Book Reviews

LEARNING JESUS CHRIST THROUGH THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, by Karl Barth; Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1982; 141 pp., $4.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko)

This book contains two sections: the first is a series of lectures on the Heidelberg Catechism delivered by Barth at the University of Bonn in 1947; the second is a lecture given in 1938 in a course for teachers of religion on the Schauenberg, near Liestal, Switzerland and entitled: “Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism.”

Both sections of the book are really too brief to be a great deal of use for ministers and people of God who have made the Heidelberg Catechism all but a lifelong study—as is the case within our churches; the material was presented mainly to acquaint those who have little or no knowledge of the Catechism with its contents, emphases, and characteristics. 

Nevertheless, there are interesting and fresh insights into the Catechism here and there which can only be of benefit to those who read it. And Barth’s own incorrect views (such as his universalism) do come out on occasion in the book.

The book must be read with care and compared with a more orthodox commentary on the Catechism, but it can be an interesting addition to one’s library.