Original Research

The influence of Calvin’s theology on the Conventus of Reformational Churches in Southern Africa

C.J. Smit
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 44 | a194 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v44i0.194 | © 2010 C.J. Smit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2010 | Published: 26 July 2010

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C.J. Smit, School of Ecclesiastical Studies, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

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Abstract

The need for an ecumenical body for reformational churches in Southern Africa has been felt since the early 1990s. The key matter explored in this article is the question whether the composition and modus operandi of the Conventus reflect a trend in the ecumenical movement in which Calvin’s theological approach to ecumenism is clearly discernible. To answer the question, Calvin’s view of church unity and ecumenism is briefly outlined. Secondly, the “Calvinist” way of composition and functioning of the Conventus, because of the nature of this publication which is initiated by the Conventus, are traced and placed on record.

 

Calvin was a fervent champion of church unity. To him ecume- nism was a “sine qua non”. He was even prepared to overlook serious disagreements in the debate for the sake of unity in the reformational community. Scrutiny of the composition, goals and functioning of the Conventus clearly reveals the impact of Calvinist approach to ecumenism.

Keywords

Church; Church Communities; Church Unity; Ecumenism

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