Repost: Why Catechize?

I originally posted this article back in February of 2013. In discussing catechesis with my wife tonight, I went in search for it. After reading it, I decided it was worth a repost. I hope you find it helpful.

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It has been such a blessing for our family to catechize our daughter. My wife and I use The Baptist Catechism, but my four-year-old and the children’s ministry at our church use the more basic Catechism for Boys and Girls. Every night we get together as a family to pray, sing hymns, and read God’s word. Of course, we haven’t always been able to do this perfectly, but it has become a fairly regular expectation for my family. When we gather together at night to have family worship, we also spend some time catechizing our daughter and one another. We even let our daughter ask us questions from The Baptist Catechism. She loves it. So, today, I was thinking about the benefits of catechesis and thought I’d simply blog about it.

Some Benefits of Catechesis:

  • It helps us to make sense of the things we are reading regularly in Scripture. We should not simply be concerned that our families understand what the texts say in their immediate contexts, but what the Bible as a whole has to say on various topics. If we simply focused in on the immediate contexts of certain texts, we would never arrive at a full-fledged understanding of even the essentials of Christianity such as the Trinity, Justification by Faith Alone, and the Hypostatic Union.
  • It helps us to set a context for making sense of the gospel. When children have a big picture understanding of the teachings of Scripture, they can better understand not only the truths of the gospel, but also the importance of those truths to their everyday lives. The Bible’s claims make the most sense from within a biblical worldview. It is this worldview that catechetical parents hope to instill in their kids.
  • It provides us with healthy opportunities for daily, intentional interaction with our kids. Our kids crave and long for our attention. When we catechize them, we are providing them with an opportunity (scripted, but an opportunity nonetheless) to interact with their parents in a way that few other things do. They have a sense of accomplishment and, more importantly, they bond with their parents.
  • It provides us with the opportunity to pass on our worldview and subsequent values to our children. The influences in our society are plenty which compete for our children’s affections. Catechisms are an invaluable tool for ensuring that our children are immersed in a biblical worldview on a daily basis.

This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list. I’m sure there are many benefits I have yet to consider, but I think these are sufficient for whetting our appetites for catechizing our children. I pray this has been an encouragement for you in your endeavors to raise your children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord.

Introducing a Baptist Larger Catechism

Just yesterday, a fellow 1689’r announced that he is working on putting together (in community) a Baptist Larger Catechism.

It has only been in recent years that I discovered the writings, confessions, and catechisms of the original 17th century Particular Baptists. I’ve enjoyed reading through The Baptist Catechism by Benjamin Keach and The Orthodox Catechism by Hercules Collins. Those two catechisms most closely align with the Westminster Shorter Catechism and the Heidelberg Catechism, respectively. What I’ve found interesting is that I haven’t seen a Particular Baptist version of the Westminster Larger Catechism, in which a thorough discussion of credobaptist distinctives have been given in catechetical form. So in my small attempt to pass down sound doctrine and tradition, I have decided to do a Baptist Larger Catechism. So, on a weekly basis, I will post a couple of questions from the catechism that I have completed. I view this as a community project for all other Reformed Baptists who would like to see a Larger Catechism in modern English so if you are interested in assisting in any way, feel free to comment. So, without further ado, here are the first couple of questions of a Larger Baptist Catechism.

Check it out:

The Road of Grace

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you have probably already figured out that I hold to Reformed theology. However, what most people probably don’t know is that I’m also a Baptist. In particular, I view myself as a confessional, Reformed Baptist who holds to the 1689 London Baptist Confession (i.e. I believe that the 1689 LBCF is the most accurate summary of the whole of Christian doctrine). Currently, my family and I have the privilege of being members of a conservative PCA church plant in the Charleston area. Even though we have doctrinal differences over the nature of the Church and over covenant theology, we are quite grateful to be in a church in which God-centered worship is prioritized, the means of grace are central, and Christian history and tradition are important.

As a young Christian, I spent too many years in doctrinal error through the Word of Faith movement…

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Why Blog The Baptist Confession?

Some of you have doubtless wondered why I have apparently made it my mission to blog The Baptist Confession and The Baptist Catechism here at CredoCovenant. I mean, surely there are other places on the internet where these confessional statements are made available. Why consolidate them here on CredoCovenant? Surely others of you, thinking you know my reasons, see no reason to ponder the question in the first place. So to answer the question myself and to clear up any misconceptions that may prevail, I thought I’d just list my reasons:

1. Our church is considering the adoption of The Baptist Confession as our own. As such, we are currently teaching through it in our adult’s Sunday school class, and our members have been asked to familiarize themselves with it. Blogging The Baptist Confession helps me to meet two goals in this regard:

a. It helps me equip the body at my church to have online access to the individual chapters of the confession and the Scripture passages that support them, and..

b. It provides me with an opportunity to personally revisit the confession, chapter-by-chapter, and reconsider my personal subscription to it.

2. I have enjoyed revisiting these confessional statements for my own personal edification.

3. It provides visitors to CredoCovenant with a theological context for the content they will find on the site.

4. It’s a quick and easy resource to which I might link when engaging in theological conversations elsewhere on the web.

5. Blogging The Baptist Confession and The Baptist Catechism gives me something to do when I’m bored.