Monthly Archives: June 2011

  • Catechisis – part 6

    Chapter 5 in Packer’s and Parrett’s Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way continues to engage the what should we teach when we do catechesis? question. As we noted last week, the answer to that question has historically been Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Sacraments. While not undermining what has already been said, the authors in this chapter remind their readers that in all of our teaching the goal and content must be the gospel. In other words, we must always keep in mind what Paul told the Corinthians: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received…(1 Cor. 15:3). The point is clear. The gospel is of first importance in the Christian life. As we have been seeing in our reading of Romans, it was for this gospel … Read More »

  • Catechism, part 4

    In chapter 3 of their book, Packer and Parrett set out to address the “Waxing and Waning of Catechesis.” At the outset they allude to the quote above from Calvin and rightfully conclude that “Christians of all sorts once again seem to be intent on testing this thesis.” This is a, if not the, most important chapter of the book. Included is a survey of the development of the practice in the ancient church, in the church during the Reformation, and among the Puritans. One thing is clear: even though written catechisms weren’t used until the Reformation—the printing press was not around prior to it—the church throughout history has taken the duty of grounding its members in the doctrines of the faith very seriously. Beginning with Luther, it became common in the church for Christian education to be centered around … Read More »

  • Catechism, Part 3

    The question Packer and Parrett take up in Chapter 2 is not whether or not catechesis works—several centuries of testimony demonstrate it obviously does—but whether or not it is Biblical. Or to put it another way, is this simply a good idea or is something that God is requiring of his church? In making their case for the latter the authors begin by highlighting the catechetical nature of the OT (cf. Deut. 6.6-9; 11.18-19); the goal of which is God’s people walking in God’s ways. In this way, then, catechetical training is faith training, where the learning is for living. The NT is also not silent. In fact, the word from which we get everything related to the word “catechize” is the NT word, katecheo, used 7 times in the NT (cf. Lk.1.4; Acts 18.25; 21.21; 24; Rom. 2.18; 1 … Read More »