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cat·e·chism

 /ˈkadəˌkizəm/

noun  a summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for the instruction of Christians.  from Greek: κατηχέω, to teach orally

A few years ago, The Gospel Coalition introduced The New City Catechism. This catechism was produced with the intention of helping people learn about and delight in the work and attributes of God. In 2015 our congregation covered one question per week during the morning service at FBC. We encourage you to continue or begin using this resource in your own home.

Catechisms have played a historic role in churches from many denominations, and the near-absence of catechesis in today’s churches is not a good thing. The goal in developing The New City catechism was to produce a new catechism based on and adapted from Calvin’s Geneva Catechism, the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms, and especially the Heidelberg Catechism.

Pastor Tim Keller has explained the purpose of catechisms this way:

Catechisms were written with at least three purposes. The first was to set forth a comprehensive exposition of the gospel—not only in order to explain clearly what the gospel is, but also to lay out the building blocks on which the gospel is based, such as the biblical doctrine of God, of human nature, of sin, and so forth. The second purpose was to do this exposition in such a way that the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of the time and culture were addressed and counteracted. The third and more pastoral purpose was to form a distinct people, a counter-culture that reflected the likeness of Christ not only in individual character but also in the church’s communal life.

The Gospel Coalition has short, HD videos on The New City Catechism website, providing teaching from leading pastors and theologians around each question. The goal was to make this as widely accessible as possible. There is a dedicated website and apps for iPad and Android to help you learn and grow through this tool.

The purpose of this catechism is simple–to help both children and adults learn about and enjoy fellowship with God. It is not designed to replace Bible study but to help people learn essential Bible doctrines. The practice of question-answer recitation brings readers into an dialogical process of learning. Working through a catechism works best in community–whether parents catechizing their children, churches catechizing their members, or small groups participating in this process together.

The catechism is divided into three parts to make it easier to learn in sections: part 1—God, creation and fall, law (20 questions); part 2—Christ, redemption, grace (15 questions); and part 3—Spirit, restoration, growing in grace (17 questions).

It comprises 52 questions and answers—therefore there is only one question and answer for each week of the year, making it simple to fit into church calendars and achievable even for people with demanding schedules.

New City Catechism is a joint adult and children’s catechism. The same questions are asked of both children and adults, and the children’s answer is always part of the adult answer.

On the website, attached to each question and answer there is a short written teaching from a historical preacher (e.g. Augustine, Edwards, Spurgeon, Wesley, etc.) and a short video teaching from a modern one (e.g. Don Carson, Mark Dever, Timothy Keller, John Piper, etc.).

We hope you enjoy New City Catechism as you study the wonder and work of God.