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It was especially good to share the experience of spending a year in the Netherlands, though we only overlapped a few weeks. His theology and theological program formed a unified vision which included both an uncompromising orthodoxy, with scholastic training, and a concern that all theology is intensely practical by its very nature. van Lieburg, “Nadere Reformatie: opnieuw een poging tot begripsbepaling,” Documentatieblad Nadere Reformatie 19:2 (1995): 108. van der Pol, “Religious Diversity and Everyday Ethics in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch City Kampen,” 20-22.vii A second group of people who deserve thanks are those who were of assistance in the Netherlands. Saldenus: Predikant en Dichter (Houten: Den Hertog, 1996); C. Malan, Die Nadere Reformasie (Potchefstroom: Potchefstroom Universiteit vir CHO, 1981); C. Meeuse, De Toekomstverwachting van de Nadere Reformatie in het Licht van haar Tijd: Een onderzoek naar de verhouding tussen het zeventiende-eeuwse chiliasme en de toekomstverwachting van de Nadere Reformatie, met name bij Jacobus Koelman (Kampen: Uitgeverij De Groot Goudriaan, 1990); S. Post, Bernardus Smijtgelt, Dienstknecht van God (Houten: Den Hertog, 2001); Keith L. A word should be said about the Nadere Reformatie and Oomius’ connection to the period. 12 Coupled with an interest in the scholarship to define the period are attempts to determine which pastors and theologians can properly be called representatives of the Nadere Reformatie, and which cannot. 14 study on his book about Islam,35 there remain many aspects of Oomius’ works and theology worthy of investigation. Exalto developed a research proposal concerning Oomius.36 Here he suggests the worth of a study of his Institutiones theologiae practicae, noting that it is substantial enough to be placed alongside of similar works by figures like Voetius, Hoornbeeck and Van Mastricht who also fall both into the camp of the Nadere Reformatie as well as the Reformed orthodox. Sleutel tot de Nadere Reformatie B06002127 De digitale tekst is vrij beschikbaar voor The digital text is free for personal use, persoonlijk gebruik, voor onderzoek en for research and education. Respecteer de rechten van de has to respect the rights of the copyright rechthebbenden. Schuringa All rights reserved To Sarah CONTENTS Acknowledgements….Abstract….PART I: SIMON OOMIUS IN CONTEXT 1 Oomius in the Context of the Nadere Reformatie and Reformed Orthodoxy…..1 1.1 Thesis of This Study…..1 1.2 Scholarship on the Nadere Reformatie and Reformed Orthodoxy…..2 1.3 Goal and Method of This Study…..9 2 The Life and Works of Oomius…..18 2.1 Biography…..18 2.1.1 Introduction…..18 2.1.2 Family…..19 2.1.3 Academic Training…..27 2.1.4 Pastorates…..34 2.2 Published Writings…..39 2.2.1 Introduction…..39 2.2.2 On the Christian Life…..42 2.2.3 Occasional…..44 2.2.4 Polemical…..45 2.2.5 Dogmatic…..46 2.2.6 Programmatic…..47 PART II: INTRODUCTION TO THE THEOLOGY OF OOMIUS 3 Oomius’ Understanding of Theology…..49 3.1 Theologia…..51 3.1.1 Term…..51 3.1.2 Archetypal and Ectypal Division…..53 3.1.3 Genus and Goal…..60 3.2 Theologia Practica…..65 3.2.1 Term…..67 3.2.2 Theology: Theoretical or Practical? Producent Claves pietatis / 20; versie 1.0 Bron / Source Annotatie(s) Website Nummer Onderzoeksarchief / Research Archive Nadere Reformatie Proefschrift Calvin Theological Seminary. SCHURINGA GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN MAY 2003 Copyright © 2003 by Gregory D.
Beyond illuminating this relatively unknown figure, this study of Oomius’ theology shows that viewing the Nadere Reformatie and Reformed orthodoxy as two mutually exclusive or opposing camps is not tenable. Dekker (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 11-12. Studies like this have been the trend in Nadere Reformatie studies dating from the late nineteenth century to today.13 While these studies have been extremely helpful in recovering our knowledge of the figures of the Nadere Reformatie and are thus valuable, the theology of these figures as well as the theological context could have been more thoroughly examined in many cases. Without this reevaluation, the sometimes pejorative evaluations of the older scholarship remain, thereby inviting a continuing bifurcation between the Nadere Reformatie and Reformed orthodoxy. For a discussion of the older scholarship as well as the perspective of the newer scholarship see, for example, Richard A. The conclusions of the newer scholarship on post-Reformation orthodoxy, however, rightly allow the possibility of the two to coexist. In order to study the theology of Oomius in its proper seventeenth-century context with a view especially towards taking note of both his orthodoxy and scholasticism as well as his piety and practical drive, chapter 1 of the dissertation will be followed by an overview of Oomius’ life and works in chapter 2.
Thank you to my grandparents, Henry and Winifred Schuringa as well as Sybren and the late Jaitske Post, for passing on the faith to the next generations and for your support and prayers throughout the years. David and Mary Schuringa, provided a loving, godly, and stable home throughout the years. It was he who introduced me to the riches of the Nadere Reformatie. This bifurcation can be traced by looking more closely at some of Nadere Reformatie scholarship over the years. 7 Similar evaluations of the relation of Nadere Reformatie figures to Reformed orthodoxy and scholasticism have continued in later years. Graafland has described the “bijbelsbesef” of the Nadere Reformatie as helping to correct the “schadelijke inwerking” of scholasticism.18 T. Though there are signs the scholarship is beginning to take the Reformed orthodox theological context seriously,27 including seeing the possibility of a unity of orthodoxy and piety in the period, there is a need for more work on this to be done. While “pietas” is often translated in English as “godliness” and in Dutch as “godzaligheid,” and is a sufficient understanding of the word for the purposes of this study, the reader should recognize there are problems with this standard translation and complexities surrounding the proper understanding of how the term was used in the seventeenth century.
I am blessed to have two precious daughters, Olivia and Hannah, who bring so much joy to my life. Typical of some of the earliest general church historical studies of the Nadere Reformatie as well as studies of individual representatives of the Nadere Reformatie is what A. Krull does in the introduction to his work on Jacobus Koelman.14 Here Krull states that Koelman was reacting against the stagnation of “dogmatism” and “dead, fineprint theology” which developed at the cost of the practice of Christianity and heartfelt piety and spiritual life.15 Krull favorably quotes the earlier Ypeij and Dermout church historical study when it states that people were only concerned with doctrine and thus there was no power in the heart toward godliness, morality, and virtue.16 Typical of others, Krull speaks of the movement of piety in the seventeenth century as a reaction to a dead dogmatism and a concern with fine points of doctrine.17 14 Jacobus Koelman: Eene Kerkhistorische Studie (Sneek: J. Brienen in his work on the preaching of the Nadere Reformatie mentions, favorably, J. Lekkerkerker when he sees it as a “reaction to and warning against ‘leerheiligheid’ which after Dort threatened to become master of the church and her preaching.”20 E. Also see the work of the journal Documentatieblad Nadere Reformatie as well as numerous other individual studies, for example: Joel R. See on this issue Aart de Groot, “Godzaligheid is gelukzaligheid.
With my family I was able to spend most of 2001 in Utrecht and in Kampen researching and writing. Attempts at defining the Nadere Reformatie have been many and various over the years. This dissertation will show that the concerns of the Nadere Reformatie mentioned in the above definition connect very closely with the concerns Oomius reveals in his writings. Exalto notes, moreover, that a study of this work can be nicely complemented by Oomius’ numerous treatises on various parts of the praxis pietatis.37 Exalto notes elsewhere the problem in studies on the seventeenth-century Reformed of scholars making too sharp an opposition between the orthodox Reformed theologians and their more pietistic contemporaries.38 He sees in Oomius an example of the close connection between Reformed scholasticism and Nadere Reformatie spirituality of the period.
It was there that I discovered the precise topic for this dissertation and learned much about the Nadere Reformatie and scholarship on the period in general. Fred van Lieburg and his family who helped make us feel at home in the Netherlands. The Documentatieblad Nadere Reformatie, vigorous in its study and promotion of the study of the Nadere Reformatie, has provided what may be considered the most authoritative definition of the period: De Nadere Reformatie is die beweging binnen de Nederlandse Gereformeerde Kerk in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw, die in reactie op de verflauwing van of een gebrek aan levend geloof de persoonlijke geloofsbeleving en godsvrucht centraal stelde en van hieruit inhoudelijke en procedurele reformatieprogramma’s opstelde, bij de bevoegde kerkelijke, politieke en maatschappelijke organen indiende en/of in aansluiting hierbij zelf een verdere hervorming van kerk, samenleving en staat in woord en daad nastreefde.28 28 C. Living (from 1630-1706) during the very heart of the movement, fruit of godliness, a personal and living faith, and further reformation of the church and society were all of intense interest to Oomius. 13 Though Oomius was one of the most fruitful writers of his time according to Abraham van der Aa (who lists about thirty-five works to his name), until very recently little or no archival work has been done on Oomius, let alone theological study.31 His published works include practical treatises on such matters in the Christian life as solitude, tears, fear, the spiritual home, old age, and suicide. On the archival work done thus far on Oomius see F. In some ways, it is Exalto’s research proposal that this dissertation wishes to take up, paying particular attention to areas like the orthodoxy/piety issue where the older scholarship on Nadere Reformatie and seventeenth-century orthodoxy can be 35 J.