To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism

Approved Edition

Edited by J. I. Packer, Joel Scandrett, Anglican Church in North America

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To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism

Approved Edition

Edited by J. I. Packer, Joel Scandrett, Anglican Church in North America

... Show All

Catechesis is an ancient practice of Christian disciple making that uses a simple question-and-answer format to instruct new believers and church members in the core beliefs of Christianity. To Be a Christian, by J. I. Packer and a team of other Anglican leaders, was written to renew this oft-forgotten tradition for today’s Christians. With over 360 questions and answers, plus Scripture references to support each teaching, this catechism covers the full range of Christian doctrine and life, drawing from the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and other important doctrinal summaries. Clear, concise, and conversational, this resource was written for all believers who seek to be grounded more deeply in the truth of God’s Word.

Read Chapter 1


J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer (1926–2020) served as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He authored numerous books, including the classic best seller Knowing God. Packer also served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

Joel Scandrett

Joel Scandrett (PhD, Drew University) serves as assistant professor of historical theology and director of the Robert E. Webber Center at Trinity School for Ministry.

Product Details

Category: Theology
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 160
Size: 5.375 in x 7.5 in
Weight: 10.36 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-6677-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-6677-6
ISBN-UPC: 9781433566776
Case Quantity: 10
Published: January 28, 2020

Table of Contents

Committees, Writers, and Consultants
Introduction by J. I. Packer
Concerning Scripture References

Part 1: Beginning with Christ

1. Introduction

2. The Gospel

3. Salvation

Part 2: Believing in Christ

4. The Apostles’ Creed and the Life of Faith

5. Concerning the Creeds

6. Concerning Holy Scripture

7. The Apostles’ Creed, Article I

8. The Apostles’ Creed, Article II

9. The Apostles’ Creed, Article III

10. Concerning Sacraments

Part 3: Belonging to Christ

11. The Lord's Prayer and the Christian Life

12. Concerning Prayer

13. The Lord’s Prayer

14. A Rule of Prayer: Scripture, Prayer, and Worship

Part 4: Becoming Like Christ

15. The Ten Commandments

16. Justification and Sanctification: Living in Forgiveness and Healing

Appendix 1: Prayers for Use with the Catechism
Appendix 2: A Rite for Admission of Catechumens
Appendix 3: The Nicene Creed
Appendix 4: The Creed of Saint Athanasius
Appendix 5: A Note on the Articles of Religion
Appendix 6: Vision Paper for Catechesis
Appendix 7: Guiding Principles for Catechesis
Index of Scriptural Passages


“Memorization has fallen on hard times. To Be a Christian rightly bucks that trend. Only stored treasures can be recollected, and so this Anglican catechism aims to teach the contents of the faith through 368 brief and memorable questions and answers. Centered on Christ from beginning to end, this catechism retrieves the ancient practice of teaching the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments. To Be a Christian should find its way into every Anglican church, home, and heart.”
Hans Boersma, Chair, Order of St. Benedict Servants of Christ Endowed Professorship in Ascetical Theology, Nashotah House Theological Seminary

“At a time when it seems as though most of North American Christianity majors in the minors and minors in the majors, To Be a Christian revives the art of pedagogical Christian instruction by ‘speaking newly without speaking new things’ (St. Vincent of Lerins). Every evangelization movement needs a missional and educational witness, and any ecclesial enculturation that looks to remain relevant must aid believers and nonbelievers alike in grappling with a way of being Christian in the world today. To Be a Christian interconnects instruction and spirituality in a way reminiscent of the Christian monastic tradition and thus calls believers to make Christian spiritual belief and practice viable!”
Emilio Alvarez, President, Institute for Paleo-Orthodox Christian Studies

“As our culture increasingly becomes less familiar with the basic story of Christianity, the need for catechetical resources can scarcely be overstated. To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism is a gift to the church. An astounding work of church unity, it brings together different parties and camps within Anglicanism around one clear yet broad teaching. It succinctly outlines essential Christian doctrine in an accessible and digestible way, and its Christological and Trinitarian focus guides us again and again to the center and source of our faith.”
Tish Harrison Warren, Anglican Priest; Writer in Residence, Church of the Ascension, Pittsburgh; author, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

“With Anglican churches filling with people who know little about orthodox and Anglican thought and practice, we need catechesis more than ever. This catechism will help our churches learn and walk in the beautiful Anglican way of living in the triune God.”
Gerald R. McDermott, Former Anglican Chair of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School

“Basic Christian instruction has seldom been more necessary than it is today, and this catechism provides a well-rounded foundation for Anglicans who want to acquire a good grasp of their faith and its implications. It will be of great value in parishes and will appeal to young and old alike.”
Gerald Bray, Research Professor of Divinity, History, and Doctrine, Beeson Divinity School; author, God Is Love and God Has Spoken

To Be a Christian is indeed an Anglican catechism and serves well the discipling task of this great, worldwide Christian communion. But it is also a gift to the entire church, presenting with elegance and clarity the rudiments of the historic Christian faith. May it have a very long shelf life and unbounded success!”
Timothy GeorgeDistinguished Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

To Be a Christian is a Christ-centered catechism that communicates everything a disciple-in-the-making needs to know in order to become theologically literate and begin living out his or her citizenship of the gospel.”
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

To Be a Christian is a true gift to today’s church. Robust catechesis is one of the most important practices we can retrieve from the early church as we navigate the complexities of discipleship and disciple-making today. This catechism offers a treasure trove of wisdom, deeply rooted and saturated in Scripture, informed by the understanding and practices of our historic faith, with an eye toward encouraging faithful Christian living in the present. With so many people asking questions about how to faithfully form disciples to live the Christian life, this rich resource can and should be used far and wide—from one-on-one discipleship relationships to small groups, Sunday schools, and college and seminary classrooms.”
Kristen Deede Johnson, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Theology and Christian Formation, Western Theological Seminary