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The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism Paperback – April 1, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

KEVIN DEYOUNG (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He blogs at the Gospel Coalition and has authored or coauthored numerous well-known books such as Just Do Something, and The Biggest Story, as well as the award-winning books Why We're Not Emergent (with Ted Kluck), Why We Love the Church (with Ted Kluck), and Crazy Busy.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802458408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802458407
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By John Gardner on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Chances are pretty good that many people reading this are wondering, What in the world is a catechism? The short answer is that it is a method of teaching Biblical truth in an orderly way. The word "catechize" comes from the Greek word katecheo, which is the word Paul used several times in the New Testament translated "instruct" or "teach" (see for example, 1 Cor. 14:19, Gal. 6:6, and Acts 18:25). Typically, a catechism teaches the doctrines held by the church through a series of questions and answers, with references to supporting Scriptures.

More specifically, the Heidelberg Catechism is one of several historic church documents produced around the time of the Reformation for the purposes of instructing children (and adults) in the doctrines of the new Protestant faith. It was published in 1563, written primarily by Zacharias Ursinus, who was a professor at the University of Heidelberg. The catechism contains 129 Questions & Answers, arranged into 52 Lord's Days. The idea was that students being taught the catechism would memorize a set of Q&A's each week, reciting them in their catechism class (a predecessor of "Sunday School") on the Lord's Day.

The Heidelberg is divided into three main sections: The Misery of Man, Man's Deliverance, and Thankfulness. Or, as the sections are more commonly known, "Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude". These sections teach us systematically our need for salvation, God's work in accomplishing our salvation, and the Christian's response to salvation. The catechism also focuses largely on three elements: The Apostle's Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer.

If you've never read a book on the Heidelberg Catechism before, you're not alone. In fact, C.J.
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Format: Paperback
When I was a teenager, Tuesday nights were Catechism nights. I would go to church and, under the tutelage of the pastor, both study and memorize what I affectionately called "Ye Olde Heidelberger." The deep truths of that document provided a firm foundation for my growing faith. Even as a teen I realized that at the very heart of the Heidelberg Catechism is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And yet I cannot deny that it has been many years since I last studied it. In Good News We Almost Forget Kevin DeYoung dusts off that old Catechism and proves that it is as relevant today as it was 450 years ago. Its truths are timeless, its encouragement unchanged. I am grateful to Kevin for introducing this venerable document to a new generation of believers. May they find hope and joy in the One it celebrates.
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As my friend Buddy likes to say, the subtitle of a book means more than the title. That is certainly true of Kevin DeYoung's newest book, The Good News We Almost Forgot. The add-on is, "Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism." See what I mean? Buddy was right.

I feel like C. J. Mahaney when he states in his review, "I'm sure this will be the best book on the Heidelberg Catechism I've ever read. I know it will be the first." Like most people, I have never read a book on this or any other catechism. I'm glad I did, though.

For those of you who have not heard of the Heidelberg Catechism, it was published in 1563 as a way to help with a systematic study of the teaching of the Bible. It takes readers through important theological concepts framed within the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostles' Creed. Ladened with Scripture references, the Heidelberg Catechism helps Bible students to get a bird's-eye view of Reformed Christian doctrine.

As for DeYoung's book, it is organized in a similar format as the Catechism. DeYoung divides the Catechism into 52 readings, one for each Lord's Day. In addition to the original text, he provides a short, 2-3 page commentary exploring the themes and offering practical applications in an engaging, readable way. From the virgin birth to the resurrection, from the Trinity to divine providence, from the Sabbath to justice, this book offers a brief discussion on a variety of topics pivotal to the Christian life.

The one point of criticism that I have of this book is the chapter on infant baptism, and it is not because I'm a believer-baptism proponent. I am eager to find out why others believe in infant baptism, and search for lucid pieces that explain it. This was not one of them.
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For years my husband and I were in a modern evangelical church where we learned how we could take our "five stones" and knock down the "goliaths" in our lives, or march around our "jericho walls" and keep praising till they came down. We'd only heard that "catechisms" were for those "dead denominational" churches or were somehow "catholic" in a derogatory manner. Then, by God's gracious providence (you'll learn what that term is on Lord's day 10 in this book) He led us to the reformers via two ways: reading history and reading a great theological book (Old Paths by JC Ryle...someone else today's evangelicals should read pronto). We discovered the Heidelberg Catechism, the Cannons of Dordt and the Belgic Confession of Faith (Three forms of Unity as they're called). Practical and theology were were told were mutually exclusive. Not so we soon discovered. In order to know how to live our Christian life you need to know what exactly is the Christian life and that takes knowing, knowing the teachings of the Bible or what they call "doctrine" and you need to know What God has required, What God has Provided and Who it is who provided it as well as How that provision has been made and how what was required has been completely satisfied; not by you or your faith but rather by the perfect obedience of Christ the Righteous One.
I came across this book while looking for some ebooks for my new Kindle (which if you don't have, I highly recommend getting for yourself). I've decided to read a chapter a day making it more of a devotional or daily reading book...I'm glad I did. I've now been when you can call Dutch Reformed for about 3 years and the wealth in the Catechism never ceases to amaze me.
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