For 450 years, churches throughout the world have been using the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) to instruct God’s people in foundational Christian doctrine. When Elector Frederick III (1515–1576) commissioned the preparation of a manual for instructing the youth and guiding the pastors and teachers of his domain, he could not have imagined the profound effect it would have on future generations of Christians. The most widely used, most influential Reformation catechism, the “Heidelberger,” shines forth the blessed truths of the Gospel in 129 questions and answers, beginning with the memorable, ever-enduring subject of our “only comfort in life and in death.” In A Faith worth Teaching, an array of faithful pastor-scholars celebrate the Heidelberg Catechism on its 450th anniversary with a collection of essays on its dynamic history, rich theology, and fruit-bearing practice that will be an encouragement to pastors and laypersons alike.
This collection is essential for students, scholars, pastors, historians, and anyone else studying church history, the Reformed faith, and the Heidelberg Catechism. With Logos Bible Software, A Faith worth Teaching is completely searchable—Scripture passages appear on mouseover and link to your preferred English translation and to the original language texts. With Logos’ advanced features, you can perform comprehensive searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for example, every mention of “justification,” or “James 1:3.”
This is a wonderful collection of articles, both practical and scholarly. There is much here to help us understand the history, the theology, and the continuing relevance of the Heidelberg Catechism. As we preach through the Heidelberg in our church I will certainly consult this book often. It prompted me to think again and again ‘Isn’t the Catechism remarkable!’ and, more importantly, ‘Isn’t the Gospel amazing!’
—Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor, University Reformed Church, Lansing, Michigan
As a summary and interpretation of God’s Word composed for and authorized by the Reformed churches, the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) has a special place in the life of the churches. We should be thankful for A Faith worth Teaching, a fine resource that helps us better understand and use the catechism in our time.
—R. Scott Clark, professor of church history and historical theology, Westminster Seminary California
It is no accident that John Calvin wrote biblical commentaries, catechisms, and a theology textbook. All the major Reformers were convinced of two things: first, that all the revelation of God is for all the people of God; and second, that systematic expository preaching (to which they were committed) needed to be accompanied by catechetical instruction. Only thus would Christians grasp the whole message of the Bible and have the ability to retain its truth in their minds and apply it to their lives. No sixteenth-century catechism accomplished this more powerfully than the great Heidelberg Catechism of 1563. In A Faith worth Teaching, Jon Payne and Sebastian Heck have assembled a first-class team of scholars and pastors to introduce and encourage its use in churches today. Combining knowledgeable scholarship and spiritual sensitivity, A Faith worth Teaching is both a crash course in Reformed theology and a stimulating guide to Christian thinking and living that encourage God-glorifying, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, church-oriented Christian living.
—Sinclair B. Ferguson, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina
Drafted in days when persecution was a real threat and doctrinal knowledge was low the Heidelberg Catechism is as relevant today as at any time in its long history. Today’s discouraged and confused Christians would do well to study the Heidelberg Catechism. This fascinating book is a great place to start!
—Dr. S. Westcott
Jon D. Payne is pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Douglasville, Georgia and also serves as visiting lecturer in practical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He is series editor of the Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament.
Sebastian Heck is assistant pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Douglasville, Georgia and serves as church planter of the Selbständige Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche (Free Reformed church) in Heidelberg, Germany.