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(This review covers the Kindle version and the companion audiobook from Audible.)
I debated whether or not to buy this book, and I'm SO GLAD I did! It has been a breath of fresh air in every way.
I did not grow up in a tradition that uses catechisms, and I had no familiarity at all with the Heidelberg. I did, however, grow up in a church that taught me to love good theology, and I have pursued good theology for years...sometimes losing the pursuit of God Himself in the process.
Not that God can be known apart from good theology. But it's possible to pursue theological knowledge as an end in itself, and to do so with a desire to master Christianity and master others with your Christianity. In other words, it's possible to be a Pharisee.
Good theology, rightly pursued, is not a desire to master God, but to be mastered by Him. The true knowledge of God must always lead to submission, as can be clearly seen by the Biblical accounts of everyone who encountered God's majesty firsthand. One pursues good theology in order to rightly know this God to whom we all must give account, and, knowing Him, to live every day in a right relationship to Him.
Enter the Heidelberg Catechism, and DeYoung's warm exposition of it.
I have rarely been privileged to hear such a wonderful depth of worshipful theology condensed into such a small package. I often felt joy and even wonder at the beautiful simplicity and depth of the truths expounded there, and expanded by DeYoung. In addition the narrator managed to capture DeYoung's pastoral tone very well, and was obviously a good choice for the audiobook.
Even in the one area where we truly disagree (DeYoung is a paedobaptist, and I'm a credobaptist), I found the book helpful. I was reassured by what the Catechism's paedobaptist view does and does NOT embrace (for example, it avoids the heresy of baptismal regeneration). I also appreciated DeYoung's warm, humble, joyful, loving defense of his views on the subject. He is a brother in Christ that I would enjoy meeting on this earth if I ever had the chance, and I look forward to getting to know him in Glory!
I can't wait to share this book with my entire family as a part of our family devotions for the next year.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and learned a lot. Kevin Deyoung does an excellent job of walking through the catechism. This book was my first introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism. After reading this book, I definitely plan on using the catechism in ministry and my own walk with God. The author's love for the catechism, theology, and God's word is infectious. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is new to the catechism, like me, or even someone who has been familiar with it for years, and would like to see it with new eyes. This book felt like a conversation. Every time a part of the catechism made me want to object, or raise a question in me, the author answered/addressed it. I appreciated how many times I was challenged by the material. I also found the case for infant baptism compelling. I have never heard anyone defend it's Scriptural basis before, as it is not practiced in my denomination.