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Essay on the Lord’s Prayer

Abstract: Our whole life is a prayer which consists of a praise to God, a hallelujah, an amen, an echo on the Lord’s Prayer. It embodies the kingdom of God advancing forcefully and us vigorously laying hold of God’s kingdom. It represents our calling. Paul’s statement on the ministry of the Spirit was spot on: But thanks to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” (2 Cor 2:14).  We should never settle for less, for Jesus’ death was too costly.

1. Introduction

The Gospels convey a lot of information about Jesus’ prayer life.  He prayed through the night, rose up early in the morning to pray, went alone to the mountain side to pray and went to lonely spots to pray.  The writer of Hebrews commented on Jesus’ prayer life as follows: “He offered prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, …”. (Heb 5:7).   He talked to his Father in the dark moments of his life on earth and made great decisions after long periods of prayer. 

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What if we could eradicate poverty?

The historian Prof. Hermann Giliomee said there are times when you cannot merely assume that we will always have the poor with us, but that you need to stop and observe what poverty looks like. He believes that at times people might be so caught up in poverty that they simply cannot get out of it. This was his remark regarding the great poverty of the Afrikaner and the accompanying Economic Conference of 1939.

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Auckland Park Theological Seminary NPC is registered as a private higher education institution

Yes, ATS is open for registration

Auckland Park Theological Seminary NPC is registered as a private higher education institution in terms of section 54(3) of the Act and Regulation 14(4)(b) of the Regulations for the Registration of Private Higher Education Institutions, 2016 (the Regulations) to offer the following approved higher education programmes in accordance with the criteria of providing higher education outlined in section 1 of the Act at the site of delivery:

  1. Bachelor of Theology (HEQSF Aligned, NQF Level 7, 360-Credits: Distance Mode)
  2. Diploma in Theology (HEQSF Aligned, NQF Level 6, 360-Credits: Distance Mode)
  3. Higher Certificate in Pastoral Counselling (HEQSF Aligned, NQF Level 5, 120-Credits: Distance Mode)
  4. Higher Certificate in Youth Work (HEQSF Aligned, NQF Level 5, 120-Credits: Distance Mode)

Stryd en lyding in ‘n gelowige se lewe

Esegiël hoofstuk 18 is ’n baie besondere hoofstuk in verband met stryd en lyding in ’n gelowige se lewe.  Maar let veral op die volgende verse:

Verse 1-3; 20; 31-32:

Verder het die woord van die Here tot my gekom en gesê:

Wat is dit met julle dat julle hierdie spreekwoord gebruik aangaande die land van Israel, naamlik:  Die Vaders het groen druiwe geëet, en die tande van die kinders het stomp geword?

So waar as Ek leef, spreek die Here my God, dit sal julle nie meer in die gedagte kom om dié spreekwoord in Israel te gebruik nie.

Die siel wat sondig, dié moet sterwe, die seun sal nie die ongeregtigheid van die vader help dra nie, en die vader sal nie die ongeregtigheid van die seun help dra nie, die geregtigheid van die regvredige sal op hom wees, en die goddeloosheid van die goddelose sal op hom wees.

Werp julle oortredinge waardeur julle oortree het, van julle weg en maak vir julle ’n nuwe hart en ’n nuwe gees, want waarom wil julle sterwe, o huis van Israel?

Want Ek het geen behae in die dood van hom wat sterwe nie, spreek die Here my God: Bekeer julle dan en lewe.

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The meaning of the Sabbath of God


In Christian tradition, and especially that of the Western church, the creation event is generally presented as only a six days’ work, while the completion of creation on the seventh day is much neglected, or even overlooked altogether. Therefore it is necessary to present a more complete perspective on the Sabbath as presented in the Biblical creation narrative, the history of Israel in the Old Testament, and that of the church in the New Testament.   This perspective is in correlation with the progressive revelation of God as seen from Creation, the Fall, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Return of Christ, up to the eternal heavenly rest of God (Sabbath).

In order to deal with this threefold view, the Sabbath is divided into three categories:   

  • The Creation Sabbath (Creator – Creation narrative).
  • The Covenant Sabbath (Israel – Old Testament).
  • The Atonement Sabbath (Church – New Testament).

The intention is not to differentiate between three different and autonomous Sabbaths, but to appreciate the one Sabbath of God from these three phases or accentuations in the progressive revelation of God:

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Supreme court of appeal of South Africa – Judgment 25 March 2020

One day before South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown commenced, Auckland Park Theological Seminary (ATS) was informed that we had won our appeal case against the University of Johannesburg, in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The previous judgment by the Gauteng Division of the High Court was therefor set aside.

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Says who?

(Cristina Gottardi/unsplash)

We are bombarded daily with absolute generalisations such as:

“It is very clear to me (and I am sure to the vast majority of people in this country) that we need Ramaphosa to lead South Africa for the foreseeable future. He is BY FAR (sic) the best we have in terms of leadership. “

“South Africa’s democracy depends on the DA succeeding…”

“Most problems South Africa face today are of such magnitude that – even if we had successive miracle worker governments from today onward – these problems will most likely still be with us in 20 years’ time.”

Reading these statements, I want to cry out in frustration and desperation: “says who?!”

“Says who?” – is a phrase I have often heard when I was young and so unintentionally inherited it from my grandmother. She would utter this phrase with resolute usually preceded by a disapproving tut-tut, to my great embarrassment.  She could say this about something the pastor said, or something the doctor claimed, or even about what the bank manager said when my grandfather went to ask for a loan in order to survive the drought.

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(unsplash/Luca Micheli)

2 Korintiërs 8:1-5

Broers, ons wil hê julle moet weet van die genade wat die gemeentes in Masedonië van God ontvang het.

Al was hulle swaar beproef deur verdrukking, hulle blydskap was oorvloedig;  en al was hulle baie arm [die woord wat Paulus gebruik, is “diep arm”], was hulle ryk in hulle oorvloedige vrygewigheid.

Ek verseker julle hulle het na vermoë, ja, bo vermoë, bygedra.

Uit eie beweging het hulle by ons daarop aangedring om te mag deel in die liefdeswerk van hulpverlening aan die gelowiges in Judea.

Dit was meer as wat ons verwag het, want eers het hulle hulleself aan die Here gegee en toe aan ons.  Dit is soos God dit wil.

The raw entrepreneur

In July 2011 ATS conducted a qualitative research study in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape. The aim of this study was to understand the economical activities and context of people who are not employed within the formal employment sector.

One lady acted as an interpreter for us. We did not give any training, advice or input. Our only aim was to discover what was going on at grassroots level.

Yet, when we later went back to report our findings to the community, to our surprise we found that our interpreter, who had helped us the previous time, was there to meet us with the exiting news that she had started her own business.

We did not expect this and when we asked how this had happened she remarked that during our interviews with the community she felt challenged to find a way to secure an income for her and her child.

Here is her story. She had a tremendous feeling of pride in what she had managed to achieve and explicitly explained the role of the Holy Spirit in her new venture.

Herlewing onder kinders in die vroeë dae van Pinkster in Suid-Afrika

Hier is vir u ‘n beskrywing van die herlewing wat onder kinders in die vroeë dae van Pinkster in Suid Afrika plaasgevind het (Al bruis die Jordaan, 1969. J.C. de Ferrieres – Tant Sannie). (You can also read this essay in English.)

Sonskynhoekie diens

“In 1940 het die Uitvoerende Raad van my kerk die eerste nasionale Paaskonferensie op ‘n plaas in Emmarentia (nou ‘n voorstad van Johannesburg) gehou.  Ek is gevra om verantwoordelikheid te neem vir die dienste wat twee keer per dag vir die kinders gehou sou word. Hierdie dienste is gehou terwyl die ouers die konferensie dienste in ‘n aparte tent wat sitplek vir 4,000 volwassenes gebied het, bygewoon het.

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