Great Stuff Found on the Web — In Defense of the Small Catechism

Found on Ad Crucem:


1408767_flying_books_2There is nothing new under the sun.  We (Christians) sometimes get caught up in the latest and greatest ways, methods, and means of being believers, being the church of Christ, that we often delude ourselves into effectively believing we are the first “real” Christians, or at least the first really spiritual ones (with maybe the exception of the ever sought after “early church”–that mythical time when the church had it all together and everything worked perfectly).

So we love when new books come out and we contemplate reorganizing ministry with each new polling phenomenon or trendy research book.  And inevitably, like management strategies at a company, a year later we realize something was lacking the first time around and we find a new book and reorganize our entire worldview.  “We need community! No, we need relevance! No, we need discipleship!  Programs! No Programs! Organic! Structured! Mission Statement!”

Little do we stop to ponder, has not the Church wrestled through the issues of what it means to be the church for 2000 years?  Why divorce ourselves from our brothers and fathers in the faith?

Take discipleship for example.  Lately, I have heard rumblings from various corners of the Christian world that we need more disciple-making.  No arguments here.  And so publishing houses and organizations start churning out books and guides and series.  I am left thinking…have we never done this before?  Is this concept so revolutionary that we need to start over from scratch to teach be the basics teachings of our faith?

The answer is no.  The church has always wrestled with this issue and already has produced material to teach its youngest members.  Today, I am going to put forth Luther’s Small Catechism.  It is simple, organized, and has some 500 years of practical testing behind it.

1377506_a_rusty_crossIs writing new material bad? No.  Are you spiritually deformed if you have not used Luther’s Small Catechism? No. Is Luther’s small catechism some late inspired word of God? No.  My point here is to say, we should not be so arrogant as to assume we are the first to wrestle with the issues of what the church is and how do we teach it to the next generation, and we should gladly connect ourselves to our heritage of those who have wrestled with the Scriptures before us. And we would do well to consult how the consult how the church has taught and discipled before us.

I will be taking two more articles with month to explore the ten commandments from Luther’s Small Catechism as we focus this month on Article II of the Augsburg Confession’s theme: Sin.

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