Thursday 24 April 2014
A day full of impressions! In the coolness of the morning we walk to the building of the Reformatús university. A building full of history. You sense it immediately. Statues, paintings, staircases and a beautiful central courtyard with huge old trees and pleasant seats. In the morning we are guests at a seminar on “Talent in theology”. Professor Botond Gaál, mathematician and theologian, takes us along to the mathematical geniuses and then looks for a comparison with practising theology. All of this in Hungarian, but fortunately with an English translation on a hand-out. Einstein and fides Christi, and the difference between men and women, in short a rather provoking reflection. Next, Professor Schwarz from Regensburg speaks briefly on ‘work and vocation’ with Calvin and with Luther in particular. Work should always in first instance be at the service of the other. Professor Schwarz is clearly a monument of wisdom, 75 years of age, Mrs. Schwarz attends radiantly in the first row with a bunch of flowers from the faculty. Next we witness a ceremony where two female doctors are installed.
Beautiful gowns, golden and green, touching when the new PhDs are greeted with the words te accipio doctorem. Solemn and moderate at the same time; we sing in Hungarian with well-known melodies. In the background a wonderful painting where our very own Michiel de Ruyter liberates Hungarian galley slaves, Christian ministers. After a warm lunch (we’re getting used to it) we continue with an afternoon of discussion with our Hungarian PhD-hosts. We are with 25, again in one of these beautiful old halls that has hosted many generations. We deliver six presentations on our various clerical congregations. From Strictly Reformed to Salvation Army. The Hungarians deliver four presentations on different themes, such as the late 19th century author MacDonald and imagination and faith, on the 20th century Scottish theologian Torrance, on Satanism as counter religion and finally on the reformatus community in Hadjunánás. It is a congregation with 1300 souls, with school and social work and an “eco-programme”, in which accountability for the creation is the focus. The mayor is also one of the elders. By five thirty we are slightly exhausted, but also quite satisfied. We go full steam to dinner. Not in the Spartan canteen of the highschool, but in a true restaurant with lovely Hungarian food. Gergiu, Dora, Peter and Pauli have joined us. Intense conversations! This is how a long and interesting day draws to a close.