Heidelberg Catechism, William Ames, Puritan movement, Reformed theology, Ursinius
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.
Source Publication Title
Puritan Reformed Journal
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
van Vliet, Jan, "Experiencing Our Only Comfort: A Post-Reformation Refocus in the Heidelberg Catechism" (2014). Faculty Work: Comprehensive List. 38.