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All articles in category Netherlands

Missionary Spotlight – Struggle for the church
October 2001
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Missionary Spotlight – Struggle for the church

In August’s ETNigel Westhead outlined the complicated history of the Reformed movement in the Netherlands. This article provides further details.   The Reformation in the Netherlands was preceded by a growing emphasis on mystical lay piety outside the official church. This occurred during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and led to the formation of the Brethren of the Common Life, a movement associated with names like Gerhard Groote and Rudolf Agricola.   The Reformation proper began with Lutheranism. Two of Luther’s followers in the Netherlands, Vos and Van Essen, were martyred; Luther dedicated a hymn of twelve stanzas to Van Essen. Calvinism   But Lutheranism...

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Missionary Spotlight – Study centre in Netherlands
October 2001
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Missionary Spotlight – Study centre in Netherlands

In September 2000 it was decided to set up a centre at the Evangelical Theological High School (ETH) in Veenendaal for the study of Puritan theology. This is to serve both Independent and Reformed churches in the Netherlands.   The aim of this new venture is to provide Puritan literature and study material for all interested people and also, where possible, to integrate the study of Puritan theology into the main curriculum of the ETH. The vision is that students will go on to use Puritan theology in their own preaching and pastoral care. In this way, it is hoped that a new generation of...

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August 2001
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Missionary Spotlight – Fact File – The Netherlands

Fact File – The Netherlands Area:16,000 square miles.   Environment: Much of Netherlands is below sea level, reclaimed from the sea and protected by dams and dikes. The rivers Rhine, Maas and Schelde run into its coastline. The climate is temperate. Population: 16 million.   Life expectancy: male 75 years, female 81 years.   Ethnic groups: Dutch 93%, others, including Surinamese, Turks and North Africans 7%.   Languages: Dutch (official), Frisian and English.   Literacy: 99%.   Cities: Amsterdam (750,000) – capital; The Hague (500,000) – seat of government; Rotterdam (600,000) – major seaport (over 1 million).   Politics: A democratic, constitutional monarchy (Queen Beatrix)....

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Missionary Spotlight-Evangelicalism in the Netherlands
August 2001
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Missionary Spotlight-Evangelicalism in the Netherlands

What do UK Christians think of when the Netherlands is mentioned? Maybe the Synod of Dordt and its five points of Calvinism? Or Abraham Kuyper and the Free University of Amsterdam? Or do they think of our moral decline and the passing of permissive laws, such the law legalising marriage between homosexuals? Crisis Holland is no longer a Christian country. More than half its population have no connection with any Christian church. It is a society in spiritual and moral crisis, with many, especially among our leaders, deeply influenced by post-modernism. Large numbers of young people have not even the most rudimentary understanding of Christianity....

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Missionary Spotlight-We love a fight
August 2001
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Missionary Spotlight-We love a fight

A few years ago I was privileged to visit the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands (Liberated). After hearing the history of the Reformed Churches in Holland, I said that it was a history of division. An elder agreed saying, ‘in the Netherlands we love a fight’! There is truth and error in his reply. From the time of the Synod of Dordt (1618) the Netherlands Reformed Church (NRC) was patterned on Reformation teaching. But in 1816 King William I gave the State a new role over the Church. As well as this Erastianism, another threat arose. The church in the northern town of Groningen became...

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Missionary Spotlight-The George Whitefield Foundation
August 2001
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Missionary Spotlight-The George Whitefield Foundation

In 1994 six Evangelicals formed the George Whitefield Foundation. Their aim was to encourage study in the Netherlands of the Puritans and their theological successors. They also aimed to stimulate a biblical understanding of, and earnest prayer for, true reformation and revival in Holland. Many contemporary movements are widely presented as ‘revival’ but do not match up to the biblical criteria. A detailed knowledge of past revivals helps us to distinguish God-given revival from man-centred revivalism. Dynamic Calvinism The Foundation highlights the vital contribution made by the dynamic Calvinism of the Puritans and the anointed ministries of preachers like George Whitefield and missionaries like William...

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Missionary Spotlight-The Kingdom of God in the Netherlands
August 2001
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Missionary Spotlight-The Kingdom of God in the Netherlands

As a Dutchman I have enjoyed living in England for more than six years and, in this article, I hope that British readers will be able to taste a bit of Dutch Christianity! Reformed churches in Holland and England have interacted with the rest of society in markedly different ways. Otherwise, the scene is similar in both countries, with a large variety of churches and a marginalised Christianity. The total number of Dutch Evangelical Christians (with their children) is estimated at 1.3 million. Protestant denominations The ‘established’ Netherlands Reformed Church (NRC) claims 2 million members, but many of these are nominal. The NRC is entering...

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