Original Research

Coming in from outside: A crucial event in the history of ecumenism of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Church

Johan Buitendag
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 62, No 3 | a387 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v62i3.387 | © 2006 Johan Buitendag | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2006 | Published: 28 September 2006

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Johan Buitendag, Unversity of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The article argues from a “Barthian” perspective of “Revelation Theology” versus “Natural Theology”, that the current leadership of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Church (NHKA) and the majority of its members consider the notion "church" primarily as a community of believers which is brought to completion by the Spirit of God and which therefore transcends all anthropological barriers such as race. In light of Karl Barth’s concept of Natural Theology, “racism as religion” is confessed to be idolatry and Apartheid a sin. Any attempt to justify racism theologically amounts to heresy. The article is a reworked version of the opening address by the Moderator of the NHKA at a meeting with an official delegation of the World Alliance of Churches (WARC) held in Pretoria from 5-8 June 2006. The article makes an appeal for the ecumenical re-admittance of the NHKA by WARC. It includes documentation from the NHKA’s National Colloquium and the responses to the NHKA’ re-application for WARC membership by WARC officers and the NHKA leadership.
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