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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441


VAN DE BEEK, Abraham. Mortificatie en vivificatie in de Heidelbergse Catechismus. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.49, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2305-0853.

This article deals with critiques to the section on 'Gratitude' in the Heidelberg Catechism. On the one hand the catechism is said to be too negative about Christian renewal. On the other hand, its stress on gratitude appears to evoke a new servitude. In contrast to these criticisms, this article argues that the negative approach of the Catechism to the commandments has its roots in the Decalogue and in the calling to live according to God's will as found in both the Old and the New Testament. The new life is God's free gift and therefore never an obligation, but freedom, which is only endangered by the human inclination to secure life. By doing so, trust in God's gift of freedom is negated. Since both the Old and the New Testament oppose this human inclination, the paraenesis is often formulated negatively and the Heidelberg Catechism follows this approach.

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