Original Research

Reflecting on Diognetus’ letter: Paradoxical gospel in a polarised South African context

Takalani A. Muswubi
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 47, No 1 | a197 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v47i1.197 | © 2023 Takalani A. Muswubi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 April 2023 | Published: 29 September 2023

About the author(s)

Takalani A. Muswubi, Department of Missiology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


This article reflects on the letter written by an anonymous author, in an unknown date and unidentifiable recipient, called Diognetus, yet with a paradoxical mission witness in a challenging times. The letter of Diognetus is an open letter with a paradoxical mission guidelines, for the church in a challenging time. The letter of Diognetus is a distinct, complex and multifaceted letter that addresses the paradoxical context of the Church, namely that she is called out of the world, but to be in the world, while not being of the world. The main question is: how should the gospel be witnessed in a polarised society such as South Africa? To answer the question, this article is set to discuss the letter’s distinct features, namely its significance and role and its goals.

Contribution: The article is not only adding a voice to the on-going debate regarding the mission witness but also adding value by revisiting scriptural basis and guidelines for a paradoxical mission witness in a polarised socio-economic and political context in South Africa and beyond. This article helps to stimulate further missional researches and practises in these areas.


Diognetus; paradox; Gospel; polarisation and context

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