Saturday, July 3, 2010

Creeds, Confessions, and Catechism... the Baptist way... really it is!

Recited any ancient creeds lately? Read through any historic confessions of faith over the last week? Dare I ask if any has worked through a catechism with their family recently?? At this point I'm imagining that those non-Catholics reading my blog are thinking I've become Father Jeremy rather than Brother Jeremy... or perhaps you think Out-of-his-Mind Jeremy is more fitting.

Here is the reality- creeds, confessions, and catechisms are not a distinctly Catholic tradition. The use of catechisms to train young Christians and one's children in the faith was actually recovered by the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century! This is our Baptist heritage as well. If I stopped brushing my teeth for a month I suspect those of you who speak with me regularly when our church meets would stage an intervention. That is a tradition of such importance it is essential to recover even after extensive inactivity. The use of creeds, confessions, and catechisms is essential to recover after many years of inactivity.

Creeds are short expressions of what we believe about the Bible. Confessions are more detailed outlines of specific doctrinal/ Biblical convictions. Catechisms (from the Greek word meaning 'to teach') are are series of questions and answers to teach theological truths from the Bible.

  • Try this creed out for memory... Apostles' Creed (really old, really time-tested, really helpful)
  • Try this confession out for study... Philadelphia Confession (published by our Baptists forefathers in colonial American in 1742)
  • Try the catechism out for teaching... Catechism for Little Children (published by the Sunday School Board of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina in 1864)

P.S. Go back and read the articles linked to in this post!!

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