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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

The Heidelberg Catechism and Christian Schools

The Heidelberg Catechism rather famously includes Christian education under the duties required by the 4th Commandment:

Question 103. What doth God require in the fourth command ?

Answer. First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained

In Ursinus’s commentary, we are given this explanation:

The maintenance of schools may be embraced under this part of the honor which is due to the ministry; for unless the arts and sciences be taught, men can neither become properly qualified to teach, nor can the purity of doctrine be preserved and defended against the assaults of heretics.

Notice that this is not limited to Bible and doctrine, but rather includes “the arts and sciences.” We might paraphrase the Heidelberg this way, “Keep the Sabbath: give your kids a classical education.”

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.