In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 1018-6441
VAN HELDEN, Sophia. Institutionalism - alive and well in the declining Afrikaans reformed church practice. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.1, pp. 89-101. ISSN 1018-6441.
This article discusses institutionalism as the dominant paradigm (I-paradigm) among the declining traditional Afrikaans speaking Reformed churches in South Africa. The I-paradigm portrays imbalanced thinking prevailing in the current unhealthy church practice. The improbability of natural growth within the recent ecclesiastic imbalance, is highlighted by focusing on a study within the church practice of the Reformed Curch of South Africa (RCSA) - one of the three reformed sister churches. Conclusions drawn from the study emphasise the serious conditions of this traditional ecclesiology. The Christ centered paradigm, as balanced corrective, is discussed in line with the great commission (disciple the nations) as key to creating healthy circumstances in order to realise church growth in the long run. Thinking, as the most important ecclesiological factor causing church decline, can be changed, thus preventing further decline of the sister churches.