ON LEARNING TO SPEAK: A SOUTH AFRICAN REFORMED PERSPECTIVE ON DIALOGUE

Dirk J. Smit

Abstract


The paper makes a contribution to the official Roman Catholic-Reformed dialogue
between the Vatican and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. After several
years of reflection on the notion of “the kingdom of God” it became obvious to
participants in the dialogue that different views of authority and of dialogue itself
played a major role in the process. This paper was requested as an attempt to reflect
on some of these differences from a Reformed perspective and from a South African
experience. It therefore represents a case study of bilateral dialogue in which South
African Reformed Christians have been participating. A first introductory section
proves narrative background to the specific case study (par. 4-13). In four further
sections four major clusters of crucial ecumenical issues that came to the fore in the
dialogue are then discussed, namely questions concerning truth and community
(par. 14-27), questions concerning doctrine and ethics (par. 28-46), questions
concerning real reception (par. 47-56) and questions concerning speaking with
authority in the church (par. 57-70). A final section offers some concluding
reflections on the process of learning to speak when Reformed Christians and
churches are involved. These concluding remarks are intended to contribute to this
official bilateral dialogue.
Key

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/88-0-1004

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