Our readers have, perhaps, been wondering why, in the last few numbers of The Standard Bearer, they found no continuation of the discussion by the Rev. L. Doekes of our “De Geloovigen en Hun Zaad.” If so, the answer is simple: in the last five or six issues of De Reformatie our brother in the old country did not continue his discussion.

The reason for this delay we know not.

As soon as he resumes his discussion we will publish it.


In the meantime, “De Geloovigen en Hun Zaad” appears to have been read rather generally. It also has been the subject of discussion in some papers published by the “synodicals.” While we are waiting for further word from the Rev. Doekes, it may be interesting to take note of their criticism and observe how it was received, and what use was made of it there.

First of all, we call the attention of our readers to what “De Strijdende Kerk” did with our booklet. “De Strijdende Kerk” (The Church Militant) is the name of a semi-monthly publication, that is devoted particularly to opposition against the liberated churches. At the head of the paper, above its name, we read the announcement: “Dit blad wordt gedeeltelijk gratis verspreid,” i.e., “This paper is distributed, partly, free of charge.” It is evident, therefore, that it is chiefly used for propaganda, and means to be read even by those that would, probably, not subscribe to it.

On this we have no criticism.

But we definitely do not like the use this paper made of my booklet “De Geloovigen en Hun Zaad.”

In Vol. 2, Nos. 29 and B0, it simply cited long passages from said booklet with the evident purpose to let the liberated .brethren know that also in “Amerika” they find no support.

The articles appear under a big headline: DS. HOEKSEMA CONTRA PROF. HEYNS.

The editor introduces them as follows:

(DUTCH REMOVED)

Let me translate this introduction for our readers that cannot read Dutch:

“Eighteen years ago, the Rev. Hoeksema was involved in a controversy with (literally: waged a battle against) prof. Heyns, among others. The Rev. Hoeksema, who also had serious objections against the doctrine of presumed regeneration, directed himself against prof. Heyns.

“These articles are now in reprint, and have appeared in the form of a brochure under the title: ‘Believers and their Seed.’

“Very instructive both for those that are aggrieved and for those that are not aggrieved is the attack of the Rev. (Hoeksema upon Prof. Heyns.

“It shows us how also elsewhere men struggled with the controversial questions of today; and seeing that this struggle took place in a far distant land, and in a time separated from our own by eighteen years, we can read this without being irritated by personal sympathies or antipathies.

“We gladly let the Rev. Hoeksema speak.”

And then follows nothing but a long citation from my booklet, in which I make plain that the covenant view of the former Prof. Heyns is Pelagian.

In connection with this, I kindly and urgently request “De Strijdende Kerk” to publish the following article of mine in reply to theirs (The reader may find the translation immediately following):

(DUTCH REMOVED)

Translation:

Please, “Strijdende Kerk”.

Will you be so kind as to publish the following in your paper? It is a reflection on a couple of articles that appeared in “De Strijdende Kerk” of Nov. 9 and 23, 1946. True, it is somewhat late for a reply, but this is largely without my fault. If you had sent me a copy of the issues of your paper in which said articles appeared, I would have reflected on them immediately. I had a right to expect this, the more so since your paper is, in part, distributed free of charge. As it is, I heard from others in the old country that your paper quoted elaborately from my brochure “De Geloovigen en Hun Zaad.” Through our paper, I thereupon asked for a copy of those numbers of your paper in which these quotations occurred, but without result. Finally, I received the above mentioned issues of “De Strijdende Kerk” through the kindness of a friend of mine in Kalamazoo, Mich. This may explain why this my writing is somewhat belated.

Now, Mr. Editor, I do not object to your quoting from my brochure. But I do protest against the onesidedness of those quotations, whereby my brochure is pressed into the service of your opposition propaganda against the liberated churches. This was, indeed, possible, because I do not agree with the covenant view generally maintained by the leaders of those churches, and because I indirectly oppose that view in my brochure. But that was not the intention of that booklet, as I plainly indicated in my Foreword. May I therefore, call your attention to the following:

  1. For the sake of honesty, you should have introduced me to your readers, not as one whose word could be of importance to you in an official, ecclesiastical sense, but as a heretic, who was cast out by the Christian Reformed Churches here, your sister churches, exactly because of the battle he waged, and of which you make mention. Your articles now leave the impression that you are quoting a man of importance. You will agree that they would have left an entirely different impression, if you had, e.g., written: “Let us see what a heretic from America, that was cast out by our sister churches because of his views, has to say about the covenant view of the liberated churches.”
  2. You might have added that the covenant view of Prof. Heyns was, at the time, generally accepted and proclaimed in the Christian Reformed Churches here, and was, with official approbation, taught at the Seminary of those Churches. And this view still has many adherents in those Churches, in spite of the fact that, recently, they allege that they maintain the theory of presumed regeneration.
  3. Besides, you should have added that your Churches also disagree with my view of the covenant, as must have become clear to you from my brochure. That which, according to my profound conviction, is the pure and definite Reformed line, was not drawn by your Synod of Sneek-Utrecht, and later, either. Yet, the antithetical-organic line, applied to the development of God’s covenant in the line of regeneration, is clearly taught in Holy Writ. If it be not beneath your ecclesiastical dignity, esteemed Editor, to discuss these matters with a heretic, I would gladly, for the sake of the truth, conduct such a discussion, in your paper and ours. But that is not the question at present. To avoid onesidedness, and in order not to leave the impression that your real purpose was to launch an attack on the liberated churches, you should have presented this side of the case to your readers also.
  4. May I add to this that I am deeply grieved that the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands, in which I, too, was born and brought up, were thus torn apart; that, from a Church-political viewpoint, I must put the blame for this schism entirely on the “synodicals that the Standard Bearer from the beginning sounded a note of warning against the pernicious path chosen, at the time, by Dr. Hepp, c.s., and soon after, by the Synod of Amsterdam, 1936; and that I believe that it would be salutary for the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, if your Churches would heartily confess the sin of their hierarchical actions committed by their broader gatherings, in order then, together, in love and peace, to attempt to solve the problem of the covenant in free discussion.

Mr. Editor, I trust that you will not refuse to publish the above in your paper. Let me assure you that, though I am, indeed, officially a heretic, I love the Reformed truth, and have always contended and still do contend for the well-being of the Reformed Churches.

With thanks for placing this article,

H. Hoeksema.

The above speaks for itself.

H. H.