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Conferencia Dia De La Reformada 2009
The Heidelberg Catechism Dr. Bill (Guillermo) Higgins Westminster Biblical Missions Whitefield Theological Seminary
Introduction • What is a “Catechism?” • A Roman Catholic Invention? • Questions and Answers • A Biblical Model • Exodus 12 • Joshua 4 • Protestant Catechisms
The Heidelberg Catechism may be regarded as the flower and fruit of the entire German and French Reformation; it has Lutheran fervor, Melancthonian clearness, Zwinglian simplicity, and Calvinistic fire blended into one. - Max Göbel
> The Elector Frederick II (1544-56) Did Allow Certain Reforms > The Elector Otto Henry (1556-59) Endorsed the Augsburg Confession, and tried to bring Reformation Scholars to Heidelberg Heidelberg > Otto Henry Died 12 February 1559 > The Crown of the Palatinate passed to Frederick III
Frederick III • Son of John II (1492-1557) • Raised a Roman Catholic • Disenchanted with the Roman Church • Fought the Turks at 17 • Mother died when he was 20 • Maria, Princess of Brandenburg-Kulmbach • Read the Bible every day, & study Luther
Frederick III > 20 years at Birkenfeld - Good Times, but Difficult > The man who tried to rescue his drowning son > Back to Simmern, when his father died > The move to Heidelberg
Trouble At The Start High-Lutherans vs. Melanchthonians Regarding The Lord’s Supper Tilemann Hesshuss William Klebitz Zwinglian Devil!
Trouble At The Start High-Lutherans vs. Melanchthonians Regarding The Lord’s Supper But What To Do Now, For The Future Peace Of The Church?
Melanchthon: “…holding carefully to a fixed doctrinal position regarding the Lord’s Supper, and all matters of faith.”
Signing The Augsburg Confession • January of 1561 in Naumberg • Two versions: 1530 and 1540 • (Calvin could agree with the 1540) • High-Lutherans wanted the 1530 • Frederick convinced them to sign the 1540
The Augsburg Diet Emperor Maximilian calls the Augsburg Diet in 1566 Many feared for Frederick’s safety His brother Richard tried to convince him not to go.
The Augsburg Diet Frederick III: “I believe that God, who has brought me to a knowledge of the Gospel, still reigns; and if it should cost my blood, I would regard martyrdom as an honor for which I could not sufficiently thank Him in this life or in eternity.”
The Augsburg Diet Charges against him: > Inventing a catechism not in agreement with the Augsburg Confession, and bringing in the heresy of Calvinism
The Augsburg Diet “Frederick the Pious” Maximilian II
Life In Heidelberg • The Erastian Controversy • The Death of Maria • Casimir Goes to Fight in France • Christopher Goes to Help the Dutch Fight • Christopher Falls in Battle • Casimir Returns in Victory • “Louis will not do it, but Fritz will do it.”
“…My conscience is happy and at peace in the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I have served with all my heart. … I have been detained here long enough through the prayers of God’s people. It is time now that I should be gathered into the true rest with my Savior.”
Decline, and Restoration • Louis rejects his father’s faith • Cassimir, Ursinus, & Olevianus leave • After six years of rule, Louis dies • Fritz rules, with Casimir as Regent • Reformation is Restored • Frederick IV carries on for his grandfather • “Herr, nach deinem Wille” “Lord, as thou wilt.”
Caspar Olevianus > Born 10 August 1536 > Off to the Sorbonne in Paris at age 14 > His drowning friend > From Law to Theology Trier > Doctorate in Law in 1557
Travels • Meeting Many Protestant Leaders • Calvin, Bullinger, Vermigli, Beza, and Farel • Where would the Lord use him? • Farel: Go back to your home of Trier!
Back Home In Trier • Teaching Latin • Preaching on St. Lawrence Day • Excitement in the city • “Stop Preaching!” • An Angry Archbishop John • Prison
From Prison to Pulpit • The Envoy Arrives • Farewell Prison, Hello Heidelberg! • Sapience College • Professor of Dogmatics • Pastor of St. Peter’s Church • Pastor of the Church of the Holy Spirit • Vester Grund, De Substantia Foederis • The Palatine Church Order • The Erastian Controversy
Faithful To The End • Arrested, then Exiled, under Louis • A New Academy in Herborn • Chair of Dogmatics • Never Returned to Heidelberg • Died at 51, on 15 March 1587
Birth and Early Years • Born 18 July 1534 • Breslau, Austria • “Baer” = “Ursinus” • To Wittenburg at 15 • Melanchthon • Visit to Heidelberg
Travels • Throughout Europe • Meeting Reformers • Teaching in Breslau • Rejected • Off to Zurich • Peter Martyr Vermigli
Come to Heidelberg! No. Why don’t you ask Zacharius Ursinus? Frederick III Peter Martyr
“O that I could remain hidden in a corner! I would give anything for shelter in some quiet village.”
Ursinus in Heidelberg • The College of Wisdom • Dogmatics and the University • The Heidelberg Catechism • The Erastian Controversy • Marriage: Margaret Trautwein • Defender of the Catechism • Forced to Leave by Elector Louis
Life After Heidelberg • To Neustadt with Casimir • A New School • Commentary on the Catechism • Broken Health • Died 6 May 1583 Neustadt
IV. The Heidelberg Catechism Then - and Now
A. It’s Character • It would be Personal • It would have a Logical Structure • It would be Historically Grounded • It would be a Positive Statement
Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death? Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
B. Its Reception • Unanimously Received in Heidelberg • Dedicated by Frederick III, 19 January 1563 • Printed by Johann Mayer • Recognized by the Synod of Dordt (1618-19) • Question #80 Added in 2nd Edition • After the Coucil of Trent, “accursed idolatry” • 4 Printings in the first year
Translated into Languages: Arabic Lithuanian Hungarian Portuguese Dutch Amharic Sangiri Chinese French Hebrew Romanian Bohemian Greek Scottish Javanese English Italian Malay Saxon-German Spanish Tamil Polish Singalese Persian Japanese
Bullinger: • The composition of this book is clear • and its content is pure truth. • All is understandable, • pious, fruitful; in concise brevity • it contains a fulness of the • most important doctrines. • I consider it to be the best • catechism ever published. • God be praised; may he crown it • with his blessing.
Walker: The Heidelberg Catechism is truly an ecumenical symbol. In the best sense of the term, it is a catholic confession of faith.
What About Today? • God is the same • His Truth is the same • Absolute Truth Does Not Change • The Fundamental Problem is the same • The Divine Solution is the same • ...Henceforth, to Live Unto Him!