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by Bubba Jennings
Catechisms & Creeds: Instructions for Living
To learn more about where we come from and where we’re going, come to the next Resurgence conference: Our Fathers & Our Future, Orlando, February 2011.
The Puritans used catechisms, creeds, and confessions to disciple their flocks. A catechism is the process of instructing believers both young and old in the basics of the Christian faith. The Greek word for "instruct" or "teach" is katecheo from which we get our English word "catechize."
Catechisms provide basic summaries of the church’s teachings to ensure that all members of the church understand the essentials of the faith for themselves. Most catechisms generally have questions and answers accompanied by biblical support and explanations.
The Puritans developed their own catechisms, including the Westminster Catechisms in the 1640s. Written to provide children, new believers, and church members alike a short but comprehensive summary of the Reformed church’s doctrines, the Westminster Catechisms are the most important and influential of all the Reformed catechisms.
Helpful Catechism Resources
- The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th-Century Catechism, by Kevin DeYoung
- Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God, by Bruce Ware
- The Big Book of Questions and Answers, by Sinclair Ferguson
- Small Children’s Catechism, by Chris Schlect
- A Catechism for Boys and Girls, from Sojourn Church Louisville.
Have any good ideas on how we can use catechisms in the church today? Let us know on Facebook.
To be continued.