Original Research

Evangelicalism’s identity crisis: The meaning and application of qōdhesh and hágios for Christian holiness and distinctiveness in a post-Christian South Africa

Antonio Christian, Alexander D. Soal
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2491 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2491 | © 2022 Antonio Christian, Alexander D. Soal | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 February 2022 | Published: 22 June 2022

About the author(s)

Antonio Christian, Department of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, Baptist Theological College of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
Alexander D. Soal, Department of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, Baptist Theological College of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa; The Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

South African evangelicalism finds itself in the midst of an identity crisis. In many sections of evangelicalism, there seems to be a pervasive worldliness which has resulted in a lack of holiness and distinctiveness amongst many professing Christians. In short, the line between holiness and worldliness has been blurred, compelling evangelicals to recapture the doctrine and praxis of personal holiness. To address the problem of the lack of holiness and distinctiveness amongst evangelicals, this article employed qualitative research in the form of a literature review. It explored the meanings of qōdhesh and hágios and applied them to Leviticus 11:1–47 and 1 John 2:15–17, respectively. Furthermore, these two passages were applied to the contemporary context to see how holiness and distinctiveness may be expressed by evangelicals in the 21st century. The article suggests that holiness and distinctiveness is the proper response to God’s holiness and God’s graciousness. It also suggests that holiness and distinctiveness demand radical obedience to God’s Word, resulting in a radical separation from all forms of worldliness, including desires, attitudes and behaviours.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article explores the meanings of qōdhesh and hágios and their implications for personal ethics. It shows the intradisciplinary relationship between biblical hermeneutics and practical theology and implies an interdisciplinary relationship between philosophy, sociology, anthropology and theology.


Keywords

qōdhesh; hágios; holiness; distinctiveness; sanctification; evangelicalism; radical obedience

Metrics

Total abstract views: 145
Total article views: 39


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.