Rachel Tingle's book is a disturbing one. The secular press has understood its implications better than the denominational papers. -- Evangelical Times, March 1993

Revolution or Reconciliation is an extremely informative, valuable, yet disturbing book. -- Christian Observers, August 7, 1992

The outstanding characteristic of anything written by Rachel Tingle is that it is based on incontrovertible research -- Baptist Times, July 23, 1992

This is a remarkable piece of analysis of the current religious and political situation in South Africa. -- Banner of Truth, October 1993

From the Publisher

During the late 19980s and early 1990s the pace of reform in South Africa accelerated dramatically as the country moved towards the dismantling of its apartheid legislation. At the same time, however, from 1986 onwards the country began to be rocked by political violence in which thousands of black people were killed by other black people, often by the most appalling means. In this book journalist, Rachel Tingle examines the claim put forward by the director of the highly-respected South African Institute of Race Relations, John Kane-Berman, that 'black people in the townships are reaping a whirlwind of violence that the churches have helped to sow.' She explains how radicalised church organisations like the World Council of Churches and the South African Council of Churches (SACC), on the one hand, and South Africa's liberation movements (particularly the ANC), on the other, fashioned and promoted a specifically South African version of 'liberation theology' so as to justify revolutionary violence. This not only undermined orthodox Christian theology but it rejected a moderating and peacemaking role for the Church. As the Rt. Rev. Bill Burnett, former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, says in his foreword, 'this is not theology at all. What we see now is the Cuckoo's Nest syndrome — the false has neatly ensconsed itself within the Church and has been nurtured to such an extent that it is now replacing the true teaching of the Church.' The book details the budget of the SACC, showing that hardly any of it was spent on traditional Christian or evangelistic activity and the fact that the bulk of this money came from outside South Africa, primarily from European and North American church organisations and aid agencies (whose donors had virtually no idea what was happening to their money). Rachel Tingle, herself a committed Christian, argues that if South Africa is to have any chance of emerging into a genuine multi-racial, free and stable democracy, all the Churches in the country need to return to preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and working for reconciliation between all political factions and racial groups.

From the Inside Flap

Since F.W. De Klerk became President of South Africa in 1989, enormous strides have been made in abolishing apartheid and laying the foundations for a new democratic constitution. At the same time, however, the country has been rocked by political violence in which thousands of people have been killed — mainly black people killed by other black people. This book examines the startling claim that this climate of violence has partly been caused as a result of the activities of sections of the Church. It explains how new trends in theology influencing the Church in many parts of the world developed in South Africa into a means for legitimising violence — viewed as a necessary instument for political liberation. The Church organisations most involved in such activities have been funded almost entirely from outside South Africa — primarily from European (including British) and American Church organisations and aid agencies. The author argues that this is a perversion of the Gospel. If South Africa is to avoid plunging into a full-scale civil war and is to have any hope of emerging into a genuine multi-racial, free and stable democracy, it is essential that all the Churches in the country return to preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and working for reconciliation.