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The Quest For Comfort: The Story of the Heidelberg Catechism Hardcover – January 1, 2011
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The Heidelberg Catechism was an important part of my childhood. Every week I had to memorize a question and answer, and every week I was taught to understand and apply what I had learned. This provided a theological foundation that continues to serve me many years later. I am grateful for this little book, through which William Boekestein introduces the Catechism to another generation of children. May they come to treasure it as I have. --Tim Challies, editor of DiscerningReader.com
It is never too early to begin teaching our children the truth. And what better way is there than to introduce them to one of the finest summaries of that truth ever written: the Heidelberg Catechism. The nice thing about this little book (which is a short historical introduction to it) is that it will surely encourage our children to want to learn what this catechism teaches. --G. I. Williamson, author of The Heidelberg Catechism: A Study Guide
One of the callings of every Christian parent is to pass on the heritage of Christian faith to their children. A primary way to pass on that heritage is to inspire children with the stories of people who have lived valiantly for truth. In The Quest for Comfort Bill Boekestein has given us a wonderful tool for doing just that. --Tedd Tripp, author of Shepherding a Child s Heart
From the Inside Flap
The Heidelberg Catechism has been taught to children for hundreds of years, encouraging them to seek Christ as their true source of comfort. But how did this catechism get written? In The Quest for Comfort, William Boekestein and Evan Hughes combine history and art to retell the events that led to making the catechism. By sharing the stories of Caspar Olevianus, Zacharias Ursinus, and Frederick III and how they came to Heidelberg, children will gain a greater appreciation of the Christian faith as it is expressed in the Heidelberg Catechism.
"The Heidelberg Catechism was an important part of my childhood. Every week I had to memorize a question and answer, and every week I was taught to understand and apply what I had learned. This provided a theological foundation that continues to serve me many years later. I am grateful for this little book, through which William Boekestein introduces the Catechism to another generation of children. May they come to treasure it as I have." Tim Challies, editor of DiscerningReader.com
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In a new book by William Boekestein, the story of the creation of the Heidelberg Catechism is told on a child's level. "The Quest for Comfort: The Story of The Heidelberg Catechism" traces the life stories of Caspar Olevianus, Zacharius Ursinus, and Frederick III. These three forgotten men, are the primary authors of the most enduring Reformation era Catechism: The Heidelberg Catechism.
The turbulent period of the Reformation and the fervent faith of these great men are captured well in this short book. Children will see preachers in jail, and Christians in exile -- and such realities are sure to encourage reflection and interaction with the story. The book also introduces the Heidelberg Catechism and would serve well as a book to be read alongside a family study of this important catechism.
Young readers will be enthralled by the names of these men, if not their tales. And the pages of this book are fully illustrated with a classic look and rich, full colors which will transport the reader to another age. The deluxe hardback binding will ensure the book stands up to the constant use young minds will make of it.
I would imagine that young readers in the 3rd - 6th grades would be able to read this independently. And children from Kindergarten and up will find the story fascinating. The color pictures make the book ideal even for younger children in a family devotions setting.
I wish as a child I had access to books like this that majored on the Reformation story, and the rich and varied history of the Christian faith. Author William Boekestein has written other tales for children, such as "Faithfulness Under Fire: The Story of Guido de Bres" (the author of the Belgic Confession). His simple and direct style is suitable for children and I hope he goes on to write many more wonderful tales such as these for children.
I highly recommend this book. I recommend purchasing this book as a special gift for a young person in your life. You'll be doing them a big favor and introducing them to the world of the Reformation.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
The Heidelberg Catechism and it's benefits were brought to forefront of my mind again when I received a copy of William Boekestein's latest children's book The Quest for Comfort. This children's book chronicles the lives of the three men instrumental in writing the Heidelberg Catechism: Caspar Olevianus, Zacharias Ursinus, and Frederick III.
You may be wondering who in their right mind would write a children's book about three guys hardly nobody has heard of that wrote a little book that few people use anymore. Boekestein offers a defense on the final page of the book saying, "this is no ordinary document, and the record of its birth is anything but boring". Boekestein then goes on to defend the importance of the Heidelberg Catechism.
Previously I had reviewed Boekestein's earlier children's book; Faithfulness Under Fire. In that review I noted that some of the material and some of the pictures might be a little too much for some children. In this particular book there is very little that might fall into that category. There is a picture of teenagers "drowning" but there isn't much else that would provide such a caution.
This book aims at teaching "us that deeply held beliefs and profound theological truths are worthy of the difficulties often faced defending them". Our children need to know that. They need to be brought up knowing that there are some truths that are so precious they are worth fighting and even dying for. This book helps children to discover that our "quest for comfort" often follows a road filled with suffering, but God is faithful and His gospel is worth it.
Should You Buy It?
I may encourage a few families in our church (myself included) to begin going through the Heidelberg Catechism with their children. If I do this I will certainly suggest that they read this children's book with their kids first. I know that my son would enjoy the book and would like to know the people behind the catechism that we are studying.
After I finished the story myself, I called for my 7 year old son. I wanted to see his reaction to the book. He loved the story. He loved the pictures. He understood everything. Then later, as we went to church I opened up the psalter hymnal and showed him the Heidelberg Catechism. His whole face lit up as he saw the names of the men he had already learned about--Casper Olevianus, Zacharius Ursinus and Fredrick III--in the introduction.
So I can say the most amazing things about this book all I want. The proof is in the reaction of my 7 year old son.