Devotional Guide to the Heidelberg Catechism Now Available from Christian’s Library Press


GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (January 15, 2014) – Living and Dying in Joy by Cornelis Vonk is now available from Christian’s Library Press and Paideia Press. It was translated by Nelson D. Kloosterman and edited by Jordan Ballor.

Cornelis Vonk (1904–1993) was a Reformed preacher and pastor in the Netherlands during the middle third of the twentieth century. This catechism commentary was originally published in 1950 in Dutch as part of a series called The Aforesaid Doctrine (De Voorzeide Leer), which is being translated into English as Opening the Scriptures. The commentary was a compilation of Vonk’s preaching and catechizing, and this English edition is based on the handwritten epitome of the much larger Dutch work.

The title of this guide is inspired by the catechism’s second question, which asks “What do you need to know in order to live and die in the joy of this comfort?” The comfort referred to is that which is described in the famous first question and answer, the comfort of knowing “that I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” This catechism guide explores the Christian art of living and dying in joy, focusing on the biblical background and exposition of the grand themes of misery, redemption, and gratitude. This translation is published on the 450th anniversary of the publication of the Heidelberg Catechism as an aid to the devotional reception of this historic and continually relevant symbol of the Reformed faith.

Joel R. Beeke, President of the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Mich., describes Living and Dying in Joy: A Devotional Guide to the Heidelberg Catechism as "simple, informative, and practical," and says that "this devotional takes us by the hand and leads us through one of the greatest summaries of biblical truth that the Christian church has ever produced. In Rev. Vonk’s meditations you will find both sweetness and light for the soul, presented in a manner well-suited for personal devotions, family worship, or children’s classes." 

Founded in 1979 by Gerard Berghoef and Lester DeKoster, Christian’s Library Press has been committed to publishing influential texts on church leadership, the vocation of work, and stewardship for more than 30 years. During that time Berghoef and DeKoster wrote significant works including The Deacons Handbook, The Elders Handbook, and God’s Yardstick, which still are in demand today. After the death of Lester DeKoster in 2009, the imprint is now administered by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. For more information about Christian’s Library Press, visit www.clpress.com.

Paideia Press is the publishing imprint of the Reformational Publishing Project. More information available at: www.reformationalpublishingproject.com.

About the Acton Institute
With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles." For more on the Acton Institute, please visit www.acton.org.

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at jcouretas@acton.org.