HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
BUITENDAG, Johan. Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda: die ongemaklike eis. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2008, vol.64, n.1, pp.123-138. ISSN 2072-8050.
Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda - a hard to do command This article is a reworked version of the Moderator's opening address at the 68th General Assembly of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa in October 2007. Against the fourth-century background of Emperor Constantine's "church politics", the paper reflects on the first-century rhetoric of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:3ff and 17ff about non-worldly, divine weapons of warfare, and about boasting and self-commendation. It shows how Paul understood oral rhetorical words as theatrically performed by employing the genre of the so-called "Fool's speech" by means of which Paul argues that masks disguise the authentic identity of Christ-followers. Paul's rhetoric is applied in the article as an appeal to the modern-day church to be ecumenically open and anthropologically inclusive. The article demonstrates the uneasiness of some members in the institutional church to proceed along a path of ongoing reformation (ecclesia reformata semper reformanda).