Intellectual laziness and lack of ideology give Europe an emptiness that is filled with insults, threats and ‘desperate screeching’ (De Gruyter in the liberal daily NRC Handelsblad, May 28th). What De Gruyter says is recognizable and has been mentioned many times. Is there a remedy? He who ventures to come up with a vision will be scorned by the audience – if any. Take, for example, the reactions on vice-chairman Timmermans’s plea for solidarity (Broederschap, 2015). In order to be able to make progress it will be necessary to know clearly Continue reading
What after Brexit? In the Dutch current affairs programme Nieuwsuur on Saturday June 25th, NRC-journalist Caroline de Gruyter argued that governments in Europe should shoulder the responsibility of explaining what they are doing in Brussels. This justly call feels like too little too late for the Eropean governments. But, more important is that in this way something fundamental remains out of Continue reading
What is painted on your ceiling?
Does God let go of people? Does hell exists? Is there eternal punishment next to eternal life? A Christian cannot avoid these questions; too many is said about this in the Bible. But how do you answer them? And what do you do next?
When we were on holiday in Florence one time, we visited a cathedral, the Duomo. Over different stairs you can climb all the way up and enjoy the view on the Italian city. Along the way you pass the dome of the cathedral. Besides beautiful images you can also see horrible scenes which depict the last judgment and Continue reading
The attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo sets western society ablaze again. People all over on the streets, to protest and to defend freedom of opinion, one of the greatest rights in our society. It’s good that happens, and let us pray for the friends and family of the people killed, and for peace and justice in our society.
For a christian there is more than the discussion about right of freedom and democracy. It is important that christians won’t be framed in that debate. What I mean is the question of what and how we see some of God in this. Some christians see in the attack the difference between islam and christianity. They point out the big difference between Jesus and Mohammed. Jesus let himself be humiliated Continue reading
Quite some people have the idea that Christian faith is a matter of the past. Christmas would confirm this, for we are celebrating the day of Jesus’ birth some 2000 years ago. New atheism translates to a life vision that we definitely have to say farewell to God. But whoever is celebrating Christmas the right way, is looking towards the future; Jesus coming in majesty. This also means we’re in a heap of Continue reading
The possible diplomatic solution to the conflict of Syria seems to fall right out of the sky. Maybe that’s exactly why. Years of prayers for Syria have intensified since the threat of an attack of the US. Across the world Christians gathered as a whole, for prayer. Without trying to plan or measure Gods mysterious ways, it’s hard to day anything else than a sense of prayers answered.
But what now? Injustice stays predominant. I think about the brother and sister from Syria who fled here. They said: “Our heart Continue reading
Today is world liberation day. Jesus’ death at the cross means amnesty for all sins. The cordial invitation to celebrate this, starts with a question: Who’s son is Jesus?
This question raises excitement when reading ‘In the footsteps of the Prophet’ (2007) by islamic theologian Tariq Ramadan. Times Magazine named him one of the most innovative thinkers of the 21st century and he’s very popular among young muslims. At the start of his book Ramadan wants to show how good it is to be a muslim. To prove it, he points to a central figure for Jews, muslims and christians: Continue reading