THE GOOD NEWS WE ALMOST FORGOT: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism – Kevin DeYoung (2010)

I was first introduced to Kevin DeYoung back in 2008 when I read Why We’re Not Emergent.  I found his follow-up book, Why We Love the Church exceptional.   The Good News We Almost Forgot is no exception.

DeYoung carefully unpacks the Heidelberg Catechsim, first published in 1563.  The Catechism is primarily an overview of the Apostle’s Creed, the The Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer.  The basic pattern focuses on man’s misery, man’s deliverance, and man’s response.  DeYoung’s categories are instructive: “guilt, grace, and gratitude.”

The Good News We Almost Forgot has a devotional feel.  DeYoung “keeps the cookies on the lower shelves” but never sacrifices content for the sake of brevity.  Honestly, his insight is very impressive.  He promotes a high view of God (in keeping with the Heidelberg Catechism) and offers practical suggestions for pursuing intimacy with God.

The Good News We Almost Forgot reminds readers that followers of Christ need a steady stream of faithful and meaty teaching/preaching.  DeYoung adds, “We cannot capitulate to the contemporary ethos that laments short attention spans and linear thinking.  We must resist the urge to get with the spirit of the age and feed our people with more than a steady diet of video clips and sermonettes” (p. 169).

My only beef with DeYoung is his promotion of paedo-baptism.  While I admit that his arguments are interesting, they are not very clear, convincing or compelling.  Then again, I have never been impressed with any argument in favor of paeodo-baptism.  However, I am encouraged with his humility and the respect he pays his Baptistic friends!

The most impressive feature of DeYoung’s book is its relentless presentation of the gospel: “I’ll be damned, discouraged, and dismayed if being a follower of Jesus means nothing but a new set of things I’m supposed to do for Him.  Instead, my following Jesus should be, first of all, a declaration of all that He has done for me” (p. 27).

The Good News We Almost Forgot is an important resource that should be utilized in churches for many years to come. It is a continual reminder of the importance of catechisms in the life of the church.

4 stars

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