Anko Scholtens: Lay Leader of Reformational Movement (2)

In my previous post I introduced Anko Scholtens, my grandfather's uncle after whom I was indirectly named. After I had completed the memoirs of Douwe Van Dijk, My Path to Liberation, which I mentioned last time, I sent an email to Roelof Janssen, the book's publisher, to express my appreciation for the book and to inform him of my relationship to Anko Scholtens, who of course was mentioned in the book.

Roelof forwarded my email to the book's translator, Dr.Theodore Plantinga of Redeemer University College, who indicated that he, one of few people who knows that my first name is Anko, had thought of me while translating the book. Dr. Plantinga also alerted me to an essay he had published tracing the history of the Reformational movement in the Netherlands--essentially the history neo-Calvinistic worldview thinking, in which he indicates that according to Cornelis Veenhof, the main players in the early history of this movement were, among others, Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, Klaas Schilder and Anko Scholtens.

Dr Plantinga was referring to Veenhof's book Unica Catholica: Een Beschouwing over de Positie van de Bezwaarden onder en over de Synodocratie (Goes: Oosterbaan & Le+Cointre, 1949) in which Veenhof writes, "In Groningen God awakened the incomparable Anko Scholtens. In his inner communion with the Scriptures, something had come to life for him. He came to understand what believing is: relying directly on the Word of God and living out of it. And he understood again that God's Word is a word of promise, a word of grace, that it is always up-to-date and is spoken by God directly. Naturally, he came to realize that a regimen of self-examination coming between believing and the assurance of salvation, or between believing and Christ or His Word, is an absurdity; he realized that both believing and the Word of God are thereby denatured, with the life of faith being affected in its root. Through his faithful service, the eyes of many in the North were opened to the reformational sola fide. And it was especially the powerful voice of Douwe van Dijk [1887-1985] that carried this ancient and ever new treasure into the hearts of thousands!"

I indicated earlier that Van Dijk was a powerful and popular preacher in the city of Groningen where he ministered. He was also the main spokesperson for Dr. Klaas Schilder's view of the covenant at the famous synod of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands that wrongly and regretably deposed Schilder in 1944. A subsequent synod expressed regret at this action, but the damage was done and a new federation of Reformed churches was born, occasioned largely by the ouster of Schilder."

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