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On violence, the Belhar Confession and human dignity – N Koopman

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NGTT Deel 49 Nommers 3 & 4 SEPTEMBER en DESEMBER 2008

In the quest for the restoration of human dignity, i.e. in the quest to build an ethos of social solidarity and social cohesion, embrace and participation, compassion and justice we drink from the wells of the Christian tradition. So close to the celebrations of the birth of John Calvin it might be appropriate to draw upon his notion of the threefold office of Christ to phrase this threefold quest for the restoration of human dignity in Christological perspective and thereby also to indicate the way along which this restoration might be operationalised. According to Calvin the royal office portrays Christ’s work as that of uniting the world with God, of making us one with God and each other. And in this union with God we enjoy all the blessings that He has in store for us. The priestly office tells about a Christ who sacrifices Himself for the sake of the world. In a world of various forms of brokenness and alienation He is the healer and the reconciler. The prophetic office tells about a Christ who proclaims God’s will for the world. In a world with a lot of knowledge (scientia), but a lack of wisdom (sapientia), Christ as prophet brings true knowledge, meaning and wisdom. The prophet proclaims the vision of a society of justice.10 The threefold office of Christ might enrich our theological contents of the
three discourses on human dignity proposed in this essay.

Met dank aan NGTT vir die verlof om die artikel te plaas.

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