Catechism

biblical-illiteracy“There is an absence of doctrine, there is a lack of clear definition and a readiness to allow anybody to say anything they like. And this means that there was never a time when it was more urgently necessary that Christian people should consider together the doctrines of the Bible. We must know the ground on which we stand, and be able to withstand every enemy that comes to attack us, every subtle foe, every ploy used by the devil who comes disguised as an ‘angel of light’ to ruin our souls.”  Martin Lloyd Jones

In the opening of his gospel account, Luke says to Theophilus, “it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:3-4, ESV)  The “things you have been taught” that is referred to here speaks of truths that Theophilus had learned orally. The Greek word used here is katacheo – to teach by word of mouth. It is from this word that we get the English word catechism. A catechism is simply learning that takes place by speaking.

The Reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries took this concept and developed a series of catechisms-short question and answer documents to help believers learn the Bible. These catechisms were written for young and old alike. Two of the most well-known catechisms are Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Sadly, in most Protestant churches today, catechisms have fallen out of favor and are seen as dry, too intellectual, and irrelevant to today’s Christian.

We couldn’t disagree more! We believe that there is much value in catechisms as teaching tools for the entire family. Catechisms that are rich in truth and steeped in Scripture are an excellent way to learn and teach the Bible.

New-City-Catechism1New City Catechism, developed by the Gospel Coalition, is an excellent resource for learning core truths of the Christian faith. The New City Catechism is free, available as an app, designed for youths and adult, and includes in-depth videos for each question as well as Scripture-proofs. If you are unsure how or apprehensive about studying the Bible with your spouse and/or children, why not try using a catechism?

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