BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 1999-04 > 0924644071
Subject: Re: Dutch Reformed v. German Reformed
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 17:34:31 EDT
The difference between the Dutch and German Reformed Churches is as simple as
the fact the German Reformed Church is made up of German Reformed Christians
from the Palatinate, whose confession of faith was the Heidelberg Catechism
, and that the Dutch Reformed Church developed in Holland around the
Belgic Confession (1561), but later accepted the Heidelberg Catechism and the
Canons of Dordt at the famed Synod of Dort in 1618-19.
The Dutch Reformed Church has its own church order and a lengthy and distinct
theological history. Historically, it has tended to be quite faithful to its
Calvinist heritage--though there have been some liberalizing tendencies.
Dutch immigration to America has tended to come in waves, most of it in the
1840's, though the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam brought significant numbers
from Holland during the colonial period.
The German Reformed Church, on the other hand has always struggled with state
entanglements and the Lutheran majorities in Germany and retained theological
ties to Germany--hence a much more rapid theological liberalization. Its
most famous institution in the nineteenth century was the Mercersberg
Seminary and is now part of the United Church of Christ.
I hope that helps!
Dr. Kim Riddlebarger
Christ Reformed Church
Orange County, CA