|dc.description.abstract||It was the aim of this research to investigate Hugo du Plessis' contribution to the
GKSA' struggle for a relevant mission and missiology. It became apparent in the
course of the research that Du Plessis contributed in a meaningful way towards the
Reformed paradigm for a relevant mission and missiology. In the Dopper churches.
Hugo had a great reputation, which is fully justified. He was the first Dopper
missionary who stayed in a mission field for a considerable period and who, as a
result, could show a church that endured after years. Many people admired him as
"our missionary, the expert on mission and on the language and cultural anthropology
of the black peoples".
Mission-minded Doppers were not critical of him at all. On the other hand, in those
years mission and intensive contact with black people on a spiritual level were still
relative novelties to the average Dopper mind. There were those who did not trust any
missionary, because they suspected him of undermining "their Apartheid policy".
Between these two extremes, there was a majority who were neither enthusiastic nor
hostile towards mission. This picture only changed radically when Dr Jan Schutte
succeeded in bringing Prof J H Bavinck to Potchefstroom for a year.
Knowing how much suspicion he might create, Hugo was very careful not to offend
the Afrikaners. One should understand this attitude, since suspicion against him of
being a "liberalist" might slow down the flow of funds for mission and eventually
force him to leave the mission field. At that time the very fact that one was a
missionary was sufficient to mark one as "eccentric" in some circles. So if one finds
traces of racism and support of "Apartheid" in the life and works of du Plessis, one
should keep in mind that he was a child of his times, even though he was ahead of
most of his compatriots in his views. The very fact that he and his wife were willing
to endure the hardships of a mission field at that time speaks of his dedication.
However, it seems he was a far greater success as a theologian than as a missionary.||