Archive for the ‘Catechism’ Category

Using and Teaching Catechism

I have been thinking of introducing the use of catechism in the church again–particularly the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Personally, I’ve been using it for my personal study and for my students to memorize and use. In doing so, I have come up with a plan to write an article about it. So where’s the best place to start?

The first challenge: is the use of catechism still relevant today? I need to find out how many churches are using it as a teaching tool? Is it being used for children and adult alike? How many individuals, including the pastor, elders or deacons, in the churches are familiar with such a tool? Would they even allow it?

The second challenge: I have to help the church see that the term “catechism” is not exclusively owned by and used in the Catholic Church. I have to prove that during the Reformation, and prior to that, the church has been utilizing it for teaching doctrines and theology. Luther came up with the Augsburg Confession and catechism, Calvin wrote a few confessions, and we have a few Reformed catechisms, like the Heidelberg Catechism and the Helvetic Confession. The reformers used this tool in a very extensive manner. Lastly, aside from the many Baptist confessions, we also have the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Third challenge: where to start and how to start it?I think it is easier with children, thy can memorize well and they learn fast. A catechism for children may be the easy to start. Adults who wish to put biblical teaching into heart may be challenged to read and memorize the shorter catechism.