plants and abundant freshwater. These luxuries are said to be plentiful and appealing but carry with them the threat of spoiling. In this way, the garden is ready for enjoyment, but forbidden (locked) at the same time. The geo-metaphor of the bride fits perfectly with the ancient belief of Mother Earth and resists the dominion drive of the Anthropocene. Dominance is alien to Canticles. The Book pledges that we can rediscover the lost paradise of Genesis 2 through love and partnership, not dominion. This article investigates which assumptions about nature are reflected in the author’s use of nature metaphors to describe the sensual body of the bride. It makes use of insights of ecological sustainability, the principle of intrinsic worth from the six eco-justice principles of the Earth Bible Project and elements of historical-critical approaches to retrieve the ecological significance of Song 4:12–15. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article explores whether the insights of eco-sustainability can be fruitfully used to retrieve ecological wisdom from the metaphor of Song 4 depicting the bride as a locked garden. It involves the disciplines of biblical exegesis, elements of ecological hermeneutics and insights from sustainability theories.
Andar G. Pasaribu, Roy C.H.P. Sipahutar, Eduward H. Hutabarat
Published: 15 September 2022
VERBUM et Ecclesia, Volume 43;

This article departed from the ecological problems that are currently happening in Tapanuli, the area around Lake Toba, North Sumatra province, Indonesia. In addition to the lack of environmental awareness of the local community, and the presence of companies that are not environmentally friendly, another factor that causes ecological problems in Tapanuli is the attribution of imago Dei to humans, and this forms a paradigm that humans are the rulers of nature. Therefore, a new meaning of imago Dei is needed that allows nature to have the right to be sustainable. The comparison between Toba Batak traditional religion and Christian theology creates a good interplay to develop a contextual ethical theology that can be adapted for other environmental discussions. This study used a biblical-cultural approach, namely rereading Genesis 1:26–28 from the perspective of Toba Batak anthropology, to get the novelty of the idea of imago Dei. The result of rereading Genesis 1:26–28 generated new ideas. Not only humans but every creature is a representation of Mulajadi Nabolon (the High God of Toba Batak). All creation is the imago Dei. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article contributes to the interdisciplinary conversation between biblical, systematic and cultural theology to give new meaning to the conception of imago Dei. The rereading of Genesis 1:26–28 is carried out using the anthropological perspective of Toba Batak. The results are certainly very useful for forming a contextual ecological paradigm for the Toba Batak people in Tapanuli, Indonesia.
Motshine A. Sekhaulelo
Published: 2 September 2022
VERBUM et Ecclesia, Volume 43;

The idea of the common good is missing in politics today. Fighting for political ideology and self-interest has replaced finding solutions to problems or practising the ethics of public interest. We urgently need to create a new social contract with proper implementation of the values set out in the national Constitution. This study was undertaken from a reformed ethical perspective, with special emphasis on the ethics of the common good. Methodologically, in researching this article, the author was guided by two related questions: how do ideas, beliefs and norms form? What happens in society to let these norms shape our actions? Conducting research guided by these questions has helped the author to understand that for many communities, stability is maintained by rules, norms, beliefs, convictions and worldview as located in tradition and culture. It is institutions such as those outlined here that still guide attitude and behaviour in the majority of cases. While being sensitive to these institutions and the role they play, through policy and legislation, under constitutional supremacy, the Constitution has become the primary guide and source for community stability. Interdisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article brings the disciplines of theology, politics and governance together in defining the ethics of the common good in contemporary South African politics. It proposes that the moral prerequisite for solving the deepest problems our country now face is a commitment to the ethics of the common good. By definition, this will require the engagement and collaboration of all the ‘stakeholders’ – government, businesses, civil society groups, faith groups and especially young people.
Musonda Bwalya
Published: 31 August 2022
VERBUM et Ecclesia, Volume 43;

The social value of this article is a demonstration of the impact of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative on Zambia and how, in response, faith-based organisations had attempted to influence public economic policy for the betterment of 80% of Zambians who lived under the ‘poverty datum line’ and spent one U.S. dollar a day per capita by 2002, when compared to almost a decade earlier, and who experienced a reduction in life expectancy from 54 years in the late 1980s to 37 years in 2002. The knowledge gap which this article sought to narrow is a lack of adequate reflections on the role of faith-based organisations in addressing economic instability and increasing poverty among majority citizens. The methods used were mainly qualitative in nature, which examined both primary and secondary sources of data. The findings were that the situation of adverse social dislocation of the majority was unlikely to be any better in and beyond 2002. Experience showed that in the year 2005, the socio-economic situation of the majority was still pathetic. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article sought to highlight the specific role which faith-based organisations played in the orientation of the state towards a ‘reconstructed society’ in Zambia. The paper challenged the view that socio-economic development matters are a preserve of development experts and politicians only. Instead, the paper argued that the path towards economic stability and prosperity called for the involvement of all stakeholders, including faith-based organisations.
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