‘Christ, the Head of the Church?’ : authority, leadership and organisational structure within the Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian
Zeze, Willie Samuel Dalitso
MetadataShow full item record
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation has as its title: ‘Christ, the Head of the Church’: Authority, Leadership and Organisational Structure within the Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian. This study affirms the statement that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, noting that this statement of faith entails various assumptions: First, the church has only one Head, that is, Jesus Christ. Secondly, only Jesus Christ must be exalted and have the pre-eminence in the church. Thirdly, this prohibits anyone or any governing assembly to lord it over another one or exercise authority other than the authority from Jesus Christ. Fourthly, Christ is more than the head of the department or the head of any organization in whose absence the church would still be able to function. In line with these points, in this study the thought of Christ being the Head of the church or the confession of the headship of Christ over the church refers to His leadership, highest authority, and position of superiority and sovereignty. There are many references to the concept of the Headship of Christ in the Bible, confessions of faith, catechisms, and church orders. In light hereof, the question is asked whether the affirmation of the Headship of Christ has found sufficient form in the church polity discourse and practice of the CCAP - Nkhoma Synod. The answer to this question requires an ecclesiological study including the critical examination and evaluation of the Church’s Confessions, Catechism, Church Order, Constitution, Newsletter, and Minutes of its official meetings. Given this, the dissertation is structured as follows: Chapter 1: The topic and title are introduced, then the research questions and hypothesis. At the heart of this chapter is the question of the understanding of the Nkhoma Synod of Christ’s rule through office-bearers, whereas it omits in its Church Order that Christ exercises his reign and dominion through his Word and Spirit. In the discourse on the Church’s polity this discrepancy has resulted in a tendency of identifying the power and authority of office-bearers with that of Christ. Consequently, the office-bearers can easily claim to have unchallengeable possession of Christ’s power and authority. As a result the authority of Christ’s direct rule through His Word and Spirit is excluded and transferred to the office-bearers who constitute or represent the highest ecclesiastical authority. Chapter 2: The social-political, economical, religious, and ecclesiastical contexts are described, in which the Nkhoma Synod has found itself. Although church polity and church government are subject to what God has revealed in his Word, which is systematically summarized in the confessions, we conclude that in the Nkhoma Synod church polity and church government are sometimes dictated by the existing social-political, economic, religious, and ecclesiastical milieus. Chapter 3: Definitions of ‘Reformed church polity’ and ‘church government,’ are offered and then the distinctiveness of Reformed church government is described together with some suggestions for present-day Reformed church polity. Chapter 4: This chapter studies the Church policy sources of the Nkhoma Synod, i.e. the Belgic Confessions of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dordt. The question is asked whether the Nkhoma Synod used these documents as sources from which it developed its church polity. Chapter 5: This chapter focuses on the sources for the practice of Church government in the Nkhoma Synod. Special attention will be given to the concept of the headship of Christ and how the Church’s understanding of this notion impacted on its church polity discourse. Chapter 6: Some important church-political developments within the Nkhoma Synod from 1889 to 2007 are discussed, focusing on issues of authority, leadership, and organizational structure. The question is discussed whether and how the concept of the headship of Christ described in the Zolamulira negatively influenced the Church’s practice of church government. Chapter 7 draws conclusions from the rest of the chapters. A call is made for a critical-theological examination and evaluation of the church polity discourse and practice of the Nkhoma Synod in the light of remarks made on the preamble of the Zolamulira, as well as in the light of the ideas of John Calvin, the Reformed Symbols of Unity, and other important sources from the Reformed tradition.AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen opsomming
Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20339
This item appears in the following collection/s
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Roots that refresh : historical-theological engagement with Jewish meal traditions and the celebration of the Eucharist in the Anglican Church Houston, Peter, C. (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2007-12)Different theologies have sprung up around the celebration of the Eucharist. Consequently at the very point where Christians should be most united there is often controversy, bitterness and division. This is true of the ...
The relationship between church history and mission history, with special reference to Presbyterianism in Korea Kim, Hyeo See (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1997)
Die ontwikkeling van die sinode en sinodale dienswerk van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Suid-Afrika gedurende die 19de eeu : 'n ekklesiologiese studie Kuyler, Dawid Admill,1958- (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1998)
Hendriks, H. Jurgens (AOSIS OpenJournals, 2012-10)The article addressed the plight of small rural congregations by relating the results of three visits to ten congregations in the Western Cape and Karoo region of South Africa. The research goal was to help these congregations ...
Spies, Johannes Hendrik (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1996)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Questions and problems concerning church membership are plenty and surface regularly in church . meetings. The way in which the church operates reflects a particular concept of the church. The· ideal ...
n Kritiese vergelyking tussen die kerkbegrip by die Wereldraad van Kerke en die Ned Geref Kerk, soos verwoord in twee publikasies wat in 1990 verskyn het, Church and world en Kerk en samelewing Nothnagel, Gert Johan Hendrik (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1994)
Gwak, Changdae (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1996)
Die invloed van die Skotse predikante op die kerkregering van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk soos dit na vore kom in die reglement van 1824 Roux, Jacobe M (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1997)
Die bediening van die kerk aan die jeugdige arbeider in die nywerheid met spesiale verwysing na die Ned. Geref. gemeente, De Bloem Robb, Jacobus Petrus,1953- (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1981)
Recovering the Calvin of "Two Kingdoms"? : a historical-theological inquiry in the light of church-state discourse in South Africa Jooste, Simon Nicholas (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-03)ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is a historical-theological inquiry into the social thought of John Calvin through the lens of the “Calvin” of the church struggle with the purpose of recovering his doctrines of two kingdoms ...