Adoption of a new confession is a rare event in the history of the
church. Neither Calendar nor Clock tells the story of the Belhar
Confession, adopted in draft form in 1982 by the colored Dutch
Reformed Mission Church in South Africa.
Piet J. Naud here examines how churches both inside and outside
South Africa reacted to this new confession. He further considers
the question of how an African confession speaks in the
twenty-first century by reinterpreting Belhar through its three
middle articles unity, reconciliation, and justice and relates it
to contemporary issues like gender rights, HIV/AIDS, and economic
To understand the no of the confession, Naud analyzes the
theological ideology against which Belhar witnessed. To give
insight into the yes of the confession, he draws out the link
between Belhar and the apostolic faith of the ancient Nicene creed.
In so doing, he reveals how this African confession is important
for the universal church today.
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