Heidelberg Catechism Preaching Cycles. When to start?

Discussion in 'The Confession of Faith' started by Sebastian Heck, May 3, 2010.

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  1. Sebastian Heck

    Sebastian Heck Puritan Board Freshman

    What are the different practices on when to start preaching with LD 1? It seems to me there have been several different practices. Who can help? What's your practice?
     
  2. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    When I took up my present pastorate, I just continued with where the church was, which happened to be in the Lord's Days on the Prayer. When I was a missionary, we simply started when we started with the second service. I don't think it really matters when you start -- just do it.
     
  3. Sebastian Heck

    Sebastian Heck Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree, Wes. However, as I am getting ready to preach on LD 18 tomorrow (Ascension Day), which we observe along the lines of the CO of Dordt, I was wondering whether there are any better ways to start that end up "matching" certain LDs to certain red.-historical "events", like Ascension. Do you know what I mean?
     
  4. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, I know what you mean. This past Sunday we happened to be on Lord's Day 18, so that was our "commemoration" of the ascension. But that kind of matching of the Catechism with "days of commemoration" happens very rarely, and we didn't plan it that way. In our churches, we just make our way through the Catechism and then when the "days" come, we deal with those normally with a sermon based on a specific text. But I do know of Reformed churches that have decided to commemorate the events in redemptive history mentioned in the CO of Dort by dealing with them in the Catechism preaching. That's certainly within the scope of what we have agreed upon in our edition of the CO of Dort, article 53,

    "Each year the Churches shall, in the manner decided upon by the consistory, commemorate the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as his outpouring of the Holy Spirit."

    We're not bound to December 25, or Good Friday or Ascension Day. It is "in the manner decided upon by the consistory." If the consistory decides to commemorate these events by catechism preaching, they are within the bounds of what has been agreed upon in the CO.
     
  5. Sebastian Heck

    Sebastian Heck Puritan Board Freshman

    completely agreed! That's helpful! Even though we are not "bound" to commemorate the event of the ascension on Ascension Day (whenever that may be in any given culture!), we are also free to do so. :)
     
  6. reformedminister

    reformedminister Puritan Board Sophomore

    Although preaching from the Catechism has been a tradition in reformed circles, I question the impression it might give to others. It seems to allude that the confessions have supremecy over Scripture. Although I know that Scripture is used, why not just preach the Word. Calvin, as well as many other giants of the faith were expository preachers.
     
  7. Sebastian Heck

    Sebastian Heck Puritan Board Freshman

    Andy,
    Actually, we weren't discussing the value of catechism preaching per se. However, this does not surprise me from someone whose profile picture is the good Doctor! ;-) He certainly had no time for catechism preaching!

    In truth, the difference is mainly whether you make the confessional standards to which you hold publicly known (by catechism preaching) or keep them to yourself... It's not about "preaching the Word" vs. "preaching a human standard"...
    But, as I said, that's for another discussion.

    One more thing, all the churches I know that practice catechism preaching ALSO have a morning worship service with strong expository preaching.
     
  8. reformedminister

    reformedminister Puritan Board Sophomore

    That makes sense. I hope you didn't take my question the wrong way. Preaching from the catechism is a custom outside my familiarity.
     
  9. Sebastian Heck

    Sebastian Heck Puritan Board Freshman

    Not at all!
    I dare you to listen to some good catechism preaching, either Heidelberg or Westminster. I do know folks that preach the Westminster Catechism(s)...! :)
     
  10. dannyhyde

    dannyhyde Puritan Board Sophomore

    I am using the Larger Catechism right now in our evening service. This past Lord's Day was the thirty-fifth sermon (on Q&A 50). You can listen here: SermonAudio.com - Oceanside United Reformed Church
     
  11. Sebastian Heck

    Sebastian Heck Puritan Board Freshman

    Yep, Danny's one of the "folks" I was referring to... :)
     
  12. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    We've discussed this many times on the PB. Just three points to respond:

    1. Much of the Heidelberg Catechism is Scripture. For instance, there are 11 Lord's Days on the Ten Commandments. Certainly everyone will agree that it is okay to preach on the Ten Commandments. There are also 8 Lord's Days on the Lord's Prayer. Many other Lord's Days have either paraphrases of Scripture or direct quotations (see, for instance, QA 4, QA 18, QA 71 and QA 77).

    2. Think of it like this: imagine if you wanted to preach a sermon on justification. You could choose as your text one set passage, say Romans 3:21-26. Or you could take a number of passages and unfold the teaching as it is found in the whole of Scripture. Catechism preaching follows the latter method, using the Catechism as a guide or roadmap to what Scripture teaches about key doctrines.

    3. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I invite you to have a look at my sermons based on the Heidelberg Catechism. You can find a good number of them here (you'll have to scroll down a bit). I am open to correction if this is not the preaching of the Word of God.
     
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