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Trees of the Bible Part 1: The Branch of Jesse

Recently, I was reading an article that stated that trees were the most mentioned living creature in the Bible after humans. Doing some digging myself by looking up the words tree, forest, wood, branch, bough, oak, cedar, palm, and including items made from wood such as rod, staff, and cross, I found over 800 references […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 10: The Canons of Dordt

The Synod of Dordt officially began on November 13, 1618 in the city of Dordrecht. It lasted through 154 meetings and ended on May 9, 1619. In a little less than six months, the delegates came to the decision that the Bible taught that all men are totally depraved, God’s election isn’t based on any […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 9: Preparation for the Synod

Planning for a national synod had begun early in 1618, even before Prince Maurice called for a synod. Because the church and state were tied together in the Netherlands, the churches in the Netherlands couldn’t call a synod themselves. Only the government, Prince Maurice, could call one. Representatives from all the provinces of the Netherlands […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 8: Prince Maurice Takes Action

By 1617-18, the theological and political situation in the Netherlands had become tense. The truce would end in only three more years. What would happen when the war with Spain resumed, and the Netherlands was divided between Remonstrants and Gomarists? At the moment, the Netherlands was on the brink of a civil war between Prince […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 7: The Remonstrants

While the war with Spain had been waged across the Netherlands, another war had been quietly simmering in the background. Jacobus Arminius, a professor at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, had been promoting a theology that opposed the five points of Calvinism. When Arminius died in 1609, the same year as the truce […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 6: A Truce

In 1584, the Calvinist Dutch appear to be on the brink of defeat by Philip II of Spain. But during this time, Spain and England had begun to have tensions of their own. Before this, Philip II had been married to Queen Mary of England, who is also called Bloody Mary for her persecution of […]

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Philip II of Spain decided to crush the rebellion in the Netherlands. He sent the Duke of Alba, a man known for his hatred of the Protestant Reformation, to the Netherlands. The Duke of Alba formed the Council of Troubles, also called the Council of Blood, to persecute the Calvinist Dutch. This council oversaw large […]

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After so many years of persecution, men from the Calvinists, Anabaptists, and other Protestant branches decided to begin to fight back. They had appealed to Philip II with the plea that included the Belgic Confession to stop the persecution, but he hadn’t listened. It looked like the Reformation might be wiped out of the Netherlands […]

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In the 1540s, the Netherlands—at that time seventeen provinces of what we call the Low Countries—was ready for a sweeping Protestant Reformation. The first part of the Reformation to make progress in the Netherlands was Anabaptism. The Anabaptists didn’t believe in baptizing infants and they would often retreat into their own communities away from the […]

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