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Three Men Came from Heidelberg / The Glorious Heretic

By Thea B. Van Halsema
Inheritance Publications
www.telusplanet.net/public/inhpubl/webip/ip.htm

Box 366
Pella, IA 50219
780-674-3949

This book is two historical novels in one. Mrs. Van Halsema has researched and compiled an excellent historical narrative of the origins of the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession. These monumental documents form the basis of the Reformed faith, dating back to the 1500s and the Great Reformation.

Three Men Came from Heidelberg tells the story of Prince Frederick of Germany and the preacher (Caspar Olevianus) and the professor (Zacharias Ursinus) whom he commissioned to write a catechism which would instruct his people in the true teachings of the Bible. The story discusses the issues surrounding the Reformation and the changes of thought that were required for loyal church-going Catholics to make the mental and spiritual journey to Protestantism. It also discusses the dangers that were involved and the conflicts that ensued as these teachings were presented and written up in a formal document. Biblical proofs for the teachings of the Reformers are presented in the narrative.

The Glorious Heretic follows the story of Guido de Bres, a young Belgian man born in the time of the Spanish Inquisition. When he found faith in the teachings of the Reformers, he fled to England and studied under the great Protestant teachers of the day. He began to teach those in his church the truths of the Bible and penned a confession that would outline the truths he had learned and taught. His Confession was found along with some of the writings of Calvin. Though there was no author's name on the Confession, eventually it was traced to Guido, and he was branded as a heretic. Thus began his life on the run. Eventually, he was apprehended and hanged for heresy, but he left behind a legacy, both to his family and the church.

While these stories will appeal to history buffs and especially those captivated by the Middle Ages and the Reformation, they are written in narrative that is somewhat dry, not in a story-like style. The information is valuable and fascinating but not gripping. These books are geared toward an older audience (high school) and would make good report material, but I don't recommend them as a family read-aloud.



Product review by Kim Kargbo, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2011


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