n In die Skriflig - The influence of Calvin's theology on the Conventus of Reformational Churches in Southern Africa

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-6441
  • E-ISSN: 2305-0853


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 ecumenism 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.

Die behoefte vir 'n ekumeniese liggaam vir reformatoriese kerke in Suider-Afrika het vroeg in die negentigerjare ontstaan. Die kernvraag wat hier nagegaan word, is of die samestelling en die werkswyse van die Konvent 'n ontwikkeling in die ekumeniese beweging is waarin Calvyn se teologiese benadering tot ekumenisiteit 'n beduidende neerslag toon. Om die vraag te beantwoord, word eerstens oorsigtelik ingegaan op Calvyn se beskouing van kerkeenheid en ekumenisiteit. Tweedens word die "Calvinistiese" wyse van die samestelling en die funksionering van die Konvent nagegaan en geboekstaaf, ter wille van die aard van hierdie publikasie wat deur die Konvent geïnisieer is.
Calvyn het hom voluit vir kerkeenheid beywer. Ekumenisiteit was vir hom 'n noodwendigheid. Hy was selfs bereid om ernstige verskilpunte buite diskussie te laat ter wille van eenheid in die geloofsgemeenskap. Uit die samestelling, doelstellings en funksionering van die Konvent blyk dat Calvyn se benadering tot ekumenisiteit daarin 'n neerslag vind.

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