Original Research

‘Connected or committed critic?’ Teologies nagedink oor die vraagstuk van ‘Binnestander’- of ‘Buitestander’-kritikus in Suid-Afrika

Jan H. van Wyk
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 58, No 1 | a3035 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v58i1.3035 | © 2024 Jan H. van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2023 | Published: 24 April 2024

About the author(s)

Jan H. van Wyk, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


‘Connected or committed critic?’ Theologically pondered on the issue of ‘Insider’- or ‘Outsider’ critic in South Africa: During the beginning of 2023, a conference was organised by a study group to be held in Stellenbosch later that year with the focus on the ideology of apartheid in South Africa, with special reference to prof. B.B. Keet, one of the first theologians to oppose this ideology. The author of this article was invited to attend the conference and present a paper. Unfortunately the conference did not take place, for various reasons, and subsequently the author decided to finalise his paper and present it as an article for publication. The author decided to look into the matter from two opposing views which were called ‘connected critic’ (criticism of the insider) on the one hand, and ‘committed critic’ (criticism of the outsider) on the other hand. Which road should be followed by prophetic theologians in their church, when they become convinced that their church is contradicting the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ? Should they stay inside the church (connected critic) and contribute their criticism from there, or should they leave the church while raising their voice from outside the church (committed critic)?

Contribution: The article starts with an introduction that investigates the views of Keet. Then three other voices are analysed, namely those of prof. W.D. Jonker of Stellenbosch (connected critic), Beyers Naudé of Johannesburg (committed critic) and at last the voice of the author himself (connected critic). In the end, the author explains why he had chosen for the option to be a connected critic. In a final conclusion, a few remarks are made as far as the future of South Africa is concerned.


apartheid; connected critic; committed critic; B.B. Keet; W.D. Jonker; Beyers Naudé; J.H. van Wyk; question mark.

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