Original Research - Special Collection: The use of the Bible in Theology

The use of the Bible in theology: Theology as a ‘lived experience’ of God

Dirk G. van der Merwe
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 4 | a6200 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i4.6200 | © 2020 Dirk G. van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 2020 | Published: 21 December 2020

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Dirk G. van der Merwe, Department of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

If the theme of this special edition can be reformulated as a question (what was and is the current use of the Bible in theology?), it would be challenging and very difficult to answer the question because of a diverse usage of the Bible throughout history and today, stretching in a continuum of both vertical and horizontal probabilities: vertically, theism vs. atheism and horizontally, worldliness vs. holiness. The objective of this essay is to argue for the incorporation of the ‘spiritualities’ of divine immanence and divine transcendence in the composition of theologies, facilitated by a comprehensive and multidimensional reading of the Bible and the acknowledgement of contributions from the sciences. In this research, the reasoning will address the following relevant aspects: (1) taking into account the epistemology of the ‘Bible’ and ‘Theology’; (2) the consideration of postmodernity, post-secularism and spirituality and (3) the composition of neo-theologies.

Contribution: This article pleads that biblical analyses should play a more comprehensive and determinative role in the composition and formulation of theology, pointing more explicitly to the transcendence and immanence of God. The reading of such theologies then must create different lived experiences of the immanence and transcendence of God.


Keywords

theism; atheism; worldliness; holiness; postmodernity; neo-theologies; bible; theology

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