Many of you have heard the sad news that Bob den Dulk has died after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. If you don't know who Bob was and you are a fan of the White Horse Inn, you certainly need to read Dennis Johnson's moving piece about Dr. den Dulk on the Westminster Seminary California website. Click here: Westminster Seminary California newsevents.
I served with Bob for a time as a trustee and vice-chairman of the seminary, when he was chair. In fact, it was he who "fired" me. When the White Horse Inn moved back to California under the auspices of the seminary, I could no longer serve on the board since our by-laws did not allow someone to be both a trustee and an employee of the seminary. Bob wryly smiled and said, "you know, you can't serve on the board anymore." I already knew that, he knew that I knew that, but it was his way of expressing his pleasure that the White Horse Inn was back in California.
I first met Bob back when Westminster had just opened and was still in San Marcos. He was the vice-president and business manager. It was clear to me then, as it was throughout the time I knew him, that this was a man who not only knew what ought to be done, he made sure that it was. Bob is one of those great men who tirelessly labors behind the scenes making sure things are done right and ethically. Oh, for more like him . . .
Bob loved the Reformed faith and wanted to see it make a bigger impact upon American evangelicalism. Bob was one of the first board members of CURE (the forerunner of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals). His wisdom and guidance were instrumental in seeing us through those early days when the White Horse Inn was becoming popular, yet we knew nothing about handling the business side of things. Bob's was a steady hand, and if you enjoy the White Horse Inn today it is largely because Bob helped us through very difficult times.
One Bob den Dulk story . . .
In June of 1994, we decided that a mountain retreat would be a good idea for the next CURE board meeting. So, we rented a large home at Lake Arrowhead. Bob and his beloved wife Nellie were there, as were Ken Jones, Rod Rosenbladt, Mike Horton, along with Luder Whitlock (then president of RTS), and Robert Preus (the noted and Solomonic-like Lutheran theologian). Bob told stories of Cornelius Van Til ("Opa Case") witnessing to truckers in California's central valley. He and Dr. Preus debated particular redemption with the rest of us just taking it all in. It was wonderful to hear all the great stories and see such giants debate Reformation theology over dinner and libations . . .
But when the time came for the afternoon session to get under way, here sat Bob den Dulk, Luder Whitlock, and Robert Preuss, all glued to the television. We called them time and time again, but they wouldn't come. They were absolutely engrossed. Turns out they were watching a White Bronco drive the freeways of LA.
It was the infamous OJ chase! We never did get much work done that weekend, but I'll never forget it!
Please pray for Bob's wife Nellie, their children (Gilbert, Tim, and Rob and their wives), and their 15 grandchildren. May God grant them comfort in life and in death, through their confidence in the finished work of Christ and the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.