A confessing community: The fall

It is universally recognised that “nobody’s perfect.” Bad things happen to good people. Innocent people—including infants—die. Every culture in history has had to wrestle with why. What is the source of imperfection, death, and misery in the human race? From a humanistic standpoint, it…

A confessing community: Creation of angels

Writing in 1941, German Lutheran theologian Rudolf Bultmann suggested that the Bible is filled with “mythological thought,” which can be traced to “Jewish apocalypticism” and “the Gnostic myth of redemption.” Bultmann suggested that such mythological thought “is incredible to men and women today because…

Keep yourselves from idols

The apostle John wrote his first letter to a group of Christians struggling with idolatry. As he closed his exhortation, he issued a stern warning: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). To those who are not versed in a biblical understanding…

The myth of Christian persecution

Several years ago, English academic and theologian Candida Moss wrote The Myth of Christian Persecution. Her premise is that early Christianity invented a narrative of systemic persecution during the first three centuries following the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. This persecution, the inventive Christians…

Israel’s woes: My perspective

It’s been an interesting few weeks in the world of Christianity and celebrity sport stars. Last week, it emerged that Wallaby rugby star Israel Folau had landed in hot water (not for the first time) after posting an image on Instagram stating that hell…

A confessing community: Creation of heaven and earth

It may surprise you—or perhaps it won’t—that Bible interpreters have never fully agreed on a single interpretation of the creation story in Genesis 1–2. Some of the early church fathers (e.g. Victorinus, Lactantius, Basil the Great, Ambrose of Milan, and John Damascene) explicitly affirmed…

A confessing community: The Scriptures interpreted

One of the biggest doctrinal controversies in the fourth century centred on the deity of Jesus Christ. Arius and his followers taught that Jesus Christ was a created being, who did not always exist. Athanasius strongly defended the deity of Jesus Christ and helped…

A confessing community: The Scriptures sufficient

Every age has had its religious leaders who have claimed to receive direct divine revelation, apart from Scripture. Our age is no different—and, in fact, it may be more prevalent in Africa than in many places in the world. African churches are filled with…

A confessing community: The Scriptures revealed

South African Airways (SAA) buys 1.5 million bottles of Valpre water a year. The wholesale price of these bottles is R2.75 each. SAA, however, does not buy directly from the producer. It buys them from an empowerment company set up by ANC cadres and…

A confessing community: The revealed God

A 2000 M. Night Shyamalan film posits that superhero stories are simply sensationalised accounts of true-life heroes who, while not as powerful as the superheroes of which comic books tell, are extraordinary people who are able to do extraordinary things. As the stories of…