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So You Study Theology?

Decembers marks the conclusion of my third year studying theology at Stellenbosch University. You guessed it; I’m another year closer to graduating! Interestingly these past three years have been quite informative as to what people – in general – think when considering theology. Responding to the much expected question; “what is theology” this post discusses what I actually consider theological training to be. Of course, given the personal character of this essay – it is very much predicated of my experience. I make no universal claims, rather I locate my reflection solely in the personal.   Continue reading “So You Study Theology?”

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Russel Botman

Botman

Written as creative assignment for the module Systematic Theology 444, Modern and Contemporary Theology: Thinkers and Themes.


Later this month the fourth annual Russel Botman Annual Lecture will be held at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Theology. This commemoration nudges the South African religious community to reflect anew on the life and work of Hayman Russel Botman (1953–2014). Continue reading “Russel Botman”

The Bible and Sexuality

BP, 2018-08-13

I always employ some sense of suspicion when in conversation the Bible is considered point of departure for discussing sexuality. Still, there are those who – out of genuine faith – hold the Bible to be the inspired Word of G-d. With this as frame, I now attend to the discuss what the Bible may have to say on human sexuality.

I must acknowledge, most seriously, that I am no Bible scholar. My ability to engage Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek (the languages the Bible was written in) are at best rudimentary and leaves much in want. This said, I am however a systematic theologian – if only imagined. Thus, my approach to Scripture (as contained in the Bible) is with the sights sets on the role of doctrine. Continue reading “The Bible and Sexuality”

Dear Dominee

Letter to Di

Attempting to make sense of my present frustration, I penned a letter to clergypersons. I am clear, writing this was for the sake of self-care. 


As you are aware I am presently studying theology – with sights set on the pastoral ministry. Making sense of my present position, I feel pressed to give expression of my experience. See, I am gay. Shocker, I know.

I write simply to share my conflict, confusion and concern. In some sense, I am attempting to remain true to the tradition of the Reformation. I am also intentionally writing to clergypersons in my own church, the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. Even so, this may well be addressed to the church catholic. Continue reading “Dear Dominee”

Faith Seeking Understanding

 

Sorrow - Struggle - Simplistic Faith

It was the great Saint Anselm who popularised the phrase “fides quaerens intellectum” – faith seeking understanding. Since then theology has been defined by this continued quest for understanding – even in the most chaotic, confusing and catastrophic circumstances. This is quite important for our consideration of theology – and faith more broadly.

Continue reading “Faith Seeking Understanding”

Confessing church in need of forgiveness

 

Blog, 2018-07-02

Months ago, I wrote on the challenges facing the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). Again, in like fashion I share a few thoughts. Of late, much of has been said about the developments (or lack thereof) of the Regional Cape Synod (held at Fort Hare University, Alice). In addition to this, the media has been abuzz regarding the URCSA for various reasons.

Given this, I pen my thoughts. A disclaimer is warranted, I write as a confessing member of the URCSA. Moreover, I do so as a theological student preparing myself for pastoral ministry. Even so, I also write as a Queer (gay) person of faith. As such, I set out to contribute to the church catholic out of this embodied position. Continue reading “Confessing church in need of forgiveness”

Rest in Power JH Cone

Cone, JH

Few would disagree that the work of the American Black theologian James Cone shook the very foundations of theology. In like manner, the passing of the father of Black Theology challenges us anew our commitment to the practice of justice. If anything, the present moment may well be better understood in light of Cone’s words: “It is important not to confuse protest with revolution. Revolution is more than protest.”[1] I’d suggest that the revolution has been sustained by three forms of Cone’s contribution. Continue reading “Rest in Power JH Cone”

Considering Karl Barth

wikipedia-karlbarth01

Across the various disciplines of theology, few twentieth century theologians are held in a high regard as the Swiss-born Karl Barth (1886-1968). Barth’s contribution to theology cannot be overstated. A serious grappling with his thought and the tradition in which he located himself warrants a discussion. Continue reading “Considering Karl Barth”