Here’s an excellent book to introduce kids to the story behind the Heidelberg Catechism: The Quest for Comfort by William Boekestein. In around 30 pages, Boekestein gives a brief and readable background of how the Heidelberg Catechism came to be. The main storyline deals with the lives of Caspar Olevianus, Zacharias Ursinus, and Elector Frederick III. At the same time the book also briefly describes the main themes of the Catechism (sin/salvation/service or guilt/grace/gratitude). This book, The Quest for Comfort, is just a bit briefer than the one by Thea Van Halsema, Three Men Came to Heidelberg. Here’s a little blurb from The Quest for Comfort in case you’re interested in a preview.
“Like many other Protestants of his day, Caspar began his training for the ministry in Geneva, Switzerland, under the teaching of John Calvin. After his training he returned to his hometown of Treves, Germany, to teach philosophy and Latin. He also began to preach. Caspar’s goal was for the church to be reformed according to the Word of God. So he plainly and powerfully preached what the Bible taught. He also told about some of the errors of the Roman catholic Church.”
“Angered by his preaching, Roman Catholic leaders ordered him to stop and leave the city. He refused, giving the same answer that Peter and the apostles gave fifteen hundred years earlier: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29).”
This book is great for a church library, family library, and even Sunday school or Catechism classes. I’d say that kids around 10 years old would benefit most from this book, though I might even give it to older Christians who need a simple, straightforward, and accurate introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism’s historical background. I recommend it without any reservations.
William Boekestein, The Quest for Comfort (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011).
4 Replies to “The Story of the Heidelberg Catechism for Kids”
Bill Boekestein has some excellent resources for adults as well as for kids. Have you already reviewed his companion book Faithfulness under Fire on the Belgic Confession?
West Sayville URC
Long Island, New York
Michael: Haven’t yet read it, but it’s on my list! Thanks for the reminder.
Yep, this is a nice book. My oldest is still a bit young for it, but I’ve read it to her and she at least likes asking why “all those men jumped out of the boat” when talking about Olevian!
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