The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism
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Listen to a sermon by Kevin DeYoung from Ephesians 1:4-14 entitled The Heidelberg Catechism: Sovereign Providence. (SermonAudio.com)
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!
Published April 2010
About the Author
Kevin DeYoung is Senior Pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, across the street from Michigan State University. A graduate of Hope College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, he serves on the executive team of RCA Integrity, a renewal group within the Reformed Church of America. DeYoung is the author of Just Do Something, and Freedom and Boundaries, as well as Why We're Not Emergent and Why We Love the Church with co-authorTed Kluck. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have four children.
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: April 2010
ISBN 10: 0802458408
ISBN 13: 9780802458407
"Can a catechism written in the 1500’s be relevant to an average Christian 450 years later? Kevin DeYoung thinks so, and his latest exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism is proof that he’s right.
The Heidelberg Catechism, which consists of a series of 129 questions and answers, is divided into three main sections: guilt, grace and gratitude. These sections are spread out over 52 “Lord’s Day” readings. DeYoung structures his discussion around these 52 readings, spending 4-5 pages on each one.
Like the Catechism itself, DeYoung’s enthusiasm for the gospel bleeds through on almost every page. For instance, he states that “the gospel summarized in the Heidelberg Catechism is glorious, its Christ gracious, its comfort rich, its Spirit strong, its God sovereign, and its truth timeless. You can meet Christ here, if you will simply come and see” (pg. 16). Whether you are an enthusiastic member of a Sovereign Grace church, a confessional Presbyterian or a “hipster” who loves deeds but not creeds, this book will deepen your love for Christ and encourage you to respond to him in gratitude.
The Heidelberg Catechism is, I believe, one of the best pieces of devotional literature ever penned by mere men. Indeed, “people who write off catechisms as dry and dusty, as freeze-dried dogma, have never read this one” (pg 143). DeYoung’s latest book is certainly the most accessible, engaging and inspiring exposition of the Heidelberg to appear in recent memory. His work is reliable, relevant and readable. We owe him a huge debt for reminding the Church of this forgotten treasure of theological depth and warmth."
- Ben Dahlvang, Westminster Bookstore Staff
”I cannot over exaggerate how good this book is. Here is a crash course in life-changing biblical teaching, a wake-up call to the slumbering, a blood transfusion for the spiritually anemic, a solid meal for the mature - and much more: conversational, cutting where needed, gospel-filled, and clear.
The Good News We Almost Forgot has it all: honesty, truth, grace, plain-speaking, encouragement, wisdom, and hope. It may not make you wish you were Dutch - but it should certainly make you feel that being a Christian is the greatest thing in the world, today or any day!”
- Sinclair B. Ferguson, Senior Minister First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina
”I’m sure this will be the best book on the Heidelberg Catechism I’ve ever read. I know it will be the first.”
- C. J. Mahaney, president, Sovereign Grace Ministries
"When I was a teenager, Tuesday nights were catechism nights. I would go to church and, under the tutelage of the pastor, both study and memorize what I affectionately called “Ye Olde Heidelberger.” The deep truths of that document provided a firm foundation for my growing faith. Even as a teen I realized that at the very heart of the Heidelberg Catechism is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And yet I cannot deny that it has been many years since I last studied it. In The Good News We We Almost Forgot Kevin DeYoung dusts off that old Catechism and proves that it is as relevant today as it was 450 years ago. Its truths are timeless, its encouragement unchanged. I am grateful to Kevin for introducing this venerable document to a new generation of believers. May they find hope and joy in the One it celebrates.”
- Tim Challies, blogger at www.challies.com
”For more than four centuries, reformed Christians have gleaned rich biblical insights and found immense comfort from the Heidelberg Catechism (1563). Kevin DeYoung’s concise commentary on this beloved confession is excellent, full of wisdom and relevance for contemporary Christians. Here the reader will find nothing less than a celebration of the beauty of Christ and the glory of the gospel."
- Scott M. Manetsch, Associate Professor of Church History and Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
”As Kevin DeYoung writes, “The gospel summarized in the Heidelberg Catechism is glorious.” I could not agree more. And it is my prayer that DeYoung’s often whimsical, always insightful, and invariable accessible reflections on the catechism will help many to catch a greater glimpse of the glorious gospel."
- Gary Parrett, Professor of Educational Ministries and Worship, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
”The Heidelberg Catechism is one of the most important documents to emerge from the Reformation. In the space of one hundred twenty-nine question and answers it captures a vital Christian theology, piety, and practice. Christians and congregations alike will benefit greatly from getting to know this classic resource and we shall all be thankful for Kevin DeYoung’s wonderfully accessible introduction to this resource."
- R. Scott Clark, DPhil, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, Westminster Seminary California
”DeYoung has brought an old catechism to new life. This book is a wonderfully clear and contemporary introduction and explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism. It is interesting, well illustrated, and biblically based. I plan to recommend it to those new to the Catechism and those who want a fresh read through it. It is a gift to today’s church."
- Thomas Groelsema, Senior Pastor, 1st Byron Center CRC