Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2014

Department

Business Administration

Keywords

Heidelberg Catechism, William Ames, Puritan movement, Reformed theology, Ursinius

Abstract

Last year marked the 450th anniversary of the publication of the Heidelberg Catechism. In celebration of this momentous occasion and as a reminder of the contemporary applicability of this highly-regarded confessional document, this essay examines the earliest and most complete Puritan commentary extant: that of second-generation Puritan thinker William Ames (1576–1633), protégé of William Perkins (1558–1602), the “father” of the Puritan movement. We examine methodological considerations and two topical issues that arise when the venerated Catechism is placed in the hands of a practically oriented, post-Reformation divine for whom theology was none other than “living to God”: Theologia est doctrina deo vivendi. It will become evident that this package of catechetical instruction carries as much—perhaps more—practical relevance today as when it was first authored four and a half centuries ago.

Comments

van Vliet compares the commentaries of Zacharias Ursinus and William Ames on the Heidelberg Catechism and shows that the latter misses elements of the inner coherence of this catechism with significance for the development of later Puritan thought.

Source Publication Title

Puritan Reformed Journal

Publisher

Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

Volume

6

Issue

2

First Page

149