GOD IN STRYD TEEN APARTHEID: `N TEOLOGIESE GESPREK MET ALBERT NOLAN OOR SY "GOD IN SOUTH AFRICA"

Willem Nicol

Abstract


God in the struggle against apartheid: a theological discussion with Albert Nolan on his God in South Africa.

As far as political strategy is concerned, the writer finds himself not far from Nolan: he also wants to support the freedom struggle along the lines of the Freedom Charter. But the writer is deeply critical of Nolan’s theology.

 Nolan is convinced that it is actually God who is waging the struggle against the oppressive system in South Africa, which is therefore seen as demonic.

 The writer criticizes him on three levels:

1. The epistemological route. Nolan’s experience of the struggle and choice of liberation strategy plays the primary role in determining his view of what God is doing. The presuppositions underlying this experience and choice are reasoned out.

 2. Salvation in the sense of the work of Christ received by faith is absorbed into providence in the sense of God’s wider work in the world. It is argued that this is unacceptable, in God’s providential action, while in fact salvation is a free gift proceeding and necessary leading to good works.

 3. The political result of this kind of theology is the tendency towards a messianic, holy war- attitude towards social conflict, while the writer would prefer a more practical, adaptable approach.


Keywords


God in South Africa; Albert Nolan; Freedom struggle; Freedom Charter; Salvation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/33-0-1881

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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