Original Research - Special Collection: Heidelberg Catechism

Geloof en kennis in die Heidelbergse Kategismus

Sarel P. van der Walt
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 2 | a702 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i2.702 | © 2013 Sarel P. van der Walt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 February 2013 | Published: 13 September 2013

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Sarel P. van der Walt, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, South Africa


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Abstract

Die wyse waarop die noue band tussen geloof en kennis verstaan moet word, figureer huidig steeds in teologiese debatte. In hierdie artikel word die verband wat deur vraag en antwoord 21 van die Heidelbergse Kategismus tussen geloof en kennis getrek word, bestudeer. In reaksie op die skolastiek van die laat-Middeleeue toe verintellektualisering van geloof besonder beklemtoon is, het die Reformasie ’n klaarblyklike gebalanseerde nuansering van die verband tussen geloof en kennis tot gevolg gehad. Veral Calvyn het ’n besondere bydrae hiertoe gelewer en het ’n bepaalde invloed gehad op die formulering van geloof se kenniselement. Dit het ruimte gebied waarbinne Ursinus en die res van die betrokke kommissie hierdie unieke verband kon vasvang in die Kategismus as konfessie. Die Skrifgronde hiervoor is Hebreërs 11:1, 3 sowel as Jakobus 2:19. Albei hierdie Skrifdele dien as bewysgronde om die kennisaspek van geloof te begrond. Hierdie artikel dui aan hoe die Kategismus bogenoemde Skrifgronde verreken om geloof as voorwetenskaplike kennis te beskryf. Die kenniselement van geloof is die voorveronderstelling wat die eksegeet by die aanvang van sy wetenskaplike aktiwiteit op die tafel wil plaas. Hierdie voorwetenskaplike kennis dien ter ondersteuning van wetenskaplike teorievorming.

The way in which the close relation between faith and knowledge should be understood, is still very prominent in current theological debates. This article studies the connection that is being described between faith and knowledge by question and answer 21 of the Heidelberg Catechism. In response to the scholasticism of the late Middle Ages with its particular emphasis on the knowledge element of faith, the time of the Reformation apparently brought a more balanced view on the relationship between faith and knowledge thanks to specifically Calvin who had a certain influence on the formulation of faith’s knowledge component. This gave to Ursinus and the rest of the commission responsible the breeding ground to capture this unique relationship into the Catechism as confession. Scriptural grounds for this relationship are found in Hebrews 11:1, 3 and James 2:19. Both these passages serve as basis for the knowledge aspect of faith. This article shows how the Catechism discounts these Scriptural passages to describe faith as a pre-scientific element in the scientific process. The knowledge-element of faith is the presupposition which the exegete wants to place on the table. This pre-scientific knowledge serves as support for the formulation of scientific theories.


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