This study started as research for a PhD. I am very thankful and honored that it now will be published by Brill in the book series Studies in Reformed Theology. My hope is that it will stimulate a wider audience in both reflecting on the gospel in the Western context and embodying this gospel in community.
I thank those who interacted with me in response to my PhD. It has prompted me to sharpen the evaluations of Berkhof and Gunton, and re-write chapters 13 and 14 of part 3 so that those thoughts that remained too implicit are now postulated with more clarity.
I thank Via Nova, the church in Amsterdam, and the many people that I have met there, both Christians and those from other persuasions. You have enriched my life, and have been a partner in the pursuit of the gospel in the Western context. I also want to express appreciation to Sandra for being my loving and caring wife; to Tobias and Florian, my sons who give me so much joy; to Popko van Meekeren, for praying with and for me; to Phil Ellen, who understands me better than I understand myself; to Stefan Paas, my theological and missiological sparring-partner; to Eddy Van der Borght, who gave crucial encouragement and helped me pursue missiological questions from a systematic theological angle; to Linda Zwart for drawing the picture in part 3, chapter 13.2; to Tony Hanmer, who graciously corrected my English.
My prayer is that this study will somehow be used by the Spirit of Christ to bless the (Western) world and equip the church to be a salt and light.