Friday, March 8, 2013

Catechisms Are Not Dead

Catechisms are not dead. Some today think that if we want to educate our children we must forego the use of catechisms and find some other means of instruction. And while the systematic theology taught through catechism cannot replace teaching directly from the Bible, it can be a big help to understanding God and His word.

Recently The Gospel Coalition in partnership with Timothy Keller's church released The New City Catechism. This catechism is shorter than the catechisms that it was based on, and has both a children's and an adult version. This is a doctrinally solid catechism, though it does not go into detail on some issues of secondary importance, such as mode of baptism or eschatology.

There are fifty-two questions and answers and I think that it would be great if a church built its children's curriculum around these fifty-two questions and answers. The parents could work with their children through the catechism and then the church could then reinforce each question and answer.

It is great to see that this tradition, which has been practiced by many different denominations (even baptists like Charles Spurgeon have written catechisms), is continually being updated. The website for this catechism has an interactive viewer with both written and video commentary. Take a look at the New City Catechism and consider teaching it to your children!

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