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Theology and Diaconia in Context

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Theology and Diaconia in Context (in reflection of the nation of Indonesia)

  • Can you involve in Diaconial work without relating with the government and in contact with the national Politics?
  • Cannot separate theology on Diaconia and politics
  • What do we mean when we say the Lord’s Prayer “May your kingdom come”.
  • What is like God’s kingdom in the world?
  • Key scripture positions
  • Habakkuk 3: 3:17-18
  • Jeremiah 29:7

  • Which scripture you choose? Why? Life is tough and …still praise God. Faithfulness vs successfulness

  • Working for the poor, it makes you to think what are “they” doing? The Government! You will lose the respect for them! You talk and action will put you as standing against the political structure (of course for us against the injustice).
  • Diaconia: what’s the official dictionary definition

Diakonia (Greek) is a noun used 32 times in the New Testament and variously translated as “ministry,” “service,” “relief,” or “support.”

  • in Luke 10:40 of Martha’s meal preparations for the Lord, while Mary sat at His feet and listened to Him.
  • It is used in Acts 6:1 referring to the “ministry of the Word” and
  • in Acts 6:4 regarding the serving of food.
  • In Acts 11:29 diakonia refers to famine relief in the form of a monetary contribution.
  • In Acts 20:24 and 21:19, Paul uses the word to refer to his ministry among the Gentiles.
  • In Romans 12:6–7 it is referred to as a spiritual gift—the gift of serving.

  • Traditionally, Diaconia is serving at the table for the widows and poor; collecting denotation, offering for the poor, widows, etc. Diaconia is the service at the table.

  • The church and state were working together, In Europe, mostly the church will be in the center of the city, almost like the city council, and the people around it. Church is the tallest and in the center, as the one who look into the needs, administration with the state. This is mostly before the reformation era.
  • Diaconia in the time of reformation: after the reformation, church and state are separated – become two different entities. Now who does the Diaconial work, helping the poor and dealing with poverty? Who should deal with the poor; who’s task is to reduce the poverty systematically: state or church?
  • Church should help the poor but poverty/social economic issues to be handled and resolved by the state/government. = that’s the general idea now.
  • But if the government/state does not do what it should do, or injustice in the administration of social justice. then is it wrong to voice the government? When you voice, you will be looked as one against, and the enemy. Participating in demonstration and advocating, voicing out for the marginalized, and pointing out the weakness in the political structure and governments poor administration, is that extreme. .. being an extremist?
  • Should the church just help the poor and don’t care or challenge the political system or stand against the state to put things in order and work towards structural transformation?
  • 1865 Social Gospel Movement:  church must bring God’s Kingdom.

Churches duty to help the poor: Role of religion: walter Rauschenbusch wrote a book: Reihold Niebuhr -give me wisdom

  • What is the purpose of Diaconia: to fight against structural injustice (transformative) or to help the poor (caritative).

  • Who should be the main actor of Diaconia? What Is the role of the church?  
  • What is public theology 🡪 church and society
  • Church telling something to educate the society
  • Churches say something to the society, using media, statement
  • Church speak directly to the government
  • Church motivate the society to work for the poor

2 Theologians/theological views

1. Abraham Van de Beek 🡪 Religion without ulterior motive: read only church fathers, reformist, reform church, wrote two books: Why? On suffering, guilt, and God, Rabbi Samuel Hirsch: what is he saying; Subordination of religion…Torah



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