Johannes Bogerman and His Powdering Speech

President of the Synod of Dordt

Johannes Bogerman had been a pastor since 1599, serving in various cities of Holland and Friesland, his homeland. There, he defended the teachings of the Reformation against the views of Anabaptists, Socinians, Jesuits, and Remonstrants who tried to influence his congregations.

 

Dimittimini exiteI” (“You are dismissed, get out!”) With these imperious words, Johannes Bogerman (1576-1637), president of the Synod of Dordt, expressed what many of the delegates were had been painfully thinking. The Remonstrants had to leave.

Bogerman and the Synod

This decision had come after weeks of discussions. The Synod had opened on November 13, 1618, called by the States General (governing body) of the Dutch Republic. Johannes Bogerman, then pastor of Leeuwarden, Friesland (now in northern Holland), was chosen as president.

The appointment came as a confirmation of his reputation. Son of a converted Roman Catholic priest, Bogerman had studied in the main European universities of his time (including Franeker, Heidelberg, Geneva, Zurich, Lausanne, Oxford and Cambridge), particularly excelling in the study of Hebrew.

He had been a pastor since 1599, serving in various cities of Holland and Friesland, his homeland. There, he defended the teachings of the Reformation against the views of Anabaptists, Socinians, Jesuits, and Remonstrants who tried to influence his congregations. The Remonstrants, who had taken the emphasis of Jacob Arminius on human free will to a whole new level, were particularly active in the Netherlands at that time, and were the main reason for the convocation of the Synod.

The delegates at Synod were mostly from the Netherlands. Some came from other European countries, such as Switzerland, Germany, and the British Isles. A French delegation had been invited, but King Louis XIII prevented them from attending, so they had to communicate with the synod by mail.

Inviting some Remonstrants was an afterthought. Bogerman and others thought it would be best to hear from them in person. After a while, it became clear this it was not a workable solution.

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