Tuesday, October 14, 2003


I was in our church library on Sunday, and it occurred to me how much there is to learn about the Christian faith, and much that most people don't bother to learn. That's fine, I suppose. Not everybody needs to be a theologian, but I do think that everyone should at least have a basic understanding of their faith.

I think these basics used to be taught fairly consistently. I have an old copy of the Heidelberg Catechism I picked up at a used book store in Pennsylvania. It has 52 lessons on basic Christian doctrine, one for each week of the year. When a student finished the lessons, I'd say he or she was fairly well versed in the basics of Christianity.

But I'm not sure nowadays how much emphasis we now put on "catechism" - or whatever we want to call it. My church has a new members class that lasts for a few weeks, but I wonder how many churches even have that, and, if so, how meaty it is. Not getting around to a lot of churches, I couldn't really say, but I can say that I haven't heard much emphasis on such training. If so, I wonder if we aren't leaving people insufficiently grounded in their faith. Maybe we should think again about teaching catechism.

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