Being Reformed studies explore confessional statements
Comes as 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA) considers new Heidelberg Catechism translation; revisits the Confession of Belhar
October 8, 2012
Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding—a series of biblically based mini-courses published by CMP of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)—has announced the release of an introductory study for congregations discussing the Heidelberg Catechism.
The Heidelberg Catechism, written by Dr. Gary Neal Hansen, assistant professor of church history at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and a member of the PC(USA)’s Special Committee on the Heidelberg Catechism, helps adult and young adult participants understand the new translation of the catechism that is being considered for the PC(USA)’s Book of Confessions.
Designed for group study, Being Reformed: The Heidelberg Catechism provides an in-depth look at the catechism, clarifying challenging issues that surround the current translation in the Book of Confessions and deciphering its concepts for today’s Christians. The study invites participants to know the catechism more fully from an understandable yet theological perspective.
The translation is a product of collaboration between the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Reformed Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is pending approval by PC(USA) presbyteries and the General Assembly. The new English translation corrects past translation errors and restores the original scriptural citations.
In addition, the Confession of Belhar—a doctrine that addresses the issues of racial justice and reconciliation—is being revisited by the Assembly. In 2010, there was a recommendation that the confession be included in the Book of Confessions, but it failed to receive the required two-thirds majority vote.
The Being Reformed study The Confession of Belhar focuses on major themes of unity, reconciliation, and justice. Written by renowned Presbyterian scholar Dr. Cynthia Holder Rich, it explores what it means to be a confessional church and to meet and confess faith in the face of racism in its various forms.
“The Belhar Confession is an important document confessed by a faithful people in a historic situation,” said Charles A. Wiley III, associate director for the Office of Theology and Worship. “All Christians should heed their voice for the church’s unity and against the corrosive ideology of racial division.”
Each six-session study from Being Reformed addresses its subjects from a Reformed theological perspective while providing a foundational understanding of the Reformed faith. Studies include Scripture, in-depth commentary, and questions for reflection. Lessons are enhanced through a leader’s guide, which offers helpful suggestions and direction for group study.
All Being Reformed studies are available online or by calling the Presbyterian Distribution Service at (800) 524-2612. For additional information, or to download a free sample session, visit: pcusa.org/beingreformed. Order today by calling (800) 524-2612.
Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding
Congregational Ministries Publishing
The Heidelberg Catechism
Gary Neal Hansen
The Confession of Belhar
Cynthia Holder Rich