Family Shepherds - 1
Calling and equipping men to lead their homes
Voddie Baucham Jr.
Catechism is simply a pedagogical method employing questions and answers to teach a set body of knowledge. It’s explained in the following terms by Zacharias Ursinus, the primary author of the Heidelberg Catechism:
The system of catechiszing… includes a short simple, and plain exposition and rehearsal of the Christian doctrine, deduced from the writings of the prophets and apostles, and arranged in the form of questions and answers, adapted to the capacity and comprehension of the ignorant and unlearned; or it is a brief summary of the doctrine of the prophets and apostles, communicated orally to such as are unlearned, which they again are required to repeat.
Ultimately, catechism is a means of teaching Christian doctrine in a concise, repetitive manner. As Martin Luther wrote, “In the catechism, we have a very exact, direct, and short way to the whole Christian religion.”
Usually the catechism is derived from a confession of faith. Unfortunately, since there has been a revolt against doctrine in recent years, many churches avoid substantive confessions of faith, and therefore the catechism that is designed to teach them. Consequently, you may have to do some research to discover the catechism that best suits your doctrinal convictions. Not all catechisms are created equal.
Benefits of Catechism: