Original Research

A sixfold biblical approach to social transformation in the local community in terms of the ELIJAH model: A challenge for today’s church

Noel Woodbridge, Shaun Joynt
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 40, No 1 | a1988 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v40i1.1988 | © 2019 Noel Woodbridge, Shaun Joynt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 February 2019 | Published: 24 October 2019

About the author(s)

Noel Woodbridge, South African Theological Seminary, Bryanston, Sandton, South Africa
Shaun Joynt, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of Practical Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Since its inception, the Christian church has been involved in social transformation, especially when it has sided with the poor and the oppressed. Despite losing its focus from time to time, throughout church history, it has mostly managed to adhere to its missional responsibility. Given the increasing poverty, violence and injustices in today’s world, more than ever the Christian church is called upon to engage in and continue with its task of being an agent of social transformation. Its calling is to fulfil the biblical imperative to proclaim the kingdom of God and make disciples of all nations, which includes promoting social justice in the local community. The aim of this article is to ground and describe a sixfold biblical approach, which the Church can implement to promote social transformation in the local community in terms of the ELIJAH model, namely, the Equality Approach, the Legislative Approach, the Incarnation Approach, the Justice Approach, the Apportionment Approach and the Holistic Approach.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The research offers a biblical approach for consideration concerning social transformation and its implementation within the contemporary local congregation, namely, the ELIJAH model, resulting in a practical theological and sociological dialogue.


Keywords

social justice; social transformation; ELIJAH model; church; community; practical theology

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