The doctrine on God, as demonstrated and confessed in the Heidelberg Catechism
Coetzee, Carel F.C.
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Although the Heidelberg Catechism (HC) does not deal with a systematic doctrine on God and although there are not many sources available on the specific subject, it is a most important subject when dealing with the theology of the HC (W. van ’t Spijker). Due to the prescribed length of the article, it only focuses on two aspects of the doctrine on God, namely the Trinity and the relationship between God and the cosmos (reality). Futhermore, today there is an emphasis on a new concept of God, known as Panentheism. In this concept, God and his creation are identified with each other. In the South African context, the article deals very shortly with the viewpoints of Spangenberg, Van Aarde and Müller in this regard. The God confessed in the HC is the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the closest and most logical coherence with this, the HC confesses the deity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit. The HC also proceeds from the premise of the historical, bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead. As far as the relationship between God and creation is concerned, the HC, in agreement with the church of the first centuries, confesses and teaches a personal God, the Father of Jesus Christ, who for the sake of Christ is the Father of the elect. This God is the almighty creator of heaven and earth. He lives in a covenant relationship with his creation, which he sustains and governs at every moment. He is both transcendent and immanent.
- Faculty of Theology