Dear Church Family,
This coming Sunday, August 27th, at 9:15-10:15 am, in the sanctuary, we’ll resume our Sunday school class in the Westminster Larger Catechism. We’ll pick up where we left off with Question 57. Even if you haven’t attended before, you can still easily jump in on this study. Materials will be provided for the class, but those who attend should also bring their Bibles.
Also, this coming Sunday, August 27th, 5:00-7:00 pm, at the Dietsch home, we’ll resume our Youth Catechism Class in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. We’ll pick up where we left off with Questions 47-48. Those attending should bring their Bibles as well as our study book, The Westminster Shorter Catechism for Study Classes by G.I. Williamson (please read the respective chapter in the study book before Sunday night).
Why the Catechisms?
Now, you may be thinking, “That’s a lot of catechism!” It certainly is, but the Confessional Standards of our Church provide foundational doctrinal clarity and help in reading and understanding the Scriptures. So, I’m not sure that one could ever have too much catechism.
Last year, when we began our Sunday school class in the Westminster Larger Catechism, I wrote a little bit about the history and background of the Westminster Larger Catechism (https://hillcountrypca.org/sunday-school-the-westminster-larger-catechism/), as well as why it is imperative – especially today – to study the catechisms of the church (https://hillcountrypca.org/the-imperative-of-catechesis/).
I encourage you to follow the above links and read about why the catechisms are so important. For now, I’ll just say this. The Bible warns believers about the dangers of being tossed and carried about by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14), of being carried away by varied and strange teachings (Hebrews 13:9), and of wanting our ears tickled by those who teach according to our own desires (2 Timothy 4:3). The ability to withstand these dangers begins with the renewing of our minds – to know and prove what the will of God is, to know and prove that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-2). And, one of the best ways to renew our minds is to learn and know right doctrine that is based on God’s Word. The catechisms teach us right doctrine – doctrine that is founded upon the Scriptures.
For those individuals or families who are looking to implement catechism study in their home, here are some resources that our family has found helpful for learning and studying the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
(1) The Westminster Shorter Catechism with Scripture Proofs (you can easily find this online or in the back of the Trinity Hymnal, as well)
(2) Westminster Shorter Catechism Songs by Holly Dutton. Singing the catechism aids immensely in memorization. Other versions are available, but our family has found these to be very helpful.
(3) Training Hearts, Training Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism by Starr Meade. This book uses an updated version of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Personally, I prefer to memorize and teach the catechism using the original language, but the devotional material in this book is excellent. It is broken down into short daily studies in which a family may study one question from the catechism every week. When you’ve gone through all 107 questions, I recommend what the dentist recommends: rinse and repeat.
I hope you will join us for Sunday school this coming Sunday as we resume our study of the Westminster Larger Catechism! And, I look forward to resuming our study of the Westminster Shorter Catechism with the youth on Sunday evening!
The Lord be with you!
– Pastor Peter M. Dietsch