“You are laying the kindling and the logs in the fireplace, so that when the spark of the Holy Spirit ignites your child’s heart, there will be a steady mature blaze.”
– Kathy Keller (from the Catechism’s Introduction)
Title: The New City Catechism: 52 Questions & Answers for Our Hearts and Minds
Brief Summary: I don’t think I can say it better than this description on the inside flap of the book:
“Throughout the history of the church, Christians have used catechisms–collections of questions and answers designed for memorization and recitation–to teach others the core doctrines of the faith. The New City Catechism is a modern-day resource aimed at reintroducing this ancient method of teaching to Christians today.
This short book lays out 52 questions and answers related to God, human nature, sin, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and more. Whether used devotionally, recited orally, or memorized over the course of a year, families, churches, small groups, and Christian schools will treasure this as a valuable tool for teaching the core doctrines of the Christian faith to children and adults alike.”
What I like about it: In my home, we read a lot of biblical narratives to our kids, we discuss biblical truth and application, and we memorize Scripture, but never before have we done a catechism — until now. Provided that the catechism is based on clear truth and doctrine, what a neat concept it is! I love how rich, deep biblical truths, can be boiled down to bitesize statements that are memorizable. It’s as if we are strategically stuffing a systematic theology book into our brains so we can pull out those nuggets whenever needed.
In the set I have, there are 2 books. One is larger and it includes more information, and then there’s a smaller book that makes the answers even more bite-sized. The latter is the version I use with my kids (ages 5-10). It’s very easy to pull it out during meal-time (or whenever you think to use it). We quickly review past questions and answers they’ve already memorized, and then work on new ones together.
Though this may sound minor, I especially appreciate the layout and look of this catechism. It’s not overwhelming by any means; rather it is clear, and all around aesthetically pleasing.
We’ve started and stopped this catechism several times, but we keep jumping back into it…and hopefully one day (in the near future) we will have all 52 questions and answers memorized!