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A study of the Heidelberg Catechism #54752
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:52 PM
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:52 PM
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chestnutmare Offline OP
Annie Oakley
chestnutmare  Offline OP
Annie Oakley
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Friends,

There has been some expressed interest in having a study of the Heidelberg Catechism, so we hope this will be helpful to all involved. We will go chronologically through the entire Catechism should there be sufficient consistent interest. The Catechism is located in our Creeds and Catechisms section which contains not only all of the questions and answers but the commentary that was written by the authors of the Catechism.

This catechism was written by Zacharias Ursinus (1534-1583) and Caspar Olevianus (1536-1584) in Heidelberg, Germany and published in 1563 in German. It was endorsed by the Synod of Dort and embraced by Continental Reformed Churches in many different countries. It is the custom of many churches that use it to preach from it from the pulpit every week throughout the year in the Sunday evening service, so it is divided into fifty-two weekly sections.

We hope many will join in and participate. Remember, in order to comment or to see certain parts of the Board, (some forums are members only) you will have to log in otherwise you will only be allowed to read.


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54754
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:31 PM
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:31 PM
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Tina Offline
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Tina  Offline
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I'm looking forward to this study. Thank you.

Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54763
Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:50 PM
Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:50 PM
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British Columbia, Canada
cathmg Offline
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cathmg  Offline
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I am also looking forward to the study. Thanks!


On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54778
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:56 AM
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:56 AM
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Posts: 1,060
Chicagoland
gotribe Offline

Old Hand
gotribe  Offline

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when will this study begin?


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54780
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:37 PM
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:37 PM
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Posts: 2,915
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chestnutmare Offline OP
Annie Oakley
chestnutmare  Offline OP
Annie Oakley
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Sorry, I had to put it on hold for a bit but perhaps as soon as March 1st?


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54783
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:07 PM
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:07 PM
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Chicagoland
gotribe Offline

Old Hand
gotribe  Offline

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Excellent! I look forward to participating.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54829
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:57 AM
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:57 AM
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Posts: 2,915
NH
chestnutmare Offline OP
Annie Oakley
chestnutmare  Offline OP
Annie Oakley
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Posts: 2,915
NH
Sorry, it has taken so long to get this discussion started. I lost my job and started a new home business so things have been quite busy and hectic for a while. So that said, perhaps we can now turn our attention to what I hope will be a study and discussion that will benefit all who are willing to participate.

May I point out that we have a section given to Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms and in that section, you will find the entire Heidelberg Catechism together with its commentary written by Zacharias Ursinus. This is a very important resource for this study and I would encourage you to begin by reading through the first section which is a brief history of the Catechism.

We will begin with a consideration of Question 1 and 2 of the Heidelberg which you will find a link for in this section. Note, the commentary follows along with each question throughout the Heidelberg forum.

Additionally, we have also provided a sermon by Rev. G.H. Kersten Lord's Day 1—Question 1 on this section of the Catechism which I hope you will read as well. I personally loved it and found it to be of much benefit.

Something I hope that you will consider as you examine this first question is, who do you think is the Heidelberg actually addressing? Hint: the authors state their intended readership but given the way this first question and answer are phrased, who is it that this question should actually be addressed to?


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54842
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:21 AM
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:21 AM
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Posts: 2,915
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chestnutmare Offline OP
Annie Oakley
chestnutmare  Offline OP
Annie Oakley
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,915
NH
Let me try again. Who do you think the Heidelberg is actually addressing? In other words: Who in your estimation is the proper audience, given the way the Catechism phrases the question and answer?

Hint: the authors state their intended readership but given the way this first question and answer are phrased, who is it that this question should actually be addressed to?


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54845
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:12 PM
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:12 PM
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British Columbia, Canada
cathmg Offline
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cathmg  Offline
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In my estimation the Heidelberg is actually addressing Christians and is not recommended for missionary work. I gleaned that from reading the brief history.


On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: cathmg] #54846
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:44 PM
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,435
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Curious.... grin Would you say that the Heidelberg is best taught to professing adult Christians only? Or, do you think that children should be catechized using the Heidelberg? scratchchin


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Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54848
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:52 AM
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:52 AM
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Tina Offline
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I believe the catechism was addressing the youth for instruction, and for guiding pastors and teachers.

Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: Tina] #54849
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:20 AM
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:20 AM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted by Tina
I believe the catechism was addressing the youth for instruction, and for guiding pastors and teachers.

Tina,

Thanks for responding to my question. I would like to travel a bit further on this if I may.

1) How would you (and others, of course) compare the 1st Q&A of the Heidelberg Catechism and the 1st Q&A of the Westminster Shorter Catechism? Put another way, what do you see as one of the major differences between the two in their approach?

2) Depending upon how you (and others) answer that question, and...given how you answered above, "In my estimation the Heidelberg is actually addressing Christians and is not recommended for missionary work.", where does "the youth" fit in to all this? How would you classify them? scratchchin


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Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #54850
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:11 PM
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:11 PM
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cathmg Offline
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The difference I see is that in the Westminster Shorter Catechism the chief end of man is the question and the glory of God is the answer where in the Heidelberg Catechism the focus is on what God has done for the believer and in a believers life and gives assurance that he does ultimately glorify God by the working of the Holy Spirit in his life. We are not our own...which I believe both questions address, and glorifying God both questions address. Hope that comes across clearly. smile

2. In looking deeper into this question I have found that it is geared to the youth as well as older believers in order to answer questions that they might have so that they can get a deeper understanding of the scriptures. It speaks at a level they can understand. Using the Catechism with the youth of the church will help to ensure a harvest of righteousness for generations to come.The youth are the future of the Church. It helps in times of conflict to go the the Catechism which has the answers clearly spelled out. Also, it promotes consistency for adults and pastors and is helpful in helping to detect heresy.

Last edited by cathmg; Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:26 PM. Reason: Forgot to answer the second question..

On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: cathmg] #54851
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:41 PM
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:41 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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1. My assessment of a comparison of the two catechisms is: The WSC is written in the 3rd person, i.e., from an objective perspective. The HC is written in the 1st person, i.e., from a subjective perspective.

2. Since #1 is indisputably true then it must also be true that ONLY professing believers, i.e., those who have made a biblical, credible profession of faith should be taught the Heidelberg Catechism. To use the HC to teach children and those who haven't made a biblical, credible profession of faith would be to convey a false sense of assurance to those who are unworthy and who are yet under the just wrath of God. Those who hold to "presumptive regeneration" would strongly disagree, of course, by the very fact that they believe that covenant children are to be presumed regenerate or at least have the "seed of faiith" within them and thus the HC applies to them and the assurance of salvation belongs to them unless they totally repudiate the faith sometime in the future.

It used to be that such a view was held predominately by those in the Continental Reformed Churches, i.e., the Dutch Reformed denominations. But over the past few decades, this view has been adopted and practiced, albeit perhaps not officially on the books within a number of Presbyterian Churches and other independent churches. The consequences of this view has been disastrous in that these churches are filled with unregenerate members who have a false assurance of their spiritual condition and of eternal life.

Okay, so to get straight to the point, it is my firm and unwavering conviction that the Heidelberg Catechism should ONLY be used as a teaching aid for those who have made a biblical, credible profession of faith and who are members of a local church. Let me stress also that I include "biblical" as an inseparable part of a credible profession of faith, especially in our present day due to the proliferation of false gospels within the vast majority of churches, not just the evangelical variety, but sadly also within the Reformed denominations. Thus, I see the WSC as being a more universal source for teaching biblical truth regardless of the spiritual condition of those being taught. And, the HC is a special and narrow source reserved for those who have been effectually called by God, regenerated by the Spirit, united to the Lord Christ through a living faith and who are seeking a life of holiness before God. The Heidelberg is a personal and particular statement of one's own faith in Christ and thus it should be reserved for those who profess a Spirit-wrought faith but also have the marks of that faith.

Just so you know, I love the WSC, WLC and the Heidelberg catechisms. I just believe they should be used to teach particular types of people. grin


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Re: A study of the Heidelberg Catechism [Re: Pilgrim] #54854
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:38 PM
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:38 PM
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Tina Offline
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Tina  Offline
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Thank you, Pilgrim, I appreciated reading your understanding of the questions, and the information you share.

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