What is a Catechism?
This year we will be going through the New City Catechism together. We will be reading the questions and answers together in our Sunday morning gatherings, with the hope that it will spark conversations throughout the week at the dinner table or over coffee.
A catechism is a set of questions and answers that could be recited and remembered to develop the knowledge of God among believers. There have been many written throughout history, and the New City Catechism is a modern version written for our time. The questions and answers are theologically rich and carefully worded to help all of us come to a deeper understanding of God and gospel.
Tim Keller helped write this catechism while pastoring Redeemer Presbyterian church in New York City. He explains that catechisms were written with at least three purposes. The first was to set forth a comprehensive exposition of the gospel—not only in order to explain clearly what the gospel is, but also to lay out the building blocks on which the gospel is based, such as the biblical doctrines of God, of human nature, of sin, and so forth. The second purpose was to do this exposition in such a way that the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of the time and culture were addressed and counteracted. The third and more pastoral purpose was to form a distinct people, a counterculture that reflected the likeness of Christ not only in individual character but also in the church’s communal life.
How do I use the catechism?
We will recite the questions and answers each Sunday of the year. During the week there are verses printed in the bulletin that coincide with that week's question and answer.
- You can read these verses throughout the week to reinforce the truth that is being taught that week.
- You can recite or reveiw the question and answer every day to help you remember them.
- You can review them with your family. There is a children's version available on the website and through the app.
- You can use them to spark conversation with other believers or even those far from God.
We want this to be a discipleship tool that helps all of us grow to a deeper understanding of God and the gospel, and to know, live, and share good news with others.