Mother's column – Passing on the Christian heritage


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Man in the book section of a second hand store. Photo RD, Sjaak Verboom

The baptism form that we use in the Netherlands is a valuable heritage from the past. It is incredible how many Reformed churches in our country, from liberal to conservative, still read that during baptismal services. Just imagine having to write something that suits all churches today. That would be impossible.

Of course, the interpretation of the text is a source for discussion. Regularly, there are lectures on how you should read it, often followed by many critiques from different sides. Amidst all the different views on Baptism and theological thoughts on the Covenant, I discovered a beautiful book as a student. With well-considered words, it convinced me of the value of infant baptism. At the cost of only 5 euros!

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).

When I am looking for a present on the occasion of the confession of faith for my brother and future sister-in-law, I suddenly remember this book. The price of it has risen enormously, but it is still available for 5 euros in online second-hand book shops. And to be honest, is it not much nicer (and sustainable) to buy two used books for the price of one new book? Being raised in our family, my brother is used to second-hand stuff, and his girlfriend has no choice with a family-in-law like ours. So, I order a second-hand copy of the book about Baptism and a study book about the Sermon on the Mount.

Good as new

For this occasion, I selected “good as new”, but that description turns out to be interpreted differently by different people. The study book is okay but obviously read, and it even smells like thrift stores when you open it. The book about Baptism is unread, but on the first page, shaky handwriting tells me that it is a present from grandpa and grandma, given in 2005 for “your Confession of Faith.” Usually, I feel very happy when I have bought something nice second-hand. But this makes me a little sad.

What should I do? Of course, I can just leave it as it is, using the words of the unknown grandpa and grandma as a warning that grace cannot be inherited from parents to children. But no, now I am going to extremes. Maybe the previous owner is just cleaning up the house radically. Or he or she has become blind. I will just glue a piece of paper on top of it to write my own good wishes on. And next time I need to buy a present, I will just go to the bookstore to buy something new. Just as nice.



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