A living church instructs its youth! This is age-old wisdom. The confessions were written to that end: short but effective in the Old Church and more extensive in the time of the great Reformation. The focus of the catechism of Heidelberg (1563) is also the instruction of young people. This confession looks to the future of the church!
The book that has now been translated into English is somewhat like a nature guide. At first blush it looks rather dry: so many names and distinctions for plants, animals and birds! But when you walk around in nature, you find a guide to be extremely useful. It opens your eyes: there is more to see than you thought at first! This book is also designed as a guide. It contains a collection of knowledge from the past that gives you insight for today.
Without one's own living relationship with the Lord and a knowledge of one's own time, this book will remain a dead letter, but when it is used in the context of such a relationship and knowledge, it can sharpen our insight and equip us readily to acquit ourselves as believers.
This book bears the subtitle: For use in the catechismal instruction in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and was used for many years in those churches for this purpose since its first publication in 1951. It was also used extensively in the early years of the Canadian Reformed Churches.