I’ve been enjoying Kevin DeYoung’s popular introduction and commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism. The book is titled The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, and it is a gem. After a brief introduction, the book is divided into fifty-two chapters, corresponding to the Catechism’s own weekly schedule for mastering its 129 questions and answers. Each chapter begins with that week’s Questions and Answers from the Catechism and then is followed by DeYoung’s brief commentary on that reading. The last chapter is followed by a warm-hearted epilogue, calling on Christians to love theology and experienceâ€”i.e., to reject the false dichotomy between the “head” and the “heart” in the Christian life. Finally, there is an appendix which has a question for a title, “Does the Heidelberg Catechism Forbid Homosexual Behavior?” DeYoung presents a compelling case that it does.
I like this little book mainly because I like the Heidelberg Catechism. DeYoung’s commentary is highly accessible and would be beneficial to any reader interested in learning about the catechismâ€”even the lay-reader with no theological training.
My favorite question and answer from the Catechism is the first, and I close with it.
Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.