In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 1018-6441
POTGIETER, Pieter C.. Towards a better understanding of forgiveness of sins in the first commentaries on the Heidelberg Catechism. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.2, pp. 1-6. ISSN 1018-6441.
With regard to the issue of the forgiveness of sins in the Heidelberg Catechism, this paper shows that not only was there agreement and the same basic approach to issues of faith to be found in the commentaries of Ursinus and Olevianus, but also a valuable complementing of each other's work. The influence of Calvin, with whom both of them have studied in Geneva, is obvious in their doctrinal approach. Whereas Ursinus tended more towards an academic correctness in his Explicationum Catecheticarum, Olevianus added a pastoral and spiritual dimension in his Vester Grundt. Although some theologians questioned the role of Olevianus in the compilation of the Heidelberg Catechism, recent research adequately shows that both of them were indeed involved, and were well-endowed with the necessary background for providing a further exposition of the Catechism. Both of them emphasise the unquestionable and sole merit of Jesus Christ, through his vicarious death on the cross, as the only ground for God's gracious forgiveness of the sinner. It is God's free gift, appropriated through faith and trust in the merit of Christ.