Catechism…what’s that?

One of the books I’m currently reading through is Kevin DeYoung’s “The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism.”  The 16th century catechism DeYoung is referring to is the Heidelberg CatechismWhat’s interesting about this catechism is that it’s broken up into 52 Lord’s Days, which is helpful for me in my approach of how I’m going to read through it and memorize it. 

There are several reasons why I started reading DeYoung’s latest book.  The first is that I enjoy him as an author immensely.  He’s co-written two other books with Ted Kluck that I’ve read which were very insightful and informative (“Why We Love The Church – in Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion” and “Why We’re Not Emergent – By Two Guys Who Should Be“).  But the specific reason I picked up this book is that I’m trying to get my hands on anything and everything that will help me better communicate the truths of the Scriptures, specifically the gospel, to myself, my wife and now, my two daughters.  Jerry Bridges, who wrote the Foreword, defines and explains the purpose of a catechism. 

He says, “a catechism is simply a means of instruction by posting a series of questions about God and humankind, and answering those questions from the Bible.  A catechism is never out-of-date as it seeks to teach us the eternal truths of Scripture.  And a catechism is not a man-made add-on to the Bible; it’s instruction in good theology derived from the Scriptures.  None of us are smart enough or spiritual enough to dig out various truths of Scripture by ourselves.  We need sound instruction, and a good catechism provides that” (DeYoung, pp. 10).

Bridges use of the word instruction is what resonated with my heart.  I want to be a dad that does what Moses writes in Deuteronomy 6:6-9, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  I want to be faithful in passing down my faith in Christ and one of the ways I’ll do this is through instructing first my own heart and then my wife and children’s heart with the timeless truths of the Scriptures and DeYoung’s exposition of the Hiedelberg Catechism is just another tool that I hope and pray will assist me in my attempt to point my family to the gospel.

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