The Value of a Catechism

Leaders in the church have always grappled with the best way to ground believers in the fundamentals of the faith. One of the main vehicles for accomplishing this task throughout church history has been the catechism. A catechism seeks to instill the most basic and foundational truths that we affirm as Christians into the hearts and minds of believers through repetition and memorization. Most catechisms include the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. To this I would add a clear definition of the gospel. Luther’s catechism is an instructive example. He started with the Ten Commandments in order to drive a person again and again to their need for the gospel. The Creed would follow the Ten Commandments assuring the believer of the saving work of the Triune God for them. The Catechism would then move to the Lord’s Prayer where the believer would engage with God in worship, thanksgiving, and petition for further aid. Both the content and the movement of the catechism was constantly instructing the believer about the central things about the Christian faith. Here is a visual diagram of the essential components in a good catechism. In the next four posts I will upload a video of each of these components.

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