Generous Orthodoxy  

Saturday, July 03, 2010

True courage: a Christian hero

The Rev. Nico Smith died last week in Pretoria at the age of 81. Many Americans will never have heard of him, but he is worthy of the sort of respect accorded to military heroes. Indeed, the kind of courage required of Pastor Smith over many years is of a higher type. He had to renounce his entire Afrikaner background and heritage in order to join the struggle against apartheid. He and his wife gave up their comforts and security to live in a black township. His life and works bring honor to the name of Christ and to the Church in a time when there is much for Christians to be ashamed of.

There is much information about Nico Smith online, but there is a striking fact related in the New York Times obituary. One of the people most influential in encouraging Pastor Smith to move from his position of privilege to the frontier of danger was none other than Karl Barth. Here's the link: