THE RELEVANCE OF UNITY TO THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH IN SOUTH AFRICA

Nico J. Smith

Abstract


Outsiders to South Africa and the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), when reading the
title of this article, may rightly ask: “But what are the reasons for the necessity of
the Dutch Reformed family of churches in South Africa (DRC-family) to become one
church? Why can’t they exist separately as so many other churches exist separately
in South Africa? Is there any necessity why this family of churches should become
one church?” In this article I therefore intend to give some of the reasons for this
necessity and will elaborate on the following two propositions that I consider as
basic to the unity of the DRC-family. Firstly, the unity of the DRC-family can only
be brought about by a restoration of the original unity of the DRC in the Cape in the
19th century and not through a process of unification of the different churches that
were constituted by the DRC. Secondly, the relevancy of the DRC in the South
African society is totally dependent on the unity of the DRC-family. In conclusion I
will look at the developments (changes) in the DRC that will be needed in order to
accommodate the unity of the DRC-family.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/83-0-888

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

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