Christian Classics Friday 9 February – The Heidelberg Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) is a well-known Protestant confession of faith.  It is one of the many catechisms in the form of questions and answers that were written in the 16th century and without doubt the most famous one in the Dutch Reformed Context.  Despite the caricatures that have been made of it, it is still an astonishing rich theological document.  Given its strong association with the Reformed tradition, it may be a surprise that it had an ecumenical intention: Lutherans, Calvinists and Zwinglians in the Palatinate (a territory in what is Germany nowadays) had to be satisfied and united with this rendering of the Christian faith.

On Friday 9 February, we will be led through this ‘Christian Classic’: its historical context, its threefold structure and some of the remarkable and controversial questions and answers.

The evening will be led by Martine Oldhoff.  She grew up in a Reformed church (nowadays PKN) in which the Catechism was hardly ever mentioned.  She discovered and studied it during her theological studies at the Protestant Theological University, was surprised by its richness, and now occasionally preaches from it as well.  Currently, she works at the Protestant Theological University as a PhD-candidate.

When: FRIDAY 9th February:  6:30pm  Dinner, 8:00pm  Presentation and Discussion
Where: Parsonage Hall, Holy Trinity – van Hogendorpstraat 26, 3581 KE Utrecht

If you are interested in attending, please contact David Vollmer-Laarman, so we know how many to prepare supper for.

As you may want to read the entire Catechism or some parts of it, you can download a pdf document in the translations recommended by Martine here:
in English
in Dutch

To wet your appetite…Here’s an example from the Catechism:


1. What is your only comfort in life and in death? 

That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death,[1] am not my own,[2] but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ,[3] who with His precious blood[4] has fully satisfied for all my sins,[5] and redeemed me from all the power of the devil;[6] and so preserves me[7] that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head;[8] indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation.[9] Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,,[10] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.[11]

[1]Rom. 14:7-8. [2]I Cor. 6:19. [3]I Cor. 3:23. [4]I Pet. 1:18-19. [5]I Jn. 1:7; 2:2. [6]I Jn. 3:8. [7]Jn. 6:39. [8]Mt. 10:29-30; Lk. 21:18. [9]Rom. 8:28. [10]II Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 8:16. [11]Rom. 8:1.