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Letters Share the Life and Mind of Holland’s Founder | News

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Letters Share the Life and Mind of Holland’s Founder
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Letters Share the Life and Mind of Holland’s Founder

 HOLLAND – With the bicentennial of the birth of the Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte only a few months away, a new book provides insights into the life and mind of Holland’s founder from a new source:  the man himself.

Published earlier this month, “Envisioning Hope College: Letters Written by Albertus C. Van Raalte to Philip Phelps, Jr., 1857-1875” features correspondence as the two men worked together on behalf of education in the Holland colony, efforts that led to the founding of both Hope and Western Theological Seminary in the 1860s.  While the volume isn’t a biography per se, its editor, Dr. Elton Bruins (pictured), feels that the collection of 94 letters provides perspective on Van Raalte unavailable in previous works about the respected religious leader.

“This is the first book dealing with Van Raalte in which he himself is doing most of the speaking,” Bruins said.  “You hear Van Raalte speaking for himself and opening his heart, and that for me makes the book.”

“You get a real look into his life,” he said.  “You see him at his best and you see him when he is struggling.”

A 519-page hardcover, the book has been printed by Eerdmans Publishing of Grand Rapids through the Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America.  It was prepared through the sponsorship of the A.C. Van Raalte Institute.


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