Walking in Rotterdam

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go for a walk in Rotterdam.  Joop had meetings at his college all afternoon.  We went shopping together in the morning.  Margo and Joop are hosting a family reunion this weekend and so Joop was getting food for that.   We walked to the market.  It was a small open air market, situated in a square not too far from their home.  This market only occurred on Tuesdays.  The five vendors all stated that they sold organic goods only.  Joop brought his own cloth bags, and we carried his purchases back to the house.

Later, I went out.  I walked to the train station and took a tram south to the water front.  I walked along the water front and into a large park next to the Euromast.  I traveled by tram west to Delshaven.  This area is quite old, one of the few areas not destroyed in the war.  It was from here that the Pilgrims left the Netherlands in the early 1600s in the Speedwell to go back to England to board the Mayflower and make off for the New World.  I had lunch in an old cafe on the water.  After lunch, I walked back to the house.

Before dinner, Bregje and I had a conversation about her work and how she was feeling.  I was surprised when her brother, Hidde, appeared to tell us it was time for dinner.  Hidde is an artist/musician.  He has been a very interesting person to visit with on my previous visits.  Over a dinner of leftovers, we had a very spirited discussion about the meetings Joop had at his college.  I discovered that his college is considered a Christian college.  Our discussion centered on how Christianity has been coopted as a political concept for the purpose of competing with Islam or for marketing purposes.

I felt quite comfortable in joining this conversation, which at times turned into a quite heated discussion.  Hidde was representing the position of a tolerant free-thinking Durchman who is disappointed that his culture is being changed by new immigrants who have brought intolerant ways with them and also by a newly emerging and in his view, strident Christianity, which seeks to be as discriminating in its public and moral life as Islam.  Joop’s position was one of a pragmatic, nominal Christian, who argued that the college, if considered Christian should display certain behaviors consistent with the standards implied by the foundation made claim to.

My primary point was to discuss the role of relationships in the life of a Christ-follower, attempting to distinguish the life and thought of a follower of Christ from the political system named Christianity in Hidde’s worldview.  I contrasted the commitment and working of George Fox University in that we seek to only employ those persons who can clearly acknowledge and demonstrate their relationship with the Living Christ; with Joop’s Albeda College, which is a different animal altogether.

After Hidde and Bregje departed, Joop and I finished the evening by reviewing my Parallel Role and Function Theory of Higher Education.  Joop listened as I presented this model which I hope to use as a basis for an upcoming conference presentation.

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