Monday, 3 December 2012

The Three Forms of Unity

This is a really lovely quality set of books for children telling the stories behind each of the Confessions of Faith within the Three Forms of Unity. 
The background to the Belgic Confession is related in the first book Faithfulness under Fire: The Story of Guido de Bres.  Simply written but with enough detail to give a correct understanding of the events of the time, plus very striking illustrations this book is suitable for a range of ages and is a good reference book to keep on the shelf to be returned to again and again.  I read this book to a group of children who ranged in age from 3 to 11 and they were spell-bound (at least that was how it seemed to me!).
The second book The Quest for Comfort: The Story of the Heidelberg Catechism covers the story of the connection between  Olevianus, Ursinus and Federick III and their desire to see a 'simple, personal and more peaceful' outline of their doctrinal position. The book very simply describes the themes around which this catechism is based.
The third book The Glory of Grace: The Story of the Canons of Dort describes the troubled times in the Netherlands with the preaching of Arminius and the following that he gained.  The 5 points of Arminianism are briefly explained along with the events involving the Prince of Orange & the English King James I which led to a synod of leaders from Holland, Germany, Switzerland and England to discuss a unified doctrinal position.  The resulting Canons of Dort (or the 5 points of Calvinism) are explained in some detail.
Each book has a section at the end designed to give parents further information about the doctrinal points raised.  In an easy and compelling style, these books describe some difficult doctrines and put them in their historical context.  I think they do an excellent job of filling a gap in a child's understanding of these early expressions of the Reformed faith which have been foundational to any subsequent Confessions.

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