John Scheepers

The evangelical church, as a whole, failed the test of apartheid. These failures to stand up against the injustices of the apartheid state were widely acknowledged by evangelicals during the TRC. What was most significant in its absence from these submissions before the TRC was any sustained reflection on the role in which evangelical theology might have played in their failure to engage prophetically with the apartheid regime. In this…
I confess that this current moment of racial awakening in white society and in "evangelical" churches has me deeply conflicted. I have never seen so many prominent white or multi-ethnic (with white leadership inevitably) "evangelical" churches addressing issues of race and injustice concurrently. Of course, we have traditionally had the bi-annual sermon or workshop on racism or caring for the poor but nothing like the sheer volume of sermons, panel…
Interpretation is, in the words of David Bosch, always a creative tension between text and context. There are no neutral or abstract interpretations of Scripture. How then do we read and interpret Scripture in the context of a county like South Africa, with such a rigidly racialised past and a vastly unequal economic and racial present? In this post we will explore the doctrine of Creation, grounding our theology in…
Racism has both an individual and a structural element and as such is intricately linked to systems of power and privilege. This talk probes us to examine the intricate link between power and prejudice within both society and the church. And then, building on the work and example of Christ in Philippians 2, invites us to consider what a biblical theology of power and privilege could look like as we…
For years the church has debated which is more important social justice or gospel proclamation. What if both are equally important? Join us for an introduction to a biblical understanding of justice and the mission of the church. In this talk John Scheepers will briefly trace the importance of justice throughout the biblical story and call us to rediscover a cross centred justice movement at the heart of the gospel.
Isiphambano exists because the fierce urgency of now is upon us. It is past time to stand up and declare that the gospel is a word which speaks to the injustice and the inequalities of our land in a way that no other system is able to nor wishes to. It is past time that we examine our addiction to power and privilege. It is past time that we begin…
There is a popular line of thought in some Christian circles that goes something like this: "We don't get involved in 'politics' or issues of racial controversy, we just teach the Bible". But is the idea of an a-contextual faith possible or even desirable? In this talk, given at TGIF, Cape Town, John Scheepers questions whether the concept of an a-contextual faith is itself even possible or more significantly desirable.…
The theology of Apartheid may have been perfected by the Dutch Reformed Church but it was born among the English-speaking evangelical missionaries who sought to promote the evangelization of the indigenous people whilst leaving white supremacy untouched. The resolution passed by the 1857 Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church, and proposed by evangelicals, agreed that whilst it was both Scriptural and desirable to integrate indigenous believers into the existing church…