Yearly Archives: 2013


  The Netherlands Office of Statistics reports that the number of people without a long-term relationship is on the rise. Many do not want to start a relationship—either by choice or because this is just how life has gone. But in many other cases relationships have suffered shipwreck. Recent data show that nowadays more relationships are ended than get started. These data include not only the statistics for divorces but also the ruptures of long-term relationships of those who cohabited. … Continue reading

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A new blog . . .

This past week the future of these blogs became rather uncertain. After my last blog I received a number of very negative reactions—they arrived as comments through this site and via e-mail. They were from people who doubted my good intentions. The senders wondered whether I would not do better to simply leave the church. I could pretend that such messages do not bother me, but they do, even though I can almost predict from which people they will come. … Continue reading

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A prayer for the pope?

  In Adventist  circles the pope never had a very positive press. At first it was not so bad. In the days of William Miller, the precursor of the Advent Movement, the Protestant churches received the brunt of the criticism. At the time Catholics were not yet very numerous in the United States and the pope was mostly a distant historical figure. But when the immigration from Catholic countries brought millions of adherents of ‘Rome’ to this traditionally Protestant country, … Continue reading

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  In his novel The Eye of the Leopard (as the title is translated from Swedish),  Hans Olofson, a Swede, is the main character. The book is written by the well know Henning Mankell, whose fame is mostly built on his Wallander policy series. After a rather complicated youth Olofson travels to Africa for a short stay, but in the end he stays there for nineteen years. He works in Zambia on a farm owned by a white woman. When … Continue reading

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Northern associations

  In the past week three cities in the Northern part of the Netherlands aroused some strong associations for me. The first one was Zwolle, where I went to preach last Saturday. Whenever I arrive in Zwolle and turn into the street that brings me to the church, and I see the street name Zamenhofsingel, there are memories of my youth. The Polish-Jewish scholar Leizer Zamenhof (1859-1917) developed an artificial language that was learned by millions of people worldwide. Esperanto, this … Continue reading

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