Original Research

Die belydenis van Belhar in dogma-historiese perspektief

J. M. Vorster
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 32, No 4 | a1658 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v32i4.1658 | © 1998 J. M. Vorster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 1998 | Published: 13 June 1998

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J. M. Vorster,, South Africa

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Abstract

The discussions about the unity of the Church within the churches in the Reformed tradition in South Africa are presently highly influenced by the Belhar Confession. Should the acceptance of this Confession be seen as a prerequisite for the eventual unification of these churches? This article deals with this question against the background of the guidelines given by the formation of confessions in the disciplines of Church History and especially in History of Dogma. The central theoretical argument of this article is that history reveals a certain pattern which can be applied in the evaluation of confessions in general and thus today also of the Belhar Confession. First of all, a confession must deal with a problem concerning churches worldwide; secondly a confession in the Reformed tradition should be based on Scripture; and thirdly, a confession should be accepted after it has been preceded by an ecumenical debate about the necessity, contents and formulation of the particular confession. The Belhar Confession is eventually evaluated on the basis of these premises.

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