Conflicting models for mission and reconciliation: Future perspectives

P Verster


The debate between proponents of the ecumenical movement on the one hand and the evangelical movements on the other, often led to different models of reconciliation. On the one hand, social upliftment was regarded as essential in any view on reconciliation. Without a deeply entrenched “social gospel” no reconciliation was deemed possible. Evangelicals, on the other hand, were of the opinion that no reconciliation is possible without conversion and acceptance of the atonement in Christ. This debate has since waned, because both groups have in some instances accepted views from the other side, as stated by David Bosch. However, differences remain in the models for reconciliation, even in the South African church communities. Emphases on social justice and restitution viewed from a specific theological point are often contrary to the view that true reconciliation is only possible if the church proclaims conversion to God and the acceptance of the atonement in Jesus, who is the only Saviour. Evaluating the essence of reconciliation, as put forward by Paul in the Letter to the Romans, might give an acceptable view for future reconciliation.


Evangelicals; ecumenicals; conversion; social justice; atonement in Romans

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ISSN 2413-9467 (online); ISSN 2413-9459 (print)

© 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

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