If there is “nothing new under the sun” then perhaps the main task now facing the Western church is not to reinvent or be relevant, but to remember. The truth of the gospel is still contained within vintage faith statements. Within creeds and catechisms we can have our faith strengthened, our knowledge broadened, and our love for Jesus deepened.
In The Good News We Almost Forgot Kevin DeYoung explores the Heidelberg Catechism and writes 52 brief chapters on what it has shown him. The Heidelberg is largely a commentary on the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer and the book deals with man’s guilt, God’s grace, and believers’ gratitude. The result is a clear-headed, warm-hearted exploration of the faith, simple enough for young believers and deep enough for mature believers. As DeYoung writes, “The gospel summarized in the Heidelberg Catechism is glorious, it’s Christ gracious, it’s comfort rich, it’s Spirit strong, it’s God Sovereign, and it’s truth timeless.” Come and see how your soul can be warmed by the elegantly and logically laid out doctrine that matters most: we are great sinners and Christ is a greater Savior!
My Book Review:
What is a catechism anyway? Dictionary.com defines it as “an elementary book containing a summary of the principles of the Christian religion, esp. as maintained by a particular church, in the form of questions and answers” and “a series of formal questions put, as to political candidates, to bring out their views.”
The Heidelberg Catechism, which is big part of this book, is a set of questions and answers that are memorized and recited by those who read it. This book is a Bible study based on the catchesims. I think the author of the original catchesim should’ve included scripture to back up each answer, or even make scripture the answer to each answer. That way the reader-reciter could verify what he’s reading-memorizing to be biblically sound.
However, the author of this book has made up for what the original catechism left out by providing Scripture for the catechism, along with his own commentary. It is a well-rounded in-depth study.
The translations used in this book are ESV, KJV, NIV, and NRSV with ESV being used the most.
Thanks to Moody Publishers for sending me the review copy in exchange for my honest review. You can grab a copy from Amazon.com, Christianbook.com or from your local bookstore. The book is also available for Kindle download.