Original Research - Special Collection: The Reformation - Transformation and Change Agency

‘By faith alone’ (undivided loyalty) in light of change agency theory: Jesus, Paul and the Jesus-group in Colossae

Andries G. van Aarde
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4355 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4355 | © 2017 Andries G. van Aarde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 October 2016 | Published: 26 April 2017

About the author(s)

Andries G. van Aarde, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


This article aims to apply the model of change agent to the interpretation of Colossians. Presuming a continuity between Jesus and Paul, the article introduces the concept of ‘by faith alone’ from the Pauline letters. By this expression is meant an undivided fidelity to an inclusive approach to understanding God’s work, with concrete historical roots in Jesus’ crossing of gender, ethnic and cultural boundaries. Living in this manner requires reformation, transformation and change. The study spells out in fuller detail what is understood ‘by faith alone’ by discussing the meaning of ‘faith’ within its semantic domain embedded in the codes of 1st-century Mediterranean culture. Living in faith is both a change of one’s inner convictions and about a life in faith.


Luther; Reformation; transformation; change agency; Jesus-Paul interrelationship; deutero-Pauline letters; Colossians


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