Teaching Foundational Faith Elements
Catechesis is an old-sounding word, but basically, we can think of it as training discipleship. When we catechize someone, we are instructing them, oftentimes, in the foundational, fundamental elements of our faith—and we're doing so in a very deliberate way.
We think of catechisms, which have a certain rhythm to them, as question and answer. I belong to a confessional tradition, so I believe in catechisms with all my heart. They are simply a way to formally teach people through a question-and-answer format, whether it's the Westminster Shorter Catechism, or the Heidelberg Catechism, or whatever your tradition might be.
But the Bible, of course, is the chief agent of catechesis. In the Bible, we don't have the question-and-answer format in the same way. But, we would all agree that it is more important that our kids are instructed by the one, inerrant Bible than by man-made documents—as great as they are. And that means we give kids the individual stories, but also help them to understand the big story that comes from Scripture.
We give kids the individual stories, but also help them to understand the big story that comes from Scripture.
There's value in just the discipline of simply reading chapter after chapter of Scripture. But we must also try to teach, explain, and retell these stories—as we try to do in this book, and as Don Clark does so amazingly well with the illustrations.
We're trying to help children understand not just the facts of the stories as they happened, but also What do they mean? How do they fit together? How do they apply to us? What are the lessons? How do they point to Christ? How do they tell us about sin and our need for a savior?
All of this is a way of catechizing our children in how to think about themselves, the world, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Kevin DeYoung is the author of The Biggest Story Bible Storybook.
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Kevin DeYoung talks about how Christians (parents and non-parents alike) can help children to trust Jesus, embrace the Bible, and love others—even those with whom we disagree.
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