A Dutch treat
9 August 2004
I last visited the Netherlands in July 2002. I looked forward to my return trip (in May) with a van-load of literature. My busy 11-day itinerary (22 talks) yielded several press articles that reported on the meetings,1 including a daily Christian newspaper (Nederlands Dagblad) and a Christian magazine (Visie ).
We praise God for the way that He impressed upon many hearts and minds the vital relevance of the literal Genesis record of Earth history—not only in scientific matters, but most importantly, for morality and salvation through Jesus Christ.
The following are a few examples of some of the unsolicited feedback that we have received since the tour:
- I was a bit sceptic[al] about what to expect … Normally these kinds of subjects do not really interest me. But visiting the Sunday morning service has changed my point of view towards this subject. I cannot remember hearing such a strong message in the last half-year or even more.
- I went on Saturday morning not planning to stay the whole day because I had other plans. I stayed for the whole Saturday seminar and went also to the Sunday morning and evening service. I also reviewed all the textbooks at my school and want to change to another biology-teaching program next year. (A school director)
- My husband was so enthusiastic about the message from the weekend that he spoke out on this subject at a meeting between school directors from Christian schools to tell them that we allow to[o] much evolution to enter our schools and textbooks and that we should make a stand as Christian schools. (Wife of school director)
- I was sick in bed at home. But from what I have heard from my kids and husband [who attended, it] must have been great. My kids were really enthusiastic and strengthened in their belief … . You really provided a solid foundation. (Mother of 3 teenagers)
- I know from my daughter in the USA that they teach this over there. Finally it is also told here in the Netherlands. Will you invite him again next year?
The following are two responses from teenagers who were part of a crowd of 140 young people who heard me speak in the quaint gabled city of Haarlem:
- Never [k]new that there were so many lies in the evolution story.
- Always thought that part of evolution must be true, because of the science. I did not know how the Bible [could] be fitted in the time frame.
No truly ‘negative’ comments were received. However, the following was from a woman studying theology who found the talk interesting, but remained unconvinced:
- I am still not sure. I want to read the Bible to see if he is not mistaken.
Of course, as […] speakers, we are more than happy if a person’s response is to see what the Bible has to say!
I also had the privilege of addressing around forty science teachers (all Christians, from all over the country) at their annual get-together. Some of them admitted that they had been initially hostile towards the suggestion of having a [creation] speaker, but they listened intently to my talk (one of the few that I was able to give without interpretation) and were generally very ‘up-beat’ afterwards. All keenly took a ‘teacher’s pack’ that we had prepared—this included a back issue of Creation magazine, The Answers Book, the Creation CD-ROM and the booklet The 7 C’s of History.
In a lengthy question time, I was able to emphasise why we […] believe that ‘Intelligent Design’ by itself is not the answer—I challenged these teachers that as well as critiquing evolution in their science classes, they needed to deal with the issue of conflicting worldviews. If a person becomes convinced that evolution is a theory in crisis but never receives the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation (believing that the Genesis account is an untrustworthy myth), this will not help them in eternity! This is why we unashamedly describe [our ministry] as an evangelistic Christian ministry.
With help from a few dedicated Dutch Christians, I had managed to have all my PowerPoint slides translated into Dutch, which was clearly appreciated by the audiences. Compared to the wealth of great materials available to English speakers on creation/evolution, very little exists in the Dutch language. Six of my talks were video-recorded, and a talented Dutch Christian is currently preparing DVDs of these with all the Dutch graphics included.
So, here is a prayer point to consider. It is hoped that these videos, together with prospective Dutch translations of several […] books (including Answers to the Big 4 Questions and several of the small booklets), we will see the spread of this vital message of biblical authority throughout this once-Christianized land.