Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Reader

James A. De Jong

Second Reader

John Bolt

Third Reader

Roger S. Greenway

Fourth Reader

Robert P. Borrong


This is a study on the relationship between evangelism and church planting and political action. Against the background of polarization between the ecumenical movement and the evangelical movement on the question, the study demonstrates that missio politica oecumenica defined as struggle for justice and righteousness and against evil is a distinct and integral aspect of mission, alongside kerygma, koinonia, and diakonia. It develops this thesis from the life and thought of Johannes Verkuyl (1908- 2001), a Dutch Reformed missionary to Indonesia who was involved in the decolonization of the country. His experience in Indonesia, together with his later experience as a mission executive, in which he was involved in various political activities, shaped his missiology. This study analyzes his missiology in its political dimension, and thus, provides a basis for missio political oecumenica. Part one presents Verkuyl's life from the political angle with due attention to the historical contexts in which he lived. Part two deals with Verkuyl's thought on mission and political action. It examines his understanding of mission and missiology and the relationship between political action and Missio Dei, missio ecclesiarum, and missio hominum. It considers different loci of missiology in both their vertical and horizontal dimensions, showing that missio politica oecumenica is a horizontal aspect of mission rooted in the vertical dimension of salvation. The integral aspect of missio politica oecumenica with mission is shown in the fact that political issues such as ideologies, religious freedom, and transformation of society have missionary significance and that dealing with them is part of mission. The study demonstrates how, for Verkuyl, the political stances committed by churches and missions in China, Indonesia, and South Africa have affected the life and witness of churches in those countries and, therefore, offer guidance for the exercise of political action in the future. The study relies mainly on primary sources in three languages: Dutch, Indonesian, and English and interacts with available secondary materials. Scholarship on Verkuyl is just beginning, but his influence on major missiologists is considerable. One value of this study is the promise Verkuyl's missiology holds of bringing ecumenical and evangelical unity in mission.



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