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The Heidelberg Catechism is a book that was written more than 450 years ago and that still appeals to the hearts and minds of millions of people in our world today. This is not only
testified by people from many nations, it was also my own experience when I worked as a missionary in Nigeria in the nineteen eighties. Having the privilege of meeting with the preachers of the Nigeria Reformed Church on a weekly basis, I went with them through the different Lord’s Days of the Catechism. It was truly amazing and touching to see how the instruction of this “book of comfort and guidance” resonated with these men, many of whom had turned to the Christian faith only a few years earlier.
The outlines that I prepared for the weekly encounters with those wonderful men in Nigeria form the basis of the present book. These outlines may be helpful not only for pastors, preachers, teachers, and theological students in other parts of the world; they may also be useful for church members in general. They can serve as an introduction to, or a deeper understanding of, the contents of the Heidelberg Catechism and its solidly scriptural message. As such I want to offer it to every Christian who is interested in searching the truth and living the truth.
The original version of this book appeared under the responsibility of the Nigeria Reformed Church. I am thankful that, approximately thirty years later, the mission office
of the Reformed Congregations in the Netherlands encouraged me to have a new edition published, this time with their help. In view of this edition I revised the entire script,
correcting several mistakes, improving the lay-out, adding more Scripture references, and making the outlines applicable for other cultural contexts than just the African one.
The title of this book has been derived from the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism. It is my heartfelt desire that you as a recipient of this book may be blessed
while reading it and that you may experience that “only comfort in life and death”, to God’s glory and your own spiritual welfare!
The only Comfort in Life and Death
A Short Explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism in Sixty-One Outlines
Rev. Cornelius Sonnevelt
Rev. C. Sonnevelt