Perspectief 2019-45

Perspectief 48 Gewone Catechismus, Christelijk geloof in 100 vragen en antwoorden – Bookreview Prof. dr. Eduardo Echeverria 1. Mere Christianity The recent publication of a Dutch catechism, a so-called “Mere Cat- echism” ( Gewone Catechismus [ GC ]) is a collaborative effort, chiefly by three Reformed theologians, Theo Pleizier, Arnold Huijgen, en Dolf te Velde. GC itself articulates the Christian faith in the traditional form of question and answer. The authors of GC purport to express concisely the core teachings of the Christian faith focused on creed, sacrament/liturgy, moral life, and the life of prayer (5) under the arc of creation, fall into sin, redemption in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the eschatological consummation of God’s plan of salvation. As far as its content is concerned, GC is not a catechism in the Reformed tradition with the express purpose of distinguishing this tradition from both the traditions of Roman Cathol- icism and Lutheranism. Regarding the Reformed tradition, think for instance of the Three Forms of Unity, namely, the Belgic Confession of Faith (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and the Canons of Dordt (1618-1619). Nevertheless, it is a Protestant catechism in respect, for example, not only of its limitation to two sacraments, namely, Baptism (Q/A: 6-12, 85) and the Lord’s Supper (Q/A: 94-100), but also its sacramentology. Although the authors of GC say many important, beautiful, and necessary things about Baptism, it is not clear whether they affirm that this sacrament is an efficacious means of grace or merely a sign and seal of the promise of God, with believers being sealed by the Spirit with expectation for the day of redemption. “De apostel Paulus ziet de doop als het gebeuren waarin wij mét Christus ondergaan in zijn dood en