Reformed theology and piety has been frequently caricatured as “dry” by which I take it critics mean to suggest that it is overly academic, overly intellectual and unconcerned about the interior, spiritual life of the believer. That this is a caricature is easy to show. Read Theodore Beza’s Confession of Faith. In truth, Reformed theologians have always been passionate about the spiritual life of the Christian. We’ve been criticized for being too concerned. So we’re either too academic or too introspective. One way to gauge the Reformed approach to piety is to consider how we’ve approached the idea of “comfort.” It’s in the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” It was an important theme in Calvin’s theology as I’ll show in an upcoming series of posts.
Here’s a brief Heidelcast from October 19, 2009 on the topic of comfort: