Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

An Unexpected Benefit of Catechesis

Slowly but surely, we're training Christian in the catechism. (I've tried to instruct Georgia Grace in the first question, but she responds to the question in the same way that she responds to everything else: by sweetly yet persistently exclaiming "No!")

"Catechism" is not a word that is common, even in many churches. It refers to instruction-- usually religious instruction-- through a series of questions with set answers. We are training Christian using the catechism found HERE. (If you click on the link just provided, you will see how each answer in the catechism is derived from a variety of Bible verses; we have only made one minor change so far: in question #9, we ask "What is God?" rather than "Who is God?"-- I believe Dr. Tom Nettles makes this same change-- because the answer seems to refer to God in His nature.)

When we began the catechism, the idea was to equip our children with foundations for a biblical worldview.

One benefit that I had not thought of beforehand is that the catechism helps me answer questions that Christian poses.

So Christian will ask: "Is God inside or outside?" And I will turn the question back to him, asking, "Where is God?" Then Christian knows the answer: "God is everywhere."

Or if he asks: "Why do we have to go to church?" (Christian, like most young children, cannot bear to sit still and quiet.) I say, "To glorify God," then I follow, "Why ought you to glorify God?" To which Christian replies, "Because he made me and takes care of me." (This does not, of course, mean that Christian is happy about going to a place where he is required to remain stationary, but at least he has an idea of why his parents think it is important for him to be there.) So you can see how the catechism is useful in a practical situation.

To give one more example. Christian has (at times) asked, "Why can't I see God?" Now, even with my seminary education, I'm not sure at all how I would answer this question to a four-year-old without the catechism. But with the catechism, I know to ask, "What is God?" To which Christian replies, "God is a spirit, and does not have a body like men." Then I say, "We can't see God because he is a spirit and does not have a body like men." (The conversation might go on for while after this, with more questions getting involved.)

Anyway, I hope you can see how the catechism is helpful, not just for children but also for believing parents as we seek to interact with our children in a way that is wise and that glorifies God.

For any parent reading this post, I strongly commend the use of catechesis for your family.

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