A Reformation & Revival Journal Interview with Nelson Kloosterman -- By: Anonymous
RAR 12:1 (Winter 2003) p. 135
A Reformation & Revival Journal
Interview with Nelson Kloosterman
Dr. Nelson Kloosterman is an unusual seminary professor. He is both a pastor to pastors, a lover of the Church, and a man with many other related loves. Clearly, he loves Christ above all else. As a thinker he is always willing to go where the gospel leads him. I first met Nelson Kloosterman several decades ago when he gave an address to ministers at the Banner of Truth Conference (U.S.) on shepherding the bereaved. It was both wise and compassionate. I have never forgotten that address. In recent years Nelson has ministered with and for Reformation & Revival Ministries. Just after January 1, 2003, we sat down at the offices of Reformation & Revival Ministries and had a wonderful chat that led to this published interview. —John H. Armstrong
R R J —Tell us initially about your family background.
NK —I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of a Dutch immigrant father who came to the United States after World War II as a very young man who had served in the Dutch Resistance movement against the Nazis in the Northern Netherlands. He married an American girl of Dutch ancestry.
RAR 12:1 (Winter 2003) p. 136
When I was eleven, my mother passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). She was in a process of decline for three years as she moved from braces, to a wheelchair, and finally to a bed.
My father married again, about a year later. He and my stepmother had three more children. So I come from a large family of eight children. I grew up in a home that I would describe as Christian. My father was probably among the most important formative influences in my life. I didn’t know until I was fourteen that he even had an accent, and that only by comparing him with the fathers of my classmates.
He was very serious about the Christian faith and nurtured us at home in family devotions three times a day. Sundays were days of worship and rest. We grew up with a tradition of two worship services each Lord’s Day. In addition we had catechism instruction every week. Dad ensured that catechism was learned and that we behaved in class.
His faith was quite evident. I’m fond of telling the story that I was a naughty boy when I was growing up, and among the means of discipline my parents employed was to have me write lines. But the lines they had me write came from the answer of the Heidelberg Catechism to the Lord’s Day question on the meaning of the fifth commandment.
My great regret was that it was not a short answer. To write it ten times took the spunk out of me as far as naughtiness, at least for awhile. It does show one way in which paren...
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