HTS Theological Studies
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
DU TOIT, Andrie B.. Sensitivity towards the reaction of outsiders as ethical motivation in early Christian paraenesis. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2012, vol.68, n.1, pp. 184-191. ISSN 0259-9422.
Early Christian documents contain many indications of a sensitivity towards the presence of non-Christians in their environment, a sensitivity which increased as the expectation of an imminent end receded. This study concentrated on those paraenetic texts which maintain that Christians, in the shaping of their lifestyle, should reckon with the reaction of outsiders. Two trajectories, a negative as well as a positive one, were identified. Subsequently the double perlocutionary aim of these 'outsider sayings' was scrutinised. A final word summarised the hermeneutic implications of these sayings for today. Since in many societies the credibility of the gospel message is under pressure, exemplary living is a sine qua non.