This dissertation presents a contribution to measure the church order and ecclesiastical law in the Nederduitsch Hervormde Church of Africa against the Presbyterial-synodal understanding of church government. The latter forms the canonical outline of Biblical Reformative Theology as an indication of the theology currently practiced in the Nederduitsch Hervormde Church of Africa. At the outset a historical overview is given on the origin and development of the Presbyterial-synodal church government that was mainly shaped by Calvin in Geneva and later elaborated upon in Paris, and then further developed in the Netherlands. Reference is also made to the Algemeen Reglement of 1816, the 1951 church order of the Nederlandse Hervormde Church, as well as the 1951 church order of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Church of Africa. A description is given of what is understood by Biblical Reformative Theology as a revelation theology, which objectively assesses man as a sinner redeemed by grace through Jesus Christ. In this regard the church is willed by God and exists in eschatological expectation when Jesus will be everything in everyone. An exposition of Presbyterial-synodal church government calls attention to the church's existence from the beginning of time, founded by God, and it is therefore of a covenantal nature. Offices are seen as gifts from God to mankind to bring those who had been saved by Jesus Christ to faith in Him. Office bearers gather together in an assembly of offices to govern the church according to the Word of God. The church is a confessing church who confesses its faith with the church of all ages, as summarized in the ecumenical creeds and the three formularies of unity. Reference is also made here to the sacraments, ceremonies, church festivals and days of remembrance. The chapter concludes with a reference to church discipline as well as the relationship between church and state. Finally the church order and ecclesiastical law in the Nederduitsch Hervormde Church of Africa is measured against the previous definition of the Presbyterial-synodal understanding of church government.
Thesis (PhD (Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.