…to the Heidelberg Catechism.
The Synod of Heidelberg approved the catechism in 1563. In the Netherlands, the Catechism was approved by the Synods of Wesel (1568), Emden (1571), Dort (1578), the Hague (1586), as well as the great Synod of Dort of 1618-1619, which adopted it as one of the Three Forms of Unity, together with the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dort. Elders and deacons were required to subscribe and adhere to it, and ministers were required to preach on a section of the Catechism each Sunday so as to increase the often poor theological knowledge of the church members. In many Dutch Reformed denominations this practice is still continued.
Confessionally Challenged – by Burk Parsons
One dutchman, a theologian. Two dutchmen, a church. Three dutchmen, a schism — or so the saying goes. Though such a saying could rightly include Englishmen or Frenchmen, historically the Dutch have demonstrated their fervent tenacity for defining the truth, defending the truth, and, when necessary, dividing over the truth. Nevertheless, for the past four centuries, Dutch reformed churches, and for that matter all continental reformed churches have remained committed to three forms of confessional unity.
Burk Parsons is editor of Tabletalk magazine and co-pastor at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, and is editor of the book John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology.