Focus Review

Stol ons 'kerklike' godsdiensbeoefening in die historiese Jesus?

B. Spoelstra
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 36, No 3 | a520 | DOI: | © 1970 B. Spoelstra | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 August 2002 | Published:

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B. Spoelstra, Pretoria, South Africa

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Does ecclesiastical religion fixate on the historical Jesus?

In this article the question is posed whether the kingship of Jesus within modern Reformed ecclesiastical religious practice, and especially within the GKSA, is adequately recognized. It is argued that since Karl Barth, the practice of religion in Reformed churches has in essence focused mainly on the aspect of justification brought about by faith in the atonement on the cross. Another aspect also stressed in Barths’ theology, and still prevalent today, is his rejection of God’s so-called general revelation in creation and history. Since Barth a biblicistic trend has developed in which the kingship of the risen and glorified Christ has been overwhelmingly neglected. The result is that Jesus is mainly commemorated for his atonement in history and is not experienced as the living and reigning Christ in the present. Present-day faith and worship thus relate directly to the history of Jesus on earth, leaving the impression that no revelation has occurred during the past 2000 years. History has become an embarrassment to present-day preachers. It is asserted that the influence of rationalism and humanism on Reformed worship may have caused a lack of appreciation for the aspect of communion with the glorified Christ. In the GKSA the Lord’s Supper is a central event in congregational worship. The Formulary presents the sacrament as a meal to commemorate the death of Christ and does not adequately testify to His kingship here and now. It is apparent that the GKSA inherited many of Zwingli’s ideas from the Reformed churches in the Netherlands and did not fully grasp Calvin’s emphasis on actual communion with the living and reigning Christ.


Religious Practice Within The GKSA; Kingship Of The Exalted Christ; Historical Jesus


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