In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441
HOFMEYR, Johannes W.. The reception of the Heidelberg Catechism (Sunday 17 and 22) with regard to the resurrection within the Dutch Reformed Church since 2000 (Part 2). In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.2, pp.28-36. ISSN 2305-0853.
With the 450th celebrations of the origin of the Heidelberg Catechism (HC) in mind, the main aim of this and the previous article is to focus on the place, role and interpretation of the doctrine of the resurrection in HC (Sunday 17 and 22), within two very specific and critical eras in the history of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in South Africa. The first article focused on the reception of the HC in the time of Andrew Murray during the nineteenth century, and specifically against the background of the then liberal theology in both the Netherlands and South Africa. In this current article I look at the reception of the same HC articles (Sunday 17 and 22) in the DRC after 2000, against the background of the reappearance of the nineteenth century liberal theology in the Netherlands, and specifically with reference to the Jesus Seminar, the New Reformation and those sympathetic to the latter in the DRC. Both these nineteenth- and twenty-first-century developments had their own unique contexts but what they had in common were a specific theological liberal mindset. In view of this discussion it is concluded that the DRC as a reformed church is not only caught up in an identity crisis, but even in a survival crisis of no small proportions. This also has serious implications for its use of Scripture and its confessional character. Only strong vision, able leadership and a rediscovery of the redeeming power of the cross and resurrection of Christ will be able to provide a remedial, positive, and dynamic solution, saving the DRC from an ever downward spiral.