Gethsemane reveals God’s unthought-of plan of salvation.

How are we to look at Jesus’s struggle in Gethsemane? When you read the Gospel of Matthew at a stretch you will meet a mystery. As it is, Matthew emphasises Jesus’ power (among others Matt. 7:29, 9:6, 12:29). Jesus cures many ill people. He calms the storm at the lake. In discussions Jesus proves to be superior to the spiritual leaders. Jesus even forgives sins and is stronger than death (Matt. 9:6&25). Jesus is always Lord and Master. He really is God with us (Matt. 1:23).

Until Gethsemane, it seems. Jesus falls down. He begs His Father if the cup may pass from Him. He almost perishes from pangs of death. What is the matter? Understanding Jesus’s struggle in Gethsemane is Continue reading

There is no Plan(et) B. About climate change and faith

Below you will find the text of a sermon in a special service about climate change and faith. The service was prepared by youngsters from our church. We read Ezekiel 18 in the Bible. There is a reverse offertory; Instead of giving everybody will receive something: a mission or a question corresponding with the theme of the service; God’s creation. We also sing the ‘Climate Song’ by André F. Troost.

Dear Fellowship of the Lord

1         Does God speak via climate activists?
The climate is changing. We see this all around us. The proof that this is caused by us, people, is more than convincing. Caused by our behaviour. Many people are very worried about the future of the earth. And there still are so-called climate sceptics/deniers.

Climate change and faith is an important subject. As it is, Christians honour the Creator. Alarm-signals sound when his creation is affected. It is a good thing that you, youngsters, suggested this theme for a special service, ‘Who cares? About climate change and faith’.

Is there a direction the Gospel shows us? And what direction should be followed?

I would like to begin with a contemporary Continue reading

Church asylum and the vocation of the church in a post ecclesiastical society

It is not yet correct to refer to our society as post ecclesiastical, but secularisation proceeds rapidly (SCP, December 19th 2018). Those who do believe are a motley assembly. What should the attitude of the church be in this post christian, nearly post ecclesiastical and multi- religious context?

The Bethel Chapel in The Hague offered church asylum tot he Armenian family of Tamrazyan for some months. A non-stop church service prevented the deportation of this family who have exhausted all procedures. In this way the church has contributed to a political switch Continue reading

Suppose a mosque would render church asylum. That is to say: in what context does the church live?

Below you can find my article in the christian Dutch Daily Nederlands Dagblad about church asylum in The Hague, the Netherlands. Does the church sufficiently realise in what context she lives? (See also the two (Dutch) blog texts below about church asylum)

Asylum in the mosque
The church asylum in The Hague deals with more than rights and duties of both government and church. An experiment in thoughts makes this clear. Suppose there is an islamic family in the same hopeless situation as the family receiving church asylum in The Hague, now. A mosque hears about this family and decides to render them asylum. Many imams and other islamic clergymen are drummed up to say the prayers in a relay-service so as to prevent Continue reading

Western christians and the great mystery of faith

Below the surface many ideas are afoot concerning the dogma about God. This is threatening. The church, as it is, lives on the knowledge of who God is. It lives on that one, great mystery of faith (1 Timothy 3,16).

Let me start with two examples concerning Jesus Christ. Recently Hillsong Continue reading

Alternative for European Void

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

Europe needs a new and credible story

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

Hell from far away and close up

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

Why does God let islam rise in North-West Europe?

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

Edward Snowden prophesies the coming of Jesus

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