Monday, June 7, 2010

Building believers the old-fashioned way

Melinda Penner, at Stand to Reason: "Recover an Ancient Practice: Catechism":
One of the significant omissions of evangelicalism is teaching Christianity to Christians. "Catechizing" is the old-fashioned word for it. .... [T]he result is that many (most?) Christians have the thinnest idea of what Christianity is, how it's different from other religions, and an appreciation for the importance of doctrine.

Doctrine is another of those words that has a bad reputation. But it's nothing more than believing correctly all that the Bible teaches. And that's an excellent and worthy goal, even a God-given duty. ....

I think one of the keys to the vitality and effectiveness of the church and individual Christians is better educating Christians in the substance of the faith. That's why a new book by J.I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett is an excellent resource that every church leader should read. It's very comprehensive offering a rationale, a history, and a plan for "building believers the old-fashioned way." It's called Grounded in the Gospel, which is the goal of catechism.

The point of catechism is to better understand what the Bible teaches. It's not a substitute for the Bible. But the Bible means so much more when we come to it with more insight. Catechism is meant to help us know God better, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and what He has done and continues to do. And to know Him is to love Him more. ....
Stand to Reason Blog: Recover an Ancient Practice: Catechism