Der Heidelberger Katechismus
ein reformierter Schlüsseltext
, hg. von Matthias Zeindler, Frank Mathwig, Martin Ernst Hirzel, (Zurich: Theologischer Verlag), 2013.
anniversary of the publication of the Heidelberg Catechism has seen a flurry of publications including monographs, essays, and special conference collections. The currently-under-consideration work is among the most engaging of the lot (which I have encountered). The collection consists of four major sections, the first asking historical and dogmatic questions, the second ethical and practical-theological questions, the third ecumenical questions and the fourth
questions (i.e., questions related to the Catechism
s current relevance). The volume commences with a powerfully instructive contribution by Peter Opitz in his essay
Historische Zugänge zum Heidelberger Katechismus aus Schweizer Sicht
. Here Opitz leads readers through a well written brilliantly conceived masterfully executed summary of the historical underpinnings of the Catechism. The important work of Olevian, Erastus, Bullinger, and of course Ursinus are considered but so is the German Elector Frederick III. Opitz also shows the connections between Bullinger
s theology of the Supper and the theology of the Catechism in its regard. Opitz even shows how influential Bullinger
s various sermons and tractates were in the formation of the Catechism. It
s a brilliant essay. And it
s a fantastic start to a volume which strives to ask and answer the question, is the catechism still relevant for Reformed Christians today. The answer, unsurprisingly, is a resounding yes.