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Catechizing our Children

By Terry L. Johnson
October 2014 | Review by Roy Mohon
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
  • ISBN: 978-1-84871-300-0
  • Pages: 90
  • Price: 5.01
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Book Review

Catechizing our children

Terry L. Johnson
Banner of Truth Trust, 90 pages, £5.50
ISBN: 978-1-84871-300-0
Star rating: 4

This book’s 87 pages can be read in one hour. The ratio of knowledge acquired to time spent in reading is excellent. The author has a significant grasp of the relevant literature and deploys it to excellent advantage.

The book commends catechising and the use of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The author proves his point and the reader is convicted that practical response is needed. Christian youth are often adrift in a ‘faith commitment’ that is essentially about ‘feeling good’.

Conversely, where Westminster catechising has been practised, several generations of particular families have proved fine servants of Christ. Encouraging examples are given.

Chapter one provides the biblical warrant for catechising and indicates its importance for parents and the church. Chapter two gives a fascinating historical survey of the use of catechising, mentioning the early church, Middle Ages, and Reformation and Puritan eras.

The personalities mentioned are well-known and loved. The author comments: ‘Be very slow, very slow indeed, to ignore so great a cloud of witnesses’ (p.15).

The structure of the Catechism is well explained. The strengths of using it (chapter three) include evangelistic design, the question and answer method, comprehensiveness, and conciseness.

‘Law and legalism’ (pp. 46-49) makes clear that no evangelical should use ‘legalism’ to describe believers seeking to follow Christ in the details of Christianity — ‘precise obedience is not legalism’ (p. 49).

The book uses the English Standard Version as opposed to the Authorised Version of the Catechism. In my opinion, the book would have secured more bulk orders for circulation if the Reformation translation had been retained.

Roy Mohon

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