Back In Print! Ames On The Heidelberg Catechism And Caspar Olevianus On The Apostles’ Creed

William Ames, A Sketch of the Christian’s Catechism. Classic Reformed Theology. Todd Rester, trans. (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2008). Ames (1576–1633) exposits a particular text of Scripture that supports the main thoughts for a given Lord’s Day in the Heidelberg Catechism (1563). Ames’ doctrinal conclusions interact with the corresponding Questions and Answers of the Heidelberg Catechism. Historians of 16th and 17th century thought will value the critical English translation of a much neglected text, and the fact that it demonstrates the interaction between English Puritanism and the Dutch Further Reformation.

 

Caspar Olevianus, An Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, trans. Lyle Bierma, Classic Reformed Theology Vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010). Introduction by R. Scott Clark. Caspar Olevianus (1536–87) is most well known today for his role as one of the authors of the Heidelberg Catechism. He was also an able biblical commentator, passionate preacher, and influential churchman. His place in history is noted as a key transitional theologian, helping to bridge the gap between the first generation of the Reformation and the era of Reformed Orthodoxy. Olevianus’ Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed is a collection of sermons he preached on the basic articles of the Christian faith. It serves as a reminder that the Reformed tradition did not see itself as separate from the universal church, though it was principally opposed to Rome. Rather, Olevianus and his tradition argue for a Reformed catholicity rooted in the ancient confession of the church.

 

You can still get J. H. Heidegger, Concise Marrow of Theology (1697) in hardcover. This is the smallest piece of a threefold theological curriculum. It is an abridgement of Heidegger’s Marrow of Christian Theology, which in turn is a stepping-stone to his more advanced dogmatic system, Body of Christian Theology. The two larger works, however, remain untranslated. This volume is the first and only work by Heidegger to be translated into English. It is volume 4 in the Classic Reformed Theology Series edited by R. Scott Clark and Casey Carmichael. The volume is a survey of Reformed theology and provides a clear, brief window on the state of Reformed theology at the end of the 17th century, as it was being presented to beginning students. Here we see his conclusions without seeing his work, as it were. Readers report that it is clear and edifying. The volume includes an introduction to Heidegger’s world and life by Ryan Glomsrud, which will be essential for the readers unfamiliar with late 17th-century Zürich.

Also still in hardcover: Johannes Cocceius, Doctrine of The Covenant and Testament of God (3rd edition, 1660). It appears in English for the first time as volume 3 in the Classic Reformed Theology series graciously published by Reformation Heritage Books. Cocceius (1603–69) was a skilled biblical scholar, philologist, and Reformed theologian. Born in German-speaking Bremen, he became most famous for his work in the theology faculty of the University Leiden, about 245 miles to the southwest of Bremen. As you will see in the introduction written by Willem van Asselt (1946–2014), young Johannes studied in Bremen and in Franeker, Friesland. He taught in Bremen for several years and then returned to teach in Franeker until he was called to the great University of Leiden in 1650. He published volumes on biblical philology, biblical commentary, and systematic theology as well as his most famous work, Summa de foedere. Credit must go to Dr Casey Carmichael (ThD, University of Geneva) for his skill in getting this text into English. This volume also features an introduction written by Willem van Asselt (1946–2014), who, until his death, was the world’s leading expert on Cocceius.

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