Anderson University’s AU Press has recently released Doors to Life, a book written by Dr. Gustav Jeeninga, beloved AU professor emeritus of biblical studies. The book provides snapshots from the life of a man who migrated from the Netherlands after serving as a slave laborer of the German Army to study for the ministry in America. This path led him to Anderson University to serve as professor of Biblical Studies, archaeologist, director of the Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies, and chair of the Department of Religious Studies. During his tenure as a professor at AU, Jeeninga participated in six major archaeological digs.
“Life is a trail of stories, tales full of joy, tragedy, and meaning—especially when illumined by faith,” states Dr. Jeeninga. “Numerous opportunities and challenges emerged for me, most bringing joy, some pain, all a little more wisdom. Therefore, the title of this book is quite fitting.”
One such story in Doors to Life tells of the final days of the Third Reich in Berlin and recalls an incident witnessed by Jeeninga. At the time Jeeninga worked in a bakery in Blankenfelder, a suburb of Berlin, which was 15 miles from Hitler’s underground bunker, Jeeninga was frequently within the target area of the Allied forces. On April 20, 1945, he barely escaped machinegun fire when seven American fighter aircraft skimmed the housetops of Blankenfelder and fired bullets on the village streets, in “celebration” of the Fuhrer’s birthday.
“Dr. Jeeninga is a master story teller whose life includes being a slave of Nazi Germany, a world class biblical archaeologist, a longtime faculty member of Anderson University, and a man of deep Christian faith,” said Dr. Barry Callen, editor of Anderson University Press. “He tells it all in very engaging ways, with numerous photos to help it all come alive.”
Dr. Gustav Jeeninga was born in 1924 in Treebeck, in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands, as the son of a Dutch coal miner and pioneer pastor of the Church of God (Anderson). In 1940 Germany occupied his homeland, forcing him to serve Nazi Germany. The stories in Doors to Life are full of fear and faith. Jeeninga survived the Nazis, was called to Christian ministry, migrated to the United States in 1947 to attend Anderson College (University), and in 1960 began a long career at his alma mater.
“Rarely has a teacher left footprints that point the way for future generations as have those of Gustav Jeeninga,” said president emeritus Robert A. Nicholson
Doors to Life can be ordered through Warner Press via telephone at 1 (800) 741-7721 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For bulk orders of 10 or more at a discount, contact Dr. Barry Callen, editor of Anderson University Press, at (765) 641-4559 or by e-mail at email@example.com. To review other available titles published by Anderson University Press, visit the AU Press Web site at www.anderson.edu/aupress