What's a Catechism? Part 2
The Joy and Usefulness of the Catechism, Part 2
Which Catechism Should I Use?
In the last article, we looked at catechisms, their use in church and in the home, and some examples of the question-and-answer teaching format they present for learning the truths of God’s Word. In this follow-up, we will be looking at several different catechisms that you might find useful in teaching, study, and devotions.
Of course, there are any number of catechisms out there that are well worth your time, and far too many to be comprehensively covered here. Many are free online, or cost very little in print form. To mention a few, there are the Westminster Longer and Shorter Catechisms, often employed by our Presbyterian brothers and sisters, and the Heidelberg Catechism, employed by several Reformed denominations. Baptists looking to these stalwart documents will wish to take care when it comes to language on baptism, but still may find them a useful reference.
In the Baptist tradition, there are several giants in respect to catechisms for consideration:
-Keach’s Catechism (also known as the 1693 Catechism) remains popular, both in the original and with language updated by such organizations as Desiring God. It probably was not actually written by Benjamin Keach, but by his fellow pastor William Collins. Regardless of the author, this document is close in format to Heidelberg and Westminster, while remaining firmly Baptist in its treatment of baptism. It was later adopted by Baptists in Colonial America, seeing widespread use ultimately in both nations.
-Spurgeon’s Catechism (also known as “A Puritan Catechism”) is a document compiled by famous preacher Charles Spurgeon from multiple catechisms to create one useful document. It remains a popular, readable choice for many churches and individuals today. This catechism is available for free in multiple formats (including print) from Chapel Library.
-An Orthodox Catechism, penned in 1680 by Hercules Collins, is a revision of the Hiedelberg Catechism emphasizing Baptist distinctive, as well as some of the historic Christian creeds. It is available in print and electronic form from several online outlets.
-A Catechism for Boys and Girls, penned by prolific Baptist author and pastor Errol Hulse, is design for use especially with young children. This catechism is available for free in multiple formats (again, including print) from Chapel Library.
More updated language catechisms may be found with little effort, as well as several updated wordings of the catechisms mentioned above. One such example is My First Catechism, which largely follows the lines of Keach’s Catechism, but with some updated, accessible language perhaps more suitable to younger children.
If you are looking for a solid way in which to instruct yourself or family in the truths of God and great doctrines of the faith, consider prayerfully looking at the various catechisms presented here. At Restoration Church this Sunday, we will have copies of Spurgeon’s Catechism available for free for the use of you and your family.