During the Protestant Reformation in Europe of the 16th century, the Dutch Reformed churches in the Netherlands were attended by about 10% of the population. At the turn of the century nearly 50% of the population of the Netherlands began attending Dutch Reformed churches. Although one would think this is a good thing that the Dutch Reformed churches grew so rapidly, “it became easy to confuse being anti-Catholic with being Reformed. Nominal church membership and loose living became fashionably acceptable. Spiritual and ethical sterility grew rampantly, particularly when combined with newfound prosperity.”[i] Thus, while the Dutch Reformers stood squarely on the shoulders of the Reformers who had come a century before them, they sought zealously to apply Reformation doctrine to the lives of their parishioners. Hence, the Second Dutch Reformation was “a movement in the 17th century which was a reaction against dead orthodoxy and [the] secularization of Christianity in the Church of the Reformation and which insisted on the practise of faith” [sic].[ii] In essence, the Dutch Reformers sought to show that right theology that is not lived out, that is not seen as being relative to every day life, is pointless. Right theology should lead to a life of doxology.
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