- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Moody Publishers; New edition (April 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780802458407
- ISBN-13: 978-0802458407
- ASIN: 0802458408
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism Paperback – April 1, 2010
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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. However, what makes this book so wonderful is that DeYoung, with a pastoral heart and theological head brings the reader to an understanding of these timeless truths with the tenderness a shepherd should and with a bit of humor, heartwarming stories and care for those who, by continued exposure may have forgotten the treasure they possess in these historical documents, and for those of us just discovering these treasures makes their discovery or recovery all that more exciting. So impressed with this book were my husband and I that we decided to give it to two of our nieces who while they've made their public professions of faith, do so within an evangelical environment not too different than what we were brought out of. We longed for them to be grounded in the truths of Gospel, Grace and Gratitude and found DeYoung's impassioned plea for believers of all ages an appropriate venue to help them understand Law, Grace and Gratitude as well as The Apostle's Creed so that they too may cherish them hiding them in their hearts and helping those around them come and discover the Catechism in all its beauty.
If you grew up Reformed and forgot the sweet taste of these truths I encourage you to taste and see how good our God is to us.
If you grew up being told "catechism" was for dead churches, I challenge you to read this book and witness how very alive the faith of the Reformed churches is and to feast of their bounty and be nourished in the Doctrines of Grace as recovered by the Reformers and laid out for you in tasty morsels which will only make you hungrier for real theology that effects the head, heart and hands.
I cannot recommend this devotional enough. I’ve tried to find similar meditative works and keep coming back to this one. It is accessible enough for younger people but theologically rich enough for more mature Christians, as well. I wish more Reformed theologians/writers would write devotional or meditative books like this!
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. DeYoung falters here in his confusing, rambling, and (in my opinion) illogical connection of circumcision to paedo-baptism. He has to make too many logical jumps and assumptions about entering into "covenantal communities" that he appears to ignore too many passages in the New Testament about baptism. As I reread what I wrote, perhaps my critique is more with infant baptism as a whole rather than DeYoung's defense of it.
While it may be odd to read a commentary of a commentary of the Bible, but I highly recommend this book for devotions, public reading, or as an introduction to Christianity. I think that you'll enjoy this work, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of both the Heidelberg Catechism and the Bible.