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The Assembly’s Shorter Catechism

In Catechesis, Preaching, Shorter Catechism, Westminster Shorter Catechism, Westminster Standards on 17/10/2012 at 11:25

The following article, though written from the perspective of a concern within Congregational churches in the early 19th century, has much that is applicable for us today.  One key point is made in the statement that “Doctrinal  standards give stability, and secure uniformity of sentiment and discipline.” Dr. John Leith made this same point, though more extensively, some years ago in his Warfield Lecture, “Reformed Preaching Today.” Among other points, Leith stressed that the recovery of great preaching requires a well-educated congregation that can track with the pastor’s sermons:

 The recovery of great preaching calls for the revival of the Christian community as a disciplined, knowledgeable, worshiping community of people. The recovery of preaching and the recovery of the community will have to take place together, because there can be no recovery of a vital Christian community, well informed, apart from the recovery of great preaching. And on the other hand, a great congregation makes a great preacher.

And catechesis is the indisputable foundation of a great congregation!

The Assembly’s Shorter Catechism

[The Charleston Observer, 10:29 (16 July 1836): 113.]

            In this age of change and boasted improvement, we have witnessed with regret, the increasing disposition of Christians to depart from ancient standards and formularies of doctrines. How far the love of novelty has influence in producing this state of things, we are not prepared to say. The fact is that innovations and changes are easily effected, and the old paths are forsaken; often, seemly because they are old and have been trodden by men of other ages, and new ones are chosen, seemingly because they are new and without examination, whether they will conduct safely or not.

            Perhaps in no portion of the Christian church has the change been greater, than in the congregational churches of Connecticut; ancient standards of doctrine in these churches, have been suffered to pass away, not by a public and formal objection, but by silent neglect on the part of individual churches in order to accommodate and receive to their communion such as would dissent from doctrines contained in their old standards. To this as one cause silently operating, may be traced as we believe the gradual decrease of the congregational churches in Connecticut, and the increase of other denominations. Doctrinal standards give stability, and secure uniformity of sentiment and discipline, and then adhered in the denominations embracing them, they serve to strengthen and increase that denomination but when such standards are trodden down or thrown aside, the denomination is changed in its distinctive character, notwithstanding the name should be still retained. Read the rest of this entry »


Another Children’s Catechism

In Shorter Catechism on 09/05/2011 at 13:47

I had posted previously on various editions and versions of children’s catechisms, here, here and here.  A recent accession to the PCA Historical Center provides yet another.  In this case, it is a brief composition titled “Short and Easy Questions for Children” and it is printed on the back cover of an edition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  This particular edition was printed in Toronto, Canada by Copp, Clark & Company, Limited, but there is no date of publication.  Nor did I see this edition referenced in Carruther’s Three Centuries of the Shorter Catechism (1957).
Lastly,there is no indication as to who authored this children’s catechism.   Read the rest of this entry »

The Value of Memorizing Scripture and the Catechism in Childhood (1933)

In Shorter Catechism on 30/05/2009 at 22:35

by the Rev. E.E. Bigger

[excerpted from Christianity Today 4.5 (Mid-September 1933): 6.] Read the rest of this entry »