Original Research - Special Collection: COVID-19 from a Theological Perspective

God’s spirit (of wisdom) has been sent into the world, not Covid-19: A contextual systematic-theological perspective

Daniël P. Veldsman
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a6222 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.6222 | © 2020 Daniël P. Veldsman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2020 | Published: 26 October 2020

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Daniël P. Veldsman, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

How are we to make theological sense of the Covid-19 pandemic? In response to the viewpoint of Wilhelm Jordaan as expressed in a popular newspaper that it is foolish to understand Covid-19 as God’s punishment or nature’s way for restoration, it is critically argued that Jordaan mostly helps us with what not to think, but not so much with what to think of the current situation from a Christian theological perspective. The theological perspective that is presented in response to Jordaan takes as the vantage point a different interpretative line of an image of God (as ‘regretting/sorrow God’) over against more popular and established lines of God images such as God the Almighty. It is argued that the different God image of a ‘silent God’ and the need for wisdom that is prompted by the image challenges us here and now with an invitation to take (self)responsibility for the Covid-19-pandemic before a silent (distanced) God.

Contribution: This article represents original systematic-theological reflection on the doctrine of God and anthropology within contemporary theology-science discourses. It focuses on a Christian biblical neglected God image of a ‘regretting/sorrow God’ (Genesis) in relation to embodied personhood within the current Covid-19 pandemic. It proposes a newly formulated understanding of a ‘silent God’ on the one hand and human self-responsibility and the seeking of wisdom on the other hand.


Keywords

Wilhelm Jordaan; wisdom; Covid-19 pandemic; a regretful/sorrow God; self-responsibility

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