With the death of former South African president and iconic leader Nelson Mandela last week, tributes and reflections on his legacy abound. Here are some of our favorites:

Paul Louis Metzger: "Nelson Mandela: Troublemaker for Peace"

Sometimes the most compassionate thing we can do is be uncivil by living out robust convictions that promote care for all people, especially the oppressed. Mandela and his people had been oppressed under an apartheid system, which in effect oppressed everyone, Black and White alike. The pressure of Mandela's convictions for a just peace moved him beyond the status quo to reconciliation. As such, this troublemaker was a person of peace. What would you and I rather be? Pacifiers for the status quo or, like Mandela, troublemakers for peace?

Mark Galli - "A Nelson Mandela Inspired Fantasy"

… the differences among evangelicals are not to be taken lightly, for often they hinge on matters of truth. On this side of the kingdom, we're not going to be able to settle many of these differences, but that is no reason to suppose that they must keep us suspicious of one another and divided. After all, we all are citizens of one kingdom, and we all serve one Lord. Perhaps once in a while [like Mandela]we ought to don the uniform of our theological enemies in a symbolic act that shouts "We are one in Christ."

PJ Smyth via Ed Stetzer - "Will South Africa Be OK After Mandela?"

Perhaps Mandela's legacy is best seen in this South African pastor's reflection on what needs to happen to continue according to the iconic man's example. In this case, what's true for South Africa sounds true for most countries … and congregations:

We gather here in Tembisa in our thousands, from all around Joburg, 19 years after the birth of the new South Africa, 8 years after the birth of Godfirst Church, and 3 days after Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday. … Will South Africa be OK after Mandela? The answer to this question will be a resounding yes, so long as three things continue to happen:

  1. An on going lifestyle of apology
  2. An on going lifestyle of forgiveness
  3. An on going faith in God


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