11 Aug GS 1989 art 29
GS 1989 ARTICLE 29 – Announcement
The chairman publicly announces the appointments of Prof. Dr. N.H. Gootjes as professor of Dogmatology and Rev. Drs. J. De Jong as professor of Ecclesiology and Diaconiology. He addresses Rev. Drs. J. De Jong with the following words:
Esteemed Drs. J. De Jong,
It is a sincere pleasure for me as chairman of General Synod 1989 to congratulate you publicly with the fact that you have been appointed as professor of Ecclesiology and Diaconiology per May 1, 1990, in the forthcoming vacancy of Dr. K. Deddens. It is a pleasure for me personally, for our acquaintance of one another goes back very far to our early youth. We grew up in the same town, attended the same church, and went through the same schools. It is even more a pleasure for me to address you on behalf of Synod, for we have found in you a dedicated academician, a sincere office-bearer, and a qualified teacher.
We had some discussion on the fact that with this appointment you would have to switch in your field of expertise from Dogmatology to Diaconiology from what is perceived to be more theoretical to what is seen as being more practical — but we expressed confidence that you will be able to do this and may grow into this new field more and more. The Lord willing, many years still lie ahead of you, and we hope and pray that you may serve the churches as professor for many years to come. You have in your studies made a solid beginning, and we wish you the Lord’s blessing also as you prepare the final text of your dissertation and its defense in Kampen. You know, as we all do, that doctrine and life are one, “theory” and “praxis” are in our lives never to be separated. Your studies in dogmatics and in the history of dogma may help you greatly in Ecclesiology and lead you into a further understanding of the diaconiological disciplines.
Diaconiology has been called “the crown of the theological study”. May you enthusiastically seek to place this crown, the finishing touch as it were, on the preparation of many students in their training for the ministry.
I say these things perhaps somewhat presumptuously, so it may sound, as if you have already accepted this appointment. You have, of course, the right to consider it — and we expect your reply within ten days — but we trust and we hope that the answer will be positive. What may sound presumptuous on our part today is only our expression of joy and meant as encouragement to you.
We congratulate also your wife, your parents — whom I also know personally — and your parents-in-law. It will be a great joy for them to hear of this appointment, I’m sure. I may assure you that the Faculty of our College and the Board of Governors are delighted with this decision of Synod.
We hope Rev. De Jong that your many “professorial” deliberations will not make your “synodical” deliberations impossible, but should you seem somewhat absentminded in the next few days, we will forgive you.
May the Lord guide you with His wisdom and enable you to come to a definite decision which we may hear in due time.
Rev. Drs. J. De Jong replies with the following words:
Although I have had some discussion with faculty and board officials about this appointment, I realize that it only becomes effective with your decision here today. I am honoured by this appointment and I express my gratitude to the churches for the confidence that they have shown towards me in judging me worthy for this task. At the present time it still seems for me quite a formidable one, yet the LORD promises His help and guidance in all things. I promise that I shall give your decision due consideration, and I pray for God’s help and wisdom in this consideration. I also solicit your prayers, that this, too, may serve the well-being of the churches, and the coming of God’s kingdom.