Gereformeerde kerkreg : 'n hermeneutiese perspektief

Dickason, Vernon Claud (2011-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis examines and proves the distinct characteristic of the hermeneutics of Reformed church polity, with regard to other jurisprudence. The study is set out as follows: Chapter 1 The methodological approach used is of cardinal importance in the research of a distinct hermeneutical characteristic associated with church polity. A clear choice is made for a research methodology which validates the thesis. This thesis opts for a theological and church political study with an ecclesiological foundation. Chapter 2 Chapter 2 is divided into two sections or themes: (i) Whether church and law can coexist and (ii) the unique characteristic of church polity. These two themes qualify the study in toto, whilst (at the same time) identifying useful elements that can assist in exploring the question of a distinct hermeneutical characteristic associated with Reformed church polity. It is argued that if church and law can exist together, the focus of the study can shift to the next theme in accordance with the thesis, namely the distinct characteristic of Reformed church polity. Judged from a Reformed perspective, it is clear (derived from part 1) that church and law can coexist and therefore is not a contradiction in terminis. Derived from part 2, it is clear that church polity has a unique character (sui generis), which is practiced in and for the church as a unique community. The argument of the thesis is that the church is the object of the law, also that its unique character resides with the faith community‐ which is the creation of God, which in turn enables Christ to rule the church‐ as her Lord and King. Chapter 3 As with the Bible and all legislation‐ the church order is subject to hermeneutical rules. The hermeneutics associated with theology and legislation are not isolated dissiplines, but form an inherent part of a general hermeneutics for the human sciences. The texts associated with church polity are therefore subjected to the same hermeneutical processes as other legislative texts. The hermeneutics associated with church polity possess a unique characteristic, with regards to the community in which it functions. Legislative texts should be read within the context of the community that sanctioned it. Church order then differs from the legislation of other communities. Hermeneutics, and the methods associated with it, can therefore assist the interpreter in reading a church order. Chapter 4 In the concluding chapter the hypothesis of the study is evaluated and verified in accordance with the conclusions reached in the preceding chapters‐ each with its own particular theme and relevance to the end‐result and validation of the thesis.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek en bewys die eiesoortige hermeneutiese aard van die Gereformeerde kerkreg, in vergelyke met ander reg. Die ondersoek val soos volg uiteen: Hoofstuk 1 Die metodologiese aanpak van die studie is van deurslaggewende belang by die ondersoek na ʼn eiesoortige hermeneutiese karakter by die kerkreg. Daar word ʼn duidelike keuse gemaak vir ʼn navorsingsmetodologie wat die tese sal valideer. Die eiesoortige karakter van die hermeneutiek van die kerkreg, met insluiting van die temas‐ bestaansreg van die kerkreg, asook die eiesoortigheid van die kerkreg, is oortuigende argumente vir ʼn teologieskerkregtelike aanpak, met ʼn sterk ekklesiologiese onderbou. Hoofstuk 2 Hoofstuk 2 van die studie fokus in twee dele op (i) die bestaansreg van die kerkreg, asook (ii) die eiesoortigheid van die kerkreg, in ʼn poging om die studie in toto te kwalifiseer, asook om bruikbare elemente te identifiseer‐ wat kan bydra tot die vraag na die eiesoortige karakter van die hermeneutiek van die kerkreg. Daar word uitgegaan van die opvatting dat indien kerk en reg saam kan bestaan, die fokus kan aanskuif na die volgende tema in lyn met die tese van die studie, nl. die eiesoortigheid, oftewel unieke karakter van die kerk se reg. Vanuit ʼn Gereformeerde perspektief blyk dit duidelik (in deel 1) dat kerk en reg wel bestaanbaar is en nie ʼn contradictio in terminis nie. Kerkreg kan as behorend tot reg in eie sin beskou word, aangesien die reg die gestalte van die genade is (teenoor die opvatting dat reg en genade mekaar uitsluit). Kerk en reg se saambestaan, is kwalifikasie vir die vraag na die unieke karakter van die kerkreg. In deel 2 is dit duidelik dat die kerkreg ʼn eiesoortige reg (ius sui generis) is, wat in en vir die kerk as eiesoortige gemeenskap beoefen word. Die argument voorts is dat die kerk, die objek van die reg is, en dat die eie karakter van die kerkreg blyk uit die geloofsgemeenskapwat die “maaksel van God” is, en haar laat regeer deur Christus‐ haar Heer en Koning. Hoofstuk 3 Die kerkorde (soos die Bybel en alle regstekste) is onderhewig aan hermeneutiese reëls, wanneer dit kom by die uitleg daarvan. Beide die teologiese en regshermeneutiek is nie geïsoleerde dissiplines nie, maar maak ʼn inherente deel uit van ʼn algemene hermeneutiek vir die geesteswetenskappe. Kerkregtelike tekste is dus onderhewig aan dieselfde hermeneutiese prosesse as ander regstekste. Die hermeneutiek van die kerkreg toon ʼn eie karakter vir sover dit rekenskap hou met die eie aard van die gemeenskap waarin dit funksioneer. Regstekste moet gelees word teen die agtergrond van die gemeenskap wat dit as sulks gesanksioneer het. Die kerk se reg verskil dus van die reg in ander gemeenskappe. Die eie aard van die Christelike gemeente hou dus formele konsekwensies in vir die hermeneutiek van die kerkreg. Verder veronderstel ʼn hermeneutiese lees en gebruik van die kerkorde verskeie hulpmiddelswat tot diens van die interpreteerder kan wees. Na aanleiding van die verskeie hermeneutiese metodes, blyk dit dat daar ʼn ingewikkelde samespel aanwesig is by die kerkreg‐ tussen die kerk, kerkordelike‐reël en die Skrif. Hoofstuk 4 Ten slotte word die hipotese van die studie beoordeel en bevestig, na aanleiding van die gevolgtrekkings wat gemaak is in die voorafgaande hoofstukke‐ elk met ʼn eie bepaalde tema, wat direk verband hou met die eind‐resulterende validasie van die tese.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18015
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