Beginning the first Sunday of 2018 the church I serve as pastor will begin a journey through the Gospel of John as well as launching a year-long initiative encouraging families in our church to make the New City Catechism a regular part of their devotional practices.
There are 52 questions and answers that teach sound doctrine for the sake of sound living. Each question has two levels – a simple one for kids and fuller one for adults, making it very useful for families. It is my hope that this would not be something we simply check off of a list. Rather, I would like to see our entire church family (young and old) grow in the depth of their knowledge of God and His redeeming work through Jesus Christ.
What Is a catechism? (watch some videos here)
Tim Keller explains that catechisms have three major purposes:
- To comprehensively explain the gospel, including the building blocks on which the gospel is based.
- To address and counteract the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of our time and culture.
- To form a distinct people, a counter-culture that reflects the likeness of Christ individually and communally.
What is the New City Catechism?
- It is adapted from three other catechisms (Calvin’s Geneva Catechism, the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms, and the HeidelbergCatechism)
- It has 52 Q&As, one for each week of the year
- It’s divided into three sections (Part 1: God, creation and fall, law; Part 2: Christ, redemption, grace; Part 3: Spirit, restoration, growing in grace)
- The answers have two levels, a simpler one for kids, and a more complex one for adults
- Each Q&A includes a supporting Scripture passage, commentary from a historic preacher, a short video from a contemporary preacher, and a suggested prayer.
- As with catechisms of old, it is meant to form the people of God in sound doctrine, often through memorization. In this way, it can be used as a tool for discipleship.
- It’s available online as a website, as iPad and Android apps, and as a PDF.
How can it be used?
Using this for devotions will help our families be in His Word and unite the body as we dwell on the same scriptures and truths each week.
We will incorporate this into our Sunday morning corporate worship services. This will allow us to corporately praise God for the truths about Him we’ve been cherishing together during the week.
Where can I get it?
Each week we’ll post the question for the week on our website with links to further resources. This is the best place to start so that you know which question we’re on. You can also download Apple or Android apps, or visit the New City website for their online interactive tool.