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Diakonia Trinitatis Dei as/and Transformational Development: A South African Perspective.


The 2012 copy of the National Development Plan (NDP) of South Africa states: "No political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remain in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life... attacking poverty and deprivation must therefore be the first priority of a democratic government." (1) The NDP and its Vision 2030 are anchored in the following two objectives--the elimination of poverty and the reduction of inequality: "Success of this plan will be measured by the degree to which the lives and opportunities of the poorest South Africans are transformed in a sustainable manner." (2) The government plans to transform the lives and opportunities of the poor through "basic physical and social services, health care, education, and training in rural communities." (3)

The short description above contains a few important concepts for the framework of this paper, such as "elimination of poverty and reduction of inequality" and "transformed [lives] in a sustainable manner." In the first place, it is clear from the above policies that governments and politicians think differently from "spiritual organizations" about development and more specifically "transformational development," in the sense that they do not have a holistic (physical and spiritual) approach although they might have a multi-dimensional approach. Secondly, politicians use language that is not attainable, like "elimination of poverty." This gives the poor false hope and expectations, especially in South Africa where inequality has not been reduced since 1994 but has rather increased.

Although we "need to acknowledge religion as a fundamental social, political and development force in many African contexts," (4) the church thinks and speaks differently about poverty. The church knows that we will always have the poor with us (John 12:8). However, this does not mean that poverty is accepted and that nothing is done about it. This paper will argue it is a characteristic of God's being--to act according to who God is--to address the needs of people. God is addressing the need of people using all of his creation, such as nature, governments, and politics, sometimes in mysterious ways, but it is especially the calling of the church to attend to those living on the margins and from the margins, like the poor. This calling of the church

is a calling to the holistic ministry of diakonia to serve people's spiritual and physical needs.

Although the church and other organizations might have different points of departure and even different goals in the fight against poverty, they need to work together to make a difference. It is in this relationship between the church and other organizations that clarity of concepts and language used is needed. This article will attend to the concept of diakonia and how it relates to, and differs from, concepts like development and transformational development. In describing diakonia this article focuses on the unique contribution the church offers to development in relation to other agencies that are involved with development. However, before clarifying these concepts, an understanding of the complexity of the problem of poverty in South Africa is needed.

An Understanding of Poverty

A biblical understanding

This paper makes use of a missional hermeneutic, meaning a reading of the Bible that explores the vibrant consequence in God's mission in the Bible, and its significance for Christian mission today. (5) "Such a missional hermeneutic must include at least this recognition--the multiplicity of perspectives and contexts from which people read the biblical texts." (6) The implication is that South Africans from their cultures and socioeconomic positions may understand specific dimensions or implications of a text differently from persons of another culture or socio-economic background. African South Africans with their experiences of colonialism might in this regard find the books of Luke more appealing to their contexts because he "was perhaps the only gentile author of a New Testament book" and wrote to predominantly converted gentile readers. (7) A second reason Luke's books may be more appealingis that they were directed at second generation Christians who no longer shared the passion and commitment of the first converts. Instead, they were experiencing a crisis with their identity as Christians. How must they (as gentile Christians) relate to the Jewish past of fellow believers? Many African Christians in South Africa are struggling with their Christian identity in asking how they must relate to the mainline missionary churches and their history of colonialism. In light of these statements, this paper will mainly attend to Luke's writings in discussing biblical perspectives on poverty.

One of the best-known texts about Jesus' ministry is found in Luke 4:16-30, with three fundamental concerns of Luke applicable to the South African context: the centrality of the poor in Jesus' ministry; the setting aside of vengeance; and the gentile mission. (8)

An African theologian from Tanzania, Faustin Mahali, in his book The Concept of Poverty in Luke, makes the following important observations. First, "The most disputed text in the context of the [Bantu] understanding of poverty in the Bible is the text from Luke 'blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God (Lk 6:20)."' (9) A second observation is, "Jesus does not only invite the poor to eternal life but he also has friends who are very rich.... Does Jesus have any programme to address poverty for a sustainable life for all? (Mt 26:11)." (10) The question about a "programme to address poverty for a sustainable life for all" indicates a specific hermeneutic that is not in line with a missional hermeneutic, one that will holistically focus on the coming of the kingdom and not try to deduct programmes for certain social issues.

Luke is well known for his interest in the poor and other marginalized groups; in his dealing with poverty, Luke has a holistic approach: "he is the only evangelist who has John the Baptist spell out in practical terms what it means 'to bear fruits that benefit repentance' (3:8), and he does this in terms of economic relations (3:10-14)." (11) In Luke, ptochos (poor) and plousios (rich) are both comprehensive terms. The poor is a term used for all the disadvantaged, the sick, those who experience misery, the marginalized, and it is also a social category. The rich in Luke are the greedy, the exploiters, the arrogant, and the powerful who abuse their power. An important message from Luke is that both the rich and the poor need salvation, which is only to be found in jesus Christ. "The words soteria and soterion ('salvation') appear six times each in Luke and Acts, against no occurrences in Mark and Matthew, and only once in John."" The conclusion drawn from Luke is that poverty involves the whole person, and we are in need of the wholly other to be saved whether we are poor or rich.

Contextual understandings

It is clear from Luke that poverty is a result of dysfunctional relationships between people, and the South African context will indicate poverty is also the result of dysfunctional systems. Wilson and Ramphele describe the uniqueness of poverty in South Africa along the following three lines: "First, it is the width of the gulf between rich and poor, the degree of inequality. Second, is the extent to which the poverty exists as a consequence of deliberate policies. The third aspect has to do with the way in which material poverty in South Africa is reinforced by racist policies that are an assault on people's humanity." (13)

After more than 20 years of democracy (since 1994), not much has changed. We might add state capture and corruption as a fourth reason for the current poverty in South Africa. It is accordingly not correct to say, "Poverty is a profoundly political issue." Poverty has many faces and is not one-dimensional; therefore, the reasons for poverty are complex and challenging. Swanepoel and De Beer clearly indicate that poverty is presented in different environments, political, social, cultural, economic, and psychological. (13) Wilson and Ramphele offer a more profound understanding: "Poverty is like illness. It shows itself in different ways in different historical situations and it has diverse causes." (16) The Tsonga people have a saying: "Visiwana I vuloyi" (poverty is witchcraft). "A poor person is helpless as in a spell. He or she needs some special person to be freed from it." (1)

From the mentioned descriptions, it is clear that poverty in the South African context is viewed not only as a physical/economic but also as a spiritual phenomenon or lack of spiritual resources. (18) Bouwers du Toit's quote of Nelson Mandela's saying that the ANC recognizes that political and economic transformation cannot be separated from social or spiritual transformation applies here. Therefore, poverty must be addressed in a holistic way, especially in South Africa, where many Africans have a traditional spiritual worldview.

Attempts to define poverty are even more difficult. Van Niekerk offers the following definition: "Poverty in Africa is the result of the dysfunctional interaction between complex systems, especially the traditional African world, the modern Western world, and the environment." (20) Bv implication this definition indicates that poverty in Africa appears to be different from definitions in other parts of the world, and for this reason the responses to poverty in Africa must be different as well. Another implication is that developers and those who are developed in South Africa are working with different worldviews. This may lead to an inadequate problem definition and, in many instances, no resolution. If the wrong questions are asked, the wrong answers will prevail. A definition of poverty from a South African experiencing poverty sounds very different from the scientific formulated definition. For example, according to Mrs Witbooi of Philipstown, Karoo, "Poverty is not knowing where your next meal is going to come from, and always wondering when the council is going to put your furniture out, and always praying that your husband must not lose his job. To me this is poverty." (21)

Poverty in the context of this paper is understood as a comprehensive term that is multi-layered and influences individuals and societies in a holistic way, both spiritually and physically. Swanepoel and De Beer describe poverty as "ill-being"--which includes at least the following dimensions: material lack and want, physical illness, bad social relations, insecurity, vulnerability, worry and fear, powerlessness, helplessness, frustration, and anger (22)--over and against "wellbeing," which includes at least material wellbeing, physical health, positive social relations, security, freedom, and choice of action.

It is against this background of poverty in South Africa that this paper will pursue the differences and conformity between the concepts of diakonia trinitatis Dei and transforming development within the different spheres in which these are used, as possible actions in development.

Diakonia Trinitatis Dei

Daiconia "may be best translated as 'to have a responsibility to help others.'" (23) Collins, in his 1990 work Diakonia: Re-interpreting the Ancient Sources, gives proof that the diak-word group implies not only servant but also proclaimer. (24) Thus it has connections not only to physical needs but also to spiritual needs. Nordstokke, in his discussion of Collins, concludes not only that the diak-word group points to a specific task, such as caring service, but that the one who sends the deacon determines the nature and content of the service. (25) In other words, it finds its deepest meaning in God who is the sender.

These discussions actually confirm that diakonia originated in the being of the trinitarian God and is but one ministry of the church. The ministry of diakonia is interrelated with the other ministries, such as kerygma and koinonia. Kerygma means "news, declaration, decree, and announcement." (26) Koinonia means "participation, impartation or fellowship." (27) From the meaning of these concepts, it is not difficult to relate them to diakonia and poverty. It is also not difficult to relate these ministerial concepts to concepts used outside the church in the fight against poverty, such as the Accra "declaration." Where diakonia has to do with the kerygma or "declaration" of God's action against poverty, Accra "declares" people's experiences/views to poverty. Mbaya argues the importance of social networks as assets to social capital. In this regard, social capital may relate to the concept of koinonia. (28) Although there are clear comparisons in concepts used in the different spheres of development, some of the terminology used by the church is more comprehensive and richer in meaning, although this meaning is not always known by the non-church community.

To illustrate some of the richness of the church language, diakonia will now be discussed as it is reflected in the being and the characteristics of the trinitarian God, using the covenantal (missional) (29) hermeneutic framework of Balswick and Balswick. This frame involves the following: "four sequential, but nonlinear stages: covenant, grace, empowering and intimacy." (30) These tour stages are totally compatible with the understanding of the missio Dei: the Father sending the Son, the Father and the Son sending the Spirit, and the Father, Son, and Spirit sending the church. (31)

Working with a missional hermeneutics needs some clarity on how it is used in terms of diakonia within the multi-religious context of South Africa. One of the main questions about diakonia is how it relates to other world religions and development agencies. Within Christianity there are mainly three positions toward other faiths, each with different approaches. The three main positions are exclusivism--no salvation outside Jesus; inclusivism--willing to include all other faiths within the Jesus framework; and pluralism--accepting all religions on equal terms. (32) Despite all the varieties, these "positions" are inadequate to classify the different attitudes. More recent terms, more helpful especially regarding diakonia, are ecclesiocentricism, where the diakonia is only for church members; and Christocentricism and theocentricism, "urging us to accept a God-centred model that will bring together all the expressions of God in a multiplicity of faiths." (33) This paper is working with a trinitarian perspective that is Christ centred (Christocentricism) and "has a wider coverage of both exclusivists and inclusivists attempting to define salvation in terms of the centrality of Jesus Christ, ranging from a cosmic Christ to the historical Jesus." (34) This does not imply that we are not working with non-Christians, but we are not working together in a theocentristic way, as many of the African churches are built on a theocentricism to accommodate African spirituality. Diakonia will now be discussed from a trinitarian perspective.

God the Father and diakonia

As Creator, God has created everything and called it good. He then created humans, and called them very good, and gave them the privilege to be stewards of his creation. Unfortunately, it is true that sin has disturbed humans' relations with God, with each other, with the self, and with the cosmos. These disturbed relations created the possibility for poverty through actions like laziness, selfishness, misuse of power, greed, theft, and creation of unfair systems. The Father's first act towards humans after they fell into sin was an example of diakonia. He looked for them when they were ashamed. However, God is unconditionally committed to his creation, and it shows in the covenants. In the different covenants of God, he committed himself with unconditional love to his creation (Gen. 6:18 and 9:9-10) and to his people (Gen. 15:18 and 17:1-7). It is clear from the very beginning that God is a relational God and he wants to live in a love relation with his creation.

However, God's covenant of unconditional love has often been eroded by defining it in contractual terms. Balswick and Balswick make the following important remarks regarding the covenant, showing that it is not a contract. (35) First, neither Noah nor Abraham was offered any choice, it was entirely God's action; it was unconditional, not contractual. Second, a response was expected and even demanded by God. Third, although the covenant was not conditional, the blessings it provided were. Fourth, God extended the covenant to more than just Noah and Abraham, but to all creation and all people. These characteristics of the covenant are also clear in John 3:16 and can be described as God's love to be loved.

Contributions of these insights into an understanding of diakonia are, first, "diaconal responsibility," which finds its foundation in the being of the Creator God. God's call for stewardship of the whole world includes the call to take care of each other (Gen. 4) and of the creation. (16) According to Psalm 24:1-2, everything and everybody belong to the Lord, therefore the diakonia ministry of the church includes all and every unjust and disturbed relation in this world. These unjust structures include neoliberalism and capitalist systems, which accept poverty as normal. Nordstokke and Dietrich refer in this regard to the prophetic role of diakonia to defend human dignity, promote justice and care for creation. (37) Second, "diaeonal responsibility" is part of the being of the church, which is us, and therefore when it is taken up, it must be unconditional and relational. The church may not engage in diakonia on any other condition than the love of God. Humans are created to love and to be interdependent. "Interdependency requires human beings to take care of others without taking responsibility tor them... Interdependency means every one of us holds some of the life of the other in our hand." This relation is more than just between neighbours; it is to bring people in relation, koinonia, with the Creator and Saviour of this world (1 John 1:3, 7). This is in essence very different from development, which is conditional, contractual, and not relational based. It is also very different from ubuntu. (39) Third, since diakonia is found in the being of God, it must be indisputably part of the being of the church. It is not a ministry of a few elected individuals, or organizations; every Christian is a deacon and has his or her diakonia.

The importance of a good pateriology of diakonia is important, because when the role of the Father is misinterpreted or underplayed, it usually first leads to a false dualism in the church between the spiritual and the physical needs of people, and the church may decide to only attend to the spiritual. This has the false implication that the church may not get involved in politics or in unfair structures and systems. The Father called us to be stewards of his creation first, before he called us to make disciples; therefore, the church must be involved in all economic and political structures and systems of society. The second implication of the absence of a pateriology of diakonia is ecclesiocentricism, where the church only focuses on herself and her own needs and not on the cosmos. It implies that the church forgot that God sent his Son to the cosmos and not only to the church.

Jesus Christ and diakonia

Diakonia from a Christ-centred perspective specifies that the diakonia of the church is focused on what Christ has done and still is doing rather than on what we must do. This is one of the implications of participating in the missio Dei. "Jesus Christ is the sacrifice of God (revealing the means of salvation), he is the missionary of God (revealing the method) and his life exegetes the message (revealing the meaning)." (40) The church has the privilege to participate in this revelation. Diakonia, found in the being of Christ, will now be discussed according to these three revelations.

Diakonia as participation in the revealing of the means of salvation has everything to do with grace and sacrifices. As argued above, the meaning of diakonia is found in the sender. The Father in his unconditional love sent his Son as deacon to bring the sacrifice for salvation. As deacon, Jesus lived his diakonia (responsibility to help others) in an earthly and contextualized way, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, answering the Samaritan woman (read marginalized). But this was always in koinonia, in relation with the Father (John 14:10-11). Bringing the physical needs in perspective with the spiritual needs, he also announces (kerygma) forgiveness and grace, revealing the unconditional love, forgiveness, and healing of the Father to the marginalized, even to those without gratitude (Luke 17:11-19). An implication of the participation in the diakonia as revelation of salvation is found in John 12:26: "Whoever wants to serve (diakone) me must follow me, so that my servant (diakonos) will be with me where I am. And my Father will honour anyone who serves (diakone) me." The context of this text is "a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and it dies. If it dies then it produces many grains" (John 12:24). From this it is clear that diakonia as the participation in what God is doing (missio Dei) asks of the church to do nothing less than what Jesus has done for us to live by grace and forgiveness to build his kingdom.

Diakonia as participation in revealing the methods of God's salvation includes engagement of grace and forgiveness towards God's creation and humans. As deacons sent by God, the church must apply the same methods as Jesus. Jesus engaged with people where they were. Jesus did not force his help on people. Although he was always aware of their needs, he waited until they asked for help. Jesus did not work on his own; he always worked in obedience to and dependency on the Father. Jesus also did not work alone but always included his disciples and other people. Implications for the method in which the church participates in diakonia are, first, to be obedient and dependent on the Father. This implies that the church must help people (the poor) to realize God's purpose for their lives. It might mean not always helping people to get what they ask for. The Jews wanted a king, someone to rescue them politically. This was their immediate need, but Jesus had a bigger picture in mind. However, not everybody bought into this bigger picture and it cost Jesus his life. If the church discerns a bigger picture for a community and does not want to give the poor what they need, they (the church) must be willing to die for that bigger picture. Second, it means to act and follow in the footsteps of Jesus and meet people where they are. Stop and listen to people, do not give answers before listening to their questions, do what they want. The church cannot undertake diakonia on its own, but needs to help people to discover what they already have and use it. Jesus used the bread and the fish (John 6:1-15). The church must include other structures. When (esus had healed the ten men, he sent them to the priest (Luke 17:11-19); in other instances, after a healing Jesus sent the people to the temple, the authorities of the day. Diakonia is not doing "something" to people or taking responsibility for people, but it is to live with people in the presence of God and the reality of their society.

Diakonia as participation in revealing the meaning of life to people who are created by God takes place within a specific context. The life of Jesus can be captured by the concepts of grace, forgiveness, and salvation to have life in its fullest. Diakonia in this context "means assisting the other and walking together with them in order to help them to manage their own life" (41) within their context or society. Myers, in his book Walking with the Poor, describes this as transformational development to assist people to discover their identity in God. (42) The implication for diakonia to participate in the revelation of the meaning of life is to help people (re)discover their free will and the different choices they might have. The meaning of life is found in cross-bearing and self-denial, in obedience to the Father. Meaningful life is to be discovered in graceful and forgiving relations, where we are not served but serve others (Mark 10:45). Diakonia is not a project with a beginning and an end; it is a lifestyle of servanthood participating in the suffering and the glorification of Jesus Christ. Jesus knows that forgiveness and grace are against our sinful nature, therefore he gave us his Spirit before he sent us into this world to be his deacons (John 20:19-23). Without a Christ focus, diakonia will lose its impact, identity, and focus.

The Holy Spirit and diakonia

The Holy Spirit works with power and personality since it is the power of the creator God and the Spirit oi the living Christ. (43) Balswick and Balswick define power as "the ability to influence another person." (44) The assumption is that the strong use power to decrease rather than increase the power of the persons they are trying to help. Within the South African context, it is the experience of many poor people (involved in development) that they are powerless. Developers tend to use power in a way that assures their own more powerful positions. Since development and diakonia are about social and economic disparities, it is true that all diaconal and development acts will include different aspects of power. "The goal for diaconal action is not to elude power relationships, but to develop awareness about imbalances, not least in diaconal actions shaped by the spirit of neighbourly love and charity."

Diakonia is more about empowerment than power and therefore is founded in the being of the Holy Spirit. This is exactly the way in which scripture reveals the working of the Spirit as the one who empowers. The Spirit uses its power to empower, for example, empowering Jesus for his ministry; in the same way, it empowers the church for its ministry through the different gifts. "Empowerment is the process of helping another recognise strengths and potentials within, as well as encouraging and guiding the development of these qualities." (46) From this it is clear that empowerment is not a single action but a long and relational process to "encourage and guide" people. Empowerment as a theological concept refers to the biblical understanding that all people are created in God's image with abilities and gifts, independent from their deceptive social situation. (47) Diakonia is to empower the poor and the church to choose to participate in the revelation of God's acceptance of any person or community in the underlying atmosphere of the covenant, unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness. This is the empowering work of the Spirit, where there are no "donors" or "recipients" but one community bound together with "respect for the other's autonomy and right to decide on their own.

Although the Spirit works in all of creation, it more specifically works in, for, and through the church to serve the world by reminding them of the great things God has done (Acts 2:11). (49) The implications for diakonia are, first, that the Holy Spirit is the power in which all diakonia is done as well as the one who empowers all deacons/believers. The Spirit is the one who gives gifts and wisdom and discernment. Second, the Holy Spirit confirms and reminds us of our new identity in Christ whether we are poor or rich and empowers us to live as deacons in this world. Third, it is worthwhile to note that the first actions of the church after Pentecost were focused on relationships and the alleviation of poverty. Without a pneumatology, the church will be overpowered by poverty and disrupted relations and systems to the measure that it will be crippled in its identity and diakonia.

The church and diakonia

The empowerment of the Holy Spirit is a reality to each believer; each one has received a gift to serve (1 Cor. 12:7; Eph. 4:7). "Diakonia is a ministry given to the whole church, and in particular, the local church" (50); as such it cannot be a ministry only of groups or institutions with money and professional competence at their disposal. Diakonia as the calling of each local church within the community in which they are living is to make God known through deeds of mercy--as the Father who unconditionally loves each person, the Son as the saviour of each person, and the Holy Spirit as the life-giving spirit who empowers each person to a new life. The church is one of the best-placed and organized agents to be involved in development and the alleviation of poverty in South Africa, since it has good community-, national-, and even international-based facilities, such as buildings, structures, management, and relations. However, the greatest strength of the church is its members. Church members are community members who live and work in different structures of society. It is important to define how the concept of church is understood and used in this paper. Church is understood in its broadest form in the sense that church exists in different configurations as and how its members are involved, such as congregations, non-government organizations, families, schools, and businesses. Where the church's members are, there the church is.

As indicated earlier, God is not only working through the church and believers, God is working through and with whomever and whatever God wants in building his kingdom. God is using politicians, governments, and any other structures to take care of creation, whether they acknowledge God or not. Diakonia and/or development is not only organized, planned actions; it happens, for example, when a CEO of a company changes a dysfunctional system or a discriminating policy, or where the pensioner hands street children tomatoes from his garden. In the South African context, the church must realize rich and poor, property owners and people living on the street, firewood and electricity, tap water and drought, Bible study and housing, Pentecost and long-drop toilets--all are part of the diakonia trinitatis Dei.


It is the debatable view of this paper that diakonia first focuses on people whose lives are influenced by issues such as poverty, firewood, land, religion, culture, drugs, money, politics. On the other hand, social/political developments first focus on the issues mentioned that influence the lives of people. In dealing with people and poverty as a comprehensive and multi-layered concept, it is clear that we need a comprehensive and multi-layered approach. Although diakonia and development both deal with the same issues, this paper indicated clearly that diakonia is a more holistic and integrated concept than development. It has also indicated that diakonia belongs to the being of God and therefore it belongs to the being of the church; it is not only about compassion, but about salvation. Currently, South Africa needs both concepts, diakonia and development, until a common language is found. Transformational development, as it is described by Myers, may be a start to finding a common language among the different agencies of development, while the church keeps to the biblical language of diakonia.

Hannes Knoetze is associate professor in missiology at the Faculty of Theology of the North West University in South Africa.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

(1) National Planning Commission, National Development Plan 2030: Our Future - make it work (Pretoria: Department of the Presidency, 2012), 24; P. Lehola, Poverty Trends in South Africa: An Examination of Absolute Poverty between 2006-2015 (Pretoria: Statistics South Africa, 2017), 6.

(2) Ibid., 6.

(3) Ibid., 8.

(4) B. Bompani, "Religion and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Overview," in The Routledge Handbook of Religions and Global Development, ed. E Tomalin (London: Rout ledge, 2015), 101-13, at 110.

(5) C.J. H.Wright, The Mission of Cod: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 24.

(6) Ibid., 39.

(7) D.J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1991), 85. In this quote, the author does not imply that African South Africans are gentiles. The meaning is that they were not initially from the mainline Christian thinking.

(8) Ibid., 89.

(9) Faustin Mahali, The Concept of Poverty in Luke from the Perspective of a Wanji of Tanzania (Tanzania: Makumira Publications, 2006), 12.

(10) Ibid., 13.

(11) Bosch, Transforming Mission, 98.

(12) Ibid., 105.

(13) F. Wilson and M. Ramphele, Uprooting Poverty: The South African Challenge (Cape Town: Davis Phillip, 1989), 4.

(14) Ibid.

(15) H. Swanepoel and F. De Beer, Community Development: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty (Lansdowne: Juta Academic, 2006), 11.

(16) Wilson and Ramphele Uprooting Poverty, 14.

(17) E. Bruwer, Beggars Can Be Choosers (Pretoria: University of Pretoria, Institute for Missiological and Ecumenical Research, 1994), 7.

(18) H. Mbaya, "Friendships and Fellowship: Living Koinonia, Martyria and Diakonia in the Corinthian Church of South Africa--From the Perspective of Social Capital," HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 68:2 (2012), 2,

(19) N. Bowers du Toit, "Moving from Development to Social Transformation: Development in the Context of Christian Mission," in Religion and Social Development in Post-apartheid South Africa, ed. I. Swart, H. Rocher, S. Green, and J. Erasmus (Stellenbosch: Sun Press, 2010), 261-73, at 261.

(20) A. Van Niekerk, "A Strategy against Poverty in South Africa," in No Quick Fixes, ed. J. J. Kritzinger (Pretoria: University of Pretoria, Institute for Missiological and Ecumenical Research, 2002), 119-28, at 122.

(21) Wilson and Ramphele, Uprooting Poverty, 14.

(22) Swanepoel and De Beer, Community Development, 8.

(23) J. P. Louw and E. A. Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on. Semantic Domains (Goodwood, Cape Town: National Book Printers, 1993), 541.

(24) J. N. Collins, Diakonia: Re-interpreting the Ancient Sources (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).

(25) k. Nordstokke, "Trinitarian Perspectives on Diakonia," in Evangelism and Diakonia in Context, ed. K. Dowset, I. Phiri, D. Birdsall, D. O. Terfassa, H. Yung, and K. Jorgensen, Regnum Edinburgh centenary Series, vol. 32 (Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2016), 149.

(26) G. W. Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1998), 435.

(27) Ibid., 448.

(28) Mbaya, "Friendships and Fellowship," 2.

(29) Wright found his missional hermeneutics in the covenant of God and indicates clearly the relationship between the Abrahamic covenant and Matthew 28, the great commission.

(30) J. O. Balswick and J. K. Balswick, The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1989), 21.

(31) See J. Knoetze, "Perspectives on Family and Youth Ministry Embedded in the Missio Dei--An African Perspective," In die Skriflig 49:1 (2(115), Nordstokke, "Trinitarian Perspectives on Diakonia," 144.

(32) Y. Turaki, The Unique Christ for Salvation: The Challenge of Non-Christian Religion and Cultures (Nairobi: International Bible Society Africa, 2001), 24.

(33) Ibid., 25.

(34.) Ibid.

(35) Balswick and Balswick, The Family, 23.

(36) S. Dietrich, '"Mercy and Truth Are Met Together; Righteousness and Peace Have Kissed Each Other' (Psalm 85:10): Biblical and Systematic Theological Perspectives on Diakonia as Advocacy and Fight tor Justice," in Diakonia as Christian Social Practice: An Introduction, ed. S. Dietrich, K. Jorgensen, K. K. korslien, and K. Nordstokke (Eugene, Ore.: Wipf and Stock, 2014), 31.

(37) Nordstokke, "Trinitarian Perspectives on Diakonia," 145; and Dietrich. '"Mercy and Truth Are Met Together "' 27.

(38) S. Dietrich, "Reflections on Core Aspects of Diaconal Theory," in Diakonia as Christian Social Practice: An Introduction, ed. S. Dietrich, K. (orgensen, K. K. Korslien, and K. Nordstokke (Eugene, Ore.: Wipf and Stock, 2014), 17.

(39) It is not within the scope of the paper to discuss the differences between Ubuntu and koinonia; the fact is that both these concepts have deep religious implications and attachments which are not comparable from a Christ-centred understanding.

(40) S. W. Sunquist, Understanding Christian Mission: Participation in Suffering and Glory (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2013), 199.

(41) Dietrich, "Reflections on Core Aspects of Diaeonal Theory," 21.

(42) B. L. Myers, If walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices 0f transformational Development (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2015).

(43) Sunquist, Understanding Christian Mission, 232.

(44) Balswick and Balswick, The Family, 27.

(45) Dietrich, "Reflections on Core Aspects of Diaconal Theory," 19.

(46) Balswick and Balswick, The Family. 28.

(47) Dietrich, "Reflections on Core Aspects of Diaeonal Theory," 21.

(48) Ibid., 14.

(49) Sunquist, Understanding Christian Missim, 233.

(50) Nordstokke, "Trinitarian Perspectives on Diakonia," 144.

DOI: 10.1111/crev.12406
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Author:Knoetze, Hannes
Publication:The Ecumenical Review
Geographic Code:60SUB
Date:Jan 1, 2019
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