As the Reformed catechisms regain popularity, there are some new books on catechesis coming out. My Christian Education professor at seminary, Gary Parrett, has partnered with J. I. Packer on a book to be released in April, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way. Kevin DeYoung has written a book due out in March on the Heidelberg Catechism, The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism. Some brief comments by Kevin on the book can be found on his blog. A brief excerpt:
We must remember the truths that spark reformation, revival, and regeneration.
And because we want to remember all this, we must also remember—if we are fortunate enough to have ever heard of them in the first place—our creeds, confessions, and catechisms.
Your reaction to that last sentence probably falls in one of three categories. Some people, especially the young, believe it or not, will think, “Cool. Ancient faith. I’m into creeds and confessions.” Others will think, “Wait a minute, don’t Catholics have catechisms? Why do we need some manmade document to tell us what to think? I have no creed but the Bible, thank you very much. I thought catechisms were for Catholics.” And yet others—the hardest soil of all—want nothing more than to be done with all this catechism business. “Been there, done that. Bor-ing. I’ve seen people who knew their creeds backward and forward and didn’t make them missional, passionate, or even very nice.”
To all three groups I simply say, “Come and see.” Come and see what vintage faith is really all about. Come and see if the cool breeze from centuries gone by can awaken your lumbering faith. Come and see if your church was lame because of its confessions and catechisms or if your lame church made the confessions and catechisms lame all on its own. Whether you’ve grown up with confessions and catechisms or they sound like something from another spiritual planet, I say, “Come and see.”Come and see Christ in the unlikeliest of places—in a manger, in Nazareth, or even in Heidelberg.