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Reformed Confessions. Sept. 26
Transcript of Reformed Confessions. Sept. 26
A Place to Stand
Barnes: Body & Soul
1562 - Elector Frederick III commissioned the HC
1563 - Frederick secured the approval of the HC at synod
1563 - Frederick defended the HC before the imperial diet.
Authors: Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus:
Ursinus: responsible for the doctrinal content
Olevianus: responsible for the devotional content and style
Christian Theology in the Reformed Confessions
September 26, 2016
Three groups of personnel:
Theological faculty of Heidelberg University
Chief Ministers (Kirchendienern - "distinguished servants") of the Palatine church
A Team Project
Fifty two "Lord's Days (129 Q&As)
The only comfort in life and death, Q 1;
What must be done to apprehend this comfort, Q 2
B. Three necessary conditions for apprehending comfort:
1. (Guilt/Sin) Human misery (Q 3—11)
2. (Grace/Salvation) Human deliverance (Q 12—85)
3. (Gratitude/Service) Human thankfulness (Q 86—129)
Addressed to the whole person
How do you come to know your misery?
Three voices of discernment:
The Faith Community
The Holy Spirit creating the sacred conversation that can reform Church and Christians.
"If we believe in God, we've reduced the Almighty to a lunch lady who stands behind the counter and dishes up made-to-order lives. The great problem with this fantasy is that it forgets we are mere creatures. Somewhere along the way we begin to think of ourselves as our own creators
" (pp. 16-17)
"True worship does not try to cram thousands of years of God's providential work with humanity into individual hearts. Rather, it inserts us into God's history. It catches us up in the great biblical drama of salvation that began long before us and will certainly outlive us" (p. 21)
It served as a catechetical tool for teaching children
It served as a preaching guide for instructing the common people in the churches
It provided a form for confessional unity among the several Protestant factions in the Palatinate.
Bierma, An Introduction to the HC
Frederick was convinced:
that both the "temporal and eternal welfare" of his subjects are his responsibility"
that the "youth be trained in early life, and above all, in the pure and consistent doctrine of the holy Gospel, and be well exercised in the proper and true knowledge of God.
that the Pastors and Schoolmasters themselves may be provided with a fixed form and model, by which to regulate the instruction of youth, and not, at their option adopt daily changes, or introduce erroneous doctrine"
Greek: Catecheo - "to pass down information from above"; technically, any confession taught by one generation to the next, often in a question-and-answer format.
How relevant today is Frederick III’s strategy of focusing the church’s energies on “youth ministry”?
What can we learn about the HC just from the title page?
How would you interpret the word “misery” in today’s world? How does the HC respond to such misery?
What is your only comfort in life and death?
Can any government function effectively without religious interference?