Monday, November 12, 2007

Groeten aan onze Nederlandse lezers!

I hope I didn't slaughter the Dutch language with that title – it's supposed to mean, "Greetings to all our Dutch readers".

A few weeks ago, Edwin and I had the great pleasure of meeting another puritan enthusiast from across the pond. No, not that pond – he was from the Netherlands. Willem van Klinken (pictured) came to Edinburgh to visit the Banner of Truth headquarters here, and to interview its founder, Iain Murray. He is preparing an article for the BOT's 50th anniversary.

Willem works for Reformatorisch Dagblad, a Dutch Christian newspaper, and helps organize the material on a website called George Whitefield Stichting. One purpose of the latter site is to draw non-Reformed Dutch Christians to the rich fonts of Reformed literature, while exposing members of the Dutch Reformed churches to the vibrancy of puritan piety. Willem told Edwin and I that these two traditions had developed along quite separate lines, and knew little interaction.

It was encouraging to share our admiration for the puritan legacy, in spite of our different nationalities (Edwin from Singapore, me from the States and Willem from the Netherlands). We enjoyed our brief visit, and wish Willem and our other Dutch brethren all the best.

(NB - Joel Beeke includes some informative chapters that reveal the connection between Dutch and English puritanism in his book, Puritan Reformed Spirituality.)


Bridges said...


Not sure if you are familiar with Clive Holmes book, The Eastern Association in the English Civil War, but he has a section on the close trading relationship between East Anglia and the Netherlands. It seems there was a steady flow of cloth and non-conformist ideas between the two regions. In fact the influence was perceived to be so great that Laud sought to restrict Englishmen from attending Dutch refugee services in Norwich (and Colchester I believe).

Glad to see we are continuing the tradition of 'puritan' dialogue with the Netherlands! All the best to Wilem and his family.


Chris Ross said...

Thanks, Tim!

Chris Ross said...

Oh -- no, I wasn't familiar with Holmes's book. Thanks for the heads-up.


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