Heidelcast 51: Happy Thanksgiving From The Heidelcast

According to the Heidelberg Catechism there are three great heads of the Christian faith: guilt, grace, and gratitude. There may be other motivations to godliness but the catechism isn’t structured by them. It is structured by gratitude. Yet, there are those who think that leaving sanctification (progressive conformity to the image of God wrought by the Spirit through the due use of ordinary means) to gratitude makes it a second blessing. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Thankfulness is integral to the Christian faith and to the Christian’s faith. It is interwoven into the fabric of the Reformed understanding of Scripture. It is arguably the third part of the book of Romans. Paul wrote of giving thanks to God at least 19 times. There’s not a shred of evidence that he thought of thankfulness as a second blessing or a second-class motive for godliness.

On Thanksgiving 2013, I’m thankful for the mercy and grace of Christ to miserable sinners and grateful for the ongoing work of the Spirit in those for whom he obeyed, died, was raised, and is interceding.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Heidelcast!

Here’s episode 51. (Be sure to stay tuned to the very end for some Thanksgiving nostalgia)

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2 comments

  1. Great post!

    But, being ek peritomai myself, I couldn’t help but notice the concurrence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving this year. Noting that Jesus himself went to Jerusalem for the event (John 10), I dusted off my KJV with the Apocrypha and read First Maccabees.

    Part off the Pilgrims’ problem with James VI and I was that the latter didn’t like the Puritan/Presbyterian insistence that the church is not governed by the monarch, or that the monarch was “neither a lord, not a head, but a member” of Christ’s Kingdom. The attempts of his dynasty to kick the Scots Presbyterians into line and suppress Puritanism blew up in his son’s face.

    Indeed, a galaxy of Reformed thinkers argued strenuously against the then novel doctrine of the 16th and 17th centuries that the monarch’s power in all affairs was absolute. The whole enterprise of Western constitutional government grew out of the Reformed effort to gain a legal status. See Francois Hotman, Theodore Beza, Johannes Althusius, John Ponet, Christopher Goodman, John Knox, Philippus Marnix van St. Aldegonde, Junius Brutus, and Samuel Rutherford.

    Similarly, First Maccabees describe how the Jews, under Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers, fought to remain Jews. While I’d rather establish a doctrine of resistance on the career of David and the Apostles’ “We must obey God rather than men”, I daresay that the Maccabees makes inspiring “other literature” in these days when a government is trying to circumscribe and dictate to the Christian conscience.

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