The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th-Century Catechism
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If there is "nothing new under the sun," perhaps the main task now facing the Western church is not to reinvent or be relevant, but to remember those vintage statements of faith that are part of the great inheritance of believers who have gone before us.
In The Good News We Almost Forgot, well known pastor, theologian and author, Kevin DeYoung explores and remembers the profound beauty, truth, and simplicity with which the 16th century Heidelberg Catechism systematically and carefully outlines the essential doctrines of the Christian faith while also revealing the overarching narrative of the confessing believer, from sin to salvation to deliverance.
Through fifty-two brief chapters, following the fifty-two "Lord's Days" into which the Catechism is structured, DeYoung reflects on what this 16th century statement of faith has shown him, elucidating man's guilt, God's grace, and the believer's gratitude in a warmhearted manner that's simple enough for young believers and deep enough for the more mature.
The Good News We Almost Forgot exposes the elegantly and logically stated doctrine of the Heidelberg Catechism that is at the core of our faith: we are great sinners and Christ is a greater Savior! Come and see how your soul may be grounded in the Gospel, transformed by the redeeming work of Christ, and continue in an ongoing formation after the image of Christ through a gospel summary that DeYoung writes "is glorious, its Christ gracious, its comfort rich, its Spirit strong, its God Sovereign, and its truth timeless."
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
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In The Good News We Almost Forgot, Pastor Kevin DeYoung takes a careful and studious look at the Heidelberg Catechism, penned largely by Zacharias Ursinus and published in the mid-16th Century, and finds that its truths do not need to be recovered as much as they need to be preserved. The truth has not gone away or faded, it is our memory of the truth that corrupts and must be guarded. A catechism is a wonderful tool in this regard.
Taking simple questions and presenting answers in an easily read, understood and memorized format is a simple way to teach doctrinal truth in a systematic way. This is exactly Pastor DeYoungs plan: to utilize the 52-week division of the Catechism in order to present articles of reflection upon the teachings of the catechism.
Originally prepared for DeYoungs congregation, the reader is quickly engaged with the text of the Catechism and Pastor DeYoungs commentary highlights which expand on the simple questions and answers under consideration. The richness of the catechism is only accentuated by the insightful and thought-provoking comments. Readers can readily feel the heartbeat of a pastor for his congregations learning and edification while progressing through the study.
DeYoung succinctly states everything we need to learn is what weve already forgotten. The chief theological task now facing the Western church is not to reinvent or to be relevant but to remember. After reading his treatise on the Heidelberg Catechism, one feels better equipped to remember what really matters.
This book would be helpful for any student of the Bible. It is basic enough for new believers and conveys much depth for the seasoned saint. I recommend it heartily. Pastor Charles L. Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Andy CDallas, TXAge: 55-65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5A Blast from the PastOctober 3, 2011Andy CDallas, TXAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
"The only thing more difficult than finding the truth is not losing it". Kevin DeYoung's opening sentence in the introduction is a great summary of what he is looking to accomplish with The Good News We Almost Forgot. A reconnection with a time tested piece of the past; as well as an opportunity to draw on the wisdom of the past as a reference to seeking out a path for the future.
DeYoung is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He is an accomplished author and a seminary trained minister with an obvious reverence and love for the subject matter of this book: The Heidelberg Catechism. Developed in the 16th century, and in use ever since, the catechism is segmented into 52 sections corresponding to 52 Lord's Days over the course of the year. Written to instruct through Q&A format (which after all, is a textbook definition of a catechism), there are 129 questions answered that will lead the reader on a reflective journey of one's faith and beliefs. It is often mentioned in the same paragraphs as the Bible, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress or Thomas Ã¡ Kempis' The Imitation of Christ in terms of wide usage and staying power as a classic of Christian literature. While it might not be well known these days, it does have a storied history and can be pointed to with confidence as a safeguard of Christian instruction.
DeYoung utilized the catechism in the original Q&A format supplemented with clarifying commentary for each Lord's Day section that will assist the reader in studying and understanding the instruction contained within the catechism.
While I would classify the book as a commentary, I did not find it to be a bible study. I have seen other editions with the catechism that include scripture passages that would facilitate a more detailed individual bible study than DeYoung's book, although there are ample Scripture references that one could research and read.
While it does seek to instruct in the Gospel, I did not find it a resource one could easily use in evangelism. For personal deep meditative periods, it might serve one well. As a tool to reach unbelievers, you probably would not give it as the first book for someone to read in their newly found faith walk. Maybe it was different in the 16th century, but I do not see it working that way now. While it may give you a good grounding in understanding the gospel that could translate into your being better equipped to share the gospel, I do not dispute. As a ready tool to evangelize, this is not what I believe it was intended to do in its' original form, nor do I think DeYoung claims it to be that.
It clearly has roots in reformed theology but I did not find it overly so. But you need to know that is the basis for the development of this catechism. If that concerns you, be so warned. As a devotional that you would be willing to invest time in weekly, the two or three questions and answers you could reflect on and wrestle with in each Lord's Day section would be an edifying journey to take. But be prepared to put some time into it if you are looking to get a lot out of it. A surface read of the catechism would have you miss quite a bit that time would allow to seep in. This is not a casual read by any stretch. Reflection on Scriptures is a weighty matter and this book, with the supplementary commentary provided by DeYoung is up to the task at hand. Clearly, The Good News We Almost Forgot is a sound addition to the classics section of your library.
Chris LandWichita Falls, TxAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Theology Packed in short chaptersMay 25, 2011Chris LandWichita Falls, TxAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book is jammed-packed with theological truths in short chapters. Each chapter begins to ask questions and they are answered at the same time. As mentioned earlier this book is divided into three sections as the Catechism answers questions on the Apostles' Creed, which discusses the doctrine of Heaven and Hell and addresses if Jesus actually descended into Hell. Next, is the Ten Commandments, which goes through each commandment in light of the New Testament. Finally, on the Lord's Prayer and how we need to be a praying people.
J WebbPompano Bch, FLAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5This product provides important informationMay 14, 2011J WebbPompano Bch, FLAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book gives good information and commentary which gives clarity to things sometimes difficult to understand.
jannyJefferson, OHAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5easily understoodMarch 31, 2011jannyJefferson, OHAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I feel a great satisfaction when I read God's Word and
in summarizing this CBD book - I found it to be very informative and will use it as a reference when doing Bible
DanAge: 45-54Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5July 9, 2010DanAge: 45-54Gender: MaleThis is a great introduction to a classic. Rev. DeYoung is a gifted teacher and speaks in an earthy and honest style that I find refreshing. If you have any interest at all in the creeds and confessions of the Church then you'll enjoy this book.