The relevance of the mission strategy and theology of John Calvin for Africa today


  • P. J. (Flip) Buys, Dr. North-West University, South Africa


For many years severe criticism has been published against the Reformers for their lack of interest in missions. It was argued that John Calvin followed the Catholic, colonial model of Christian rulers as being responsible for converting the heathen. Several scholars expressed the idea that Calvin’s doctrine of Predestination revenged itself in his theology of missions or lack of it.
More recent research has pointed out that this is a misrepresentation of Calvin’s theology. To exegete Calvin properly, one must take the historical facts and context into account in order to present a fair reading and understanding of Calvin’s views, that gives proper weight to his historical context. If we study the new research on the historical facts of his mission strategies and then consider again some key aspects of the theology of Calvin, we find several aspects that prove the missions thrust in his whole theology.
When the whole picture of Calvin’s theology and strategies of doing missions is taken into serious consideration it becomes clear that there are indeed many aspects that are highly relevant for the struggle of the churches and the people groups of Africa in modern times.



How to Cite

Buys, P. J. (Flip). (2013). The relevance of the mission strategy and theology of John Calvin for Africa today. Tydskrif Vir Christelike Wetenskap | Journal for Christian Scholarship, 49(4), 160-186. Retrieved from



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