Original Research

Pillars of our Faith

Erna Oliver
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2532 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2532 | © 2022 Erna Oliver | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 March 2022 | Published: 30 September 2022

About the author(s)

Erna Oliver, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


The fourth revolution world turned our comfortable lives into a rollercoaster ride of challenges, changes and choices. Apart from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Fourth Communication Revolution and the Fourth Self-awareness Revolution brought major disruptions to our world to which we were just coming to terms with when coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) struck and brought a firm halt to almost everything, including the way we were used to practice our faith. This confluence of circumstances has provided Christians in South Africa with an opportunity to do introspection and carve a new way forward for being followers of Christ and doing what their faith requires from them to be true to their religion and regain credibility in a time when the institutionalised churches are struggling to survive. The need to redefine what it means to be church, and the role Christians should play in society are on the table since the last decade of the previous century. This article identified four basics and, to a great extent, neglected pillars – two from the New Testament Scriptures and two from the Reformation movements – that could form the foundation for a transformed and alternative way of being ecclesia in the current fast-paced, demanding world. This article serves as an introduction and broad overview to stimulate debate and further development of the ideas presented to contribute towards positive reformation and transformation of South African Christianity. The study was conducted through historical research and document analysis.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: A call to discuss the pillars of faith that could assist the traditional or mainstream institutional churches to do introspection at the current crossroads. Four pillars of faith are identified to assist in carving a new path forward for South African Christianity, drawing from the disciplines of Church History, Practical Theology and Missiology.


pillars of faith; church; reformation; great commandment; great commission; semper reformanda; priesthood of all believers.


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