Baptist do not tend to do catechisms. I don’t know why. We should. One particular catechism that is well written and quite helpful (though perhaps with a few baptistic tweaks) is the Heidelberg Catechism. I knew very little about the catechism until I read The Good News We Almost Forgot by Kevin DeYoung. Reading through this made me consider going through such a catechism. As of now we are using Children’s Desiring God material for weekly Bible studies. But that catechism remains in the back of my mind.
The Heidelberg Catechism and it’s benefits were brought to forefront of my mind again when I received a copy of William Boekestein’s latest children’s book The Quest for Comfort. This children’s book chronicles the lives of the three men instrumental in writing the Heidelberg Catechism: Caspar Olevianus, Zacharias Ursinus, and Frederick III.
You may be wondering who in their right mind would write a children’s book about three guys hardly nobody has heard of that wrote a little book that few people use anymore. Boekestein offers a defense on the final page of the book saying, “this is no ordinary document, and the record of its birth is anything but boring”. Boekestein then goes on to defend the importance of the Heidelberg Catechism.
Previously I had reviewed Boekestein’s earlier children’s book; Faithfulness Under Fire. In that review I noted that some of the material and some of the pictures might be a little too much for some children. In this particular book there is very little that might fall into that category. There is a picture of teenagers “drowning” but there isn’t much else that would provide such a caution.
This book aims at teaching “us that deeply held beliefs and profound theological truths are worthy of the difficulties often faced defending them”. Our children need to know that. They need to be brought up knowing that there are some truths that are so precious they are worth fighting and even dying for. This book helps children to discover that our “quest for comfort” often follows a road filled with suffering, but God is faithful and His gospel is worth it.
Should You Buy It?
I may encourage a few families in our church (myself included) to begin going through the Heidelberg Catechism with their children. If I do this I will certainly suggest that they read this children’s book with their kids first. I know that my son would enjoy the book and would like to know the people behind the catechism that we are studying.
You can buy it for only $7.50 and it is a great book to add to your family library.