"The message to the people of South Africa" in contemporary context
Stellenbosch theological journal
In September 2018 John de Gruchy presented a paper at the Volmoed Colloquium entitled "Revisiting the Message to the people of South Africa," in which he asks, "what is the significance of the document for our time?" In this expanded version of the author's response to de Gruchy, two further questions are pursued: First: how can the churches today meet the challenge of today's global system of economically and politically-driven inequality driven by a constellation of individuals, corporations,
... uals, corporations, and governments? Second: in his review of church history, de Gruchy focused on the issue of church theology described in the 1985 Kairos South Africa document, in which churches use words that purport to support justice but actually serve to shore up the status quo of discrimination, inequality and racism. How does church theology manifest in the contemporary global context, and what is the remedy? The author proposes that ecumenism can serve as a mobilizing and organizing model for church action, and that active engagement in the issue of Palestine is an entry point for church renewal and for a necessary and fruitful exploration of critical issues in theology and ecclesiology.