Original Research

Kerkorde en ekumene. Die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in die jare 1962–2015

Piet J. Strauss
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 40, No 1 | a1951 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v40i1.1951 | © 2019 Piet J. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 November 2018 | Published: 23 July 2019

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Piet J. Strauss, Department of Historical and Structural Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Church order and ecumenism: The Dutch Reformed Church in 1962–2015. The church order accepted by the first General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), the church order or DRC-CO of 1962, showed a preference for ecumenism with reformed churches. However, the term ‘correspondence’ with which it described the closest possible ties with a reformed church, was not explicit in the details of these ties. When the DRC broke its ties with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands in 1976, the former could not explain in practical detail what had happened. The Netherlands church was the last church abroad with which the DRC had close ties. After this, the DRC were questioned more and more and became isolated from other churches outside South Africa because of, as it was called, its theological and moral support of apartheid. Changes within the DRC itself and in South Africa on apartheid in the years 1986–1994 also changed all this. The DRC was again accepted in church circles and became engaged in more ecumenical ties on a multi- as well as bilateral level than ever before.

Intradisciplinary/interdisciplinary implications: This article is of a church-political nature, which helps the church in formulating a church order. It combines church history with church polity and uses it for an ecumenical purpose. Ecumenics concentrates on the relations between churches as a theological discipline. The history of the ecumenics of the Dutch Reformed Church, however, is also connected to its history as a church in the history of South Africa as a country.


Keywords

ecumenical ties; church order; ecumenism aims; relations between churches; Dutch Reformed Church; Reformed Churches in the Netherlands; new spirit/drive; agreement on confessions; main lines of church government

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