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Personal Renewal between Heidelberg and Westminster

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This article deals with the theology of personal renewal in the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Confession. In the first part the theological structures of the Heidelberg Catechism are examined. Characteristic for the Heidelberg Catechism is the Christ-centered structure, the function of the law, and the pessimistic tone about personal renewal in relation to a remaining humiliation. In the second part the differences with the Westminster Confession are made clear. The Westminster is less pessimistic about personal renewal and the covenant structure of this confession gives the framework for a substantializing of the human person. The third and last part of this article pleads for an integration of the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Confession. The Christ-centered structure of the Heidelberg is a strong element in the reformed tradition, while the covenant framework gives an opportunity to do justice to the human person.

Affiliations: 1: VU University Amsterdam The Netherlands, Email:


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