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The Church's Book of Comfort (Van't Spijker)

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Reformation Heritage Books

In The Church's Book of Comfort, Willem van't Spijker and his team of scholars present an introductory investigation into the history, theology, and impact of the Heidelberg Catechism. The authors give careful attention to the background of the Reformation in Germany, the production of the Catechism, and the lives of those involved in making the Catechism. Interesting details are given about the practice of using catechisms before 1563, and the reception of the Heidelberg Catechism among the Reformed churches. Emphasis is also placed on the practice of Catechism preaching and the efforts to increase theological education among congregations. Readers will see the rich theological dimensions of the Catechism and its call for experiential religion. The Heidelberg Catechism has long been known for its warm display of orthodox doctrines, and this helpful book further displays the importance of this classic confessional statement. 

Table of Contents:

1. The Reformation in Germany – Christa Boerke

2. The Completion of the Heidelberg Catechism – Wim Verboom

3. The People Behind the Heidelberg Catechism – Christa Boerke

4. The Theology of the Heidelberg Catechism – Willem van’t Spijker

5. The Heidelberg Catechism in the Netherlands

         A. Catechism Teaching from the Late Middle Ages – Wim Verboom

         B. Ecclesiastical Recognition of the Catechism – Teunis M. Hofman

6. The Heidelberg Catechism in Preaching and Teaching

         A. The Catechism in Preaching – Willem Jan op’t Hof

         B. The Catechism in Church Education – Marinus Golverdingen

7. The Continued Relevance of the Heidelberg Catechism – Willem van’t Spijker



The Church’s Book of Comfort sheds new light on the historical milieu, composition, authorship, and production of the Heidelberg Catechism. The chapter that summarizes the theological dimensions of the catechism is itself worth the price of the book. The histories provided of the Reformation in the Low Countries and of Reformed catechetical literature fill major lacunae in English literature. The history of catechism preaching over the centuries follows many fascinating twists and turns. Scores of pertinent illustrations bring color and light to the whole. This is an indispensable tool for anyone interested in the Heidelberg Catechism.” – Joel R. Beeke, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary