Monthly Archives: January 2015

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism – Week 4

    Q. 7 What are the decrees of God?
    A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.

    Q. 8 How does God execute his decrees?
    A. God executes his decrees in the works of creation and providence.

    Exposition – Here the catechism moves from God’s being to his doing; from his nature and essence to his actions. Here the catechism is concerned to highlight the way in which history unfolds according to a plan. A decree is something we’re not exactly accustomed to because it’s more monarchical than democratic. Decrees are what kings make.

    Then Darius the king made a decree…(Ez. 6:1). In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree… (Ez. 6:3).

    What the catechism and the Bible behind … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Part 3

    Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one?

    A. There is but one only, the living and true God.

    Q. 6. How many persons are there in the godhead?

    A. There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

    Exposition

    Historically the church has been battered by those who have tried to solve the mysteries of God and knock off the rough edges of some of the teachings of Scripture. Few areas have been susceptible to speculation and heresy more than the doctrine that God is trinity.

    These two questions take up what we are to believe concerning God. They are, like most of the questions, succinct and dense. Whereas the previous question dealt with what God is, that is, his nature and attributes, these … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Part 2

    Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?

    A. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

    Q. 4. What is God?

    A. God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

    Exposition

    Question 3 presents the basic outline of the catechism as a whole; questions 4-38 dealing with theology and our understanding of who God is and what he does for us in Jesus; and questions 39-107 dealing with our duties required by God. As such the catechism is very much structured in form of a covenantal document, which of course, the scriptures are as well. Because we are in relationship with God there are certain obligations and requirements that flow from that.

    Question 4 is as dense as they come and kicks off the theme … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Part 1

    The year of the catechism. That’s what I’m calling it, at least. When our forefathers sought to teach new converts and children about their newly embraced faith they did so by means of catechesis. That is, they taught their pupils having them memorize a series of questions and answers. Calvin did this. Luther did this. The Roman Catholics did this. So after the Westminster Confession was finished two catechisms were created to easily teach the faith.

    There are 107 questions and answers in our shorter catechism. This year I will take approximately 2.05 questions each week, briefly expand on them and provide questions for you to think about and discuss with your family and friends. If you have kids you can read the questions of the week during a meal and discuss it. This should provide you at least a few … Read More »