Month: May 2020

Play Ball? Sports, Religion, and Immigrants

Play Ball? Sports, Religion, and Immigrants

My title — “Play ball?” — really should have two question marks. I picked this topic because I’ve been watching to see whether North Americans will get major league baseball this Covid-19 summer. That’s one question. The other is whether Christian athletes should play on […]

Dutch West Michigan and the Civil War

Dutch West Michigan and the Civil War

In 1862, the founder of the Dutch colonies in West Michigan, Albertus Van Raalte, began to urge the men of his immigrant flock to enlist. He did not spare his own sons, Dirk and Benjamin. Both joined the Union Army in August, serving with other […]

First Netherlands Reformed Church – Ties that Bind and Separate

First Netherlands Reformed Church – Ties that Bind and Separate

A common question about the history of settler societies like the United States and Canada is the degree to which immigrants adapted to conditions in the “new world” or successfully transplanted their “old world” ways. The religious history of immigrants provides valuable case studies to […]

Johannes Groen and Grand Rapids Politics

Johannes Groen and Grand Rapids Politics

In our last blog post, we looked at a general overview of Reverend Johannes Groens’s life and ministry. We saw that Groen was a dynamic speaker who was loved by many who knew him. We also saw that conflict characterized parts of his ministry. In […]