Awhile back, I posted a couple of entries on something called "catechesis" - what it is, and how it benefits the local church. To summarize those posts, catechesis is intentional teaching in foundational areas of Christian formation and discipleship. And it's really important for a healthy and flourishing church. I encourage you to go back and read these posts to get a fuller picture of what I'm talking about.
I want to keep championing this priority of catechesis, though, and so figured it was time to add to this growing body of posts. (For a bunch of other posts more broadly related to catechesis, be sure and check out the "catechesis category" on this site.)
In this entry, I simply want to make it plain that catechesis is a (very!) biblical idea by summarizing a chapter in J.I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett's helpful resource, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way.
J.I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett, "Catechesis is a (Very!) Biblical Idea" in Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way. Baker Books, 2010. pp. 33-50.
Reinforcing the importance of catechesis:
"It will doubtless surprise a good number of evangelical Protestants to hear that catechesis is not only a biblical idea, but a very biblical idea. Many of us - especially those of us who grew up in North American evangelical cultures in recent times - rarely if ever heard the words catechesis or catechism. / For most of what we might call 'garden variety evangelicals, ...catechesis has, up to now, been a largely foreign concept. / The fact is, however, that catechesis is an exceedingly biblical notion" (33-34).
Defining what we mean by catechesis:
"Catechesis...should be understood as a ministry of rigorously grounding and growing believers in the Christian faith. This includes a comprehensive concern for our beliefs about God, our communion with God, and our obedience to God.....[S]uch determined attention to faith formation is a biblical constant that was established early on in the Old Testament. The New Testament takes this idea further and centers it on the person and work of Jesus Christ" (34).
Biblical support for this sort of faith formation: A sampling
Hopefully, by simply listing ten of the passages highlighted in Packer and Parrett, the biblical value of catechesis will be fairly self-evident. To make this as user-friendly as possible, I've bolded some of the connections to catechesis in the verses below. If you want to see even more verses, explore this further or dig into additional commentary on these verses, read this chapter of Grounded in the Gospel.
Are there questions you have about how these verses reinforce the value of catechesis? Are there other verses/passages you would add to this list? How would you "bottom line" the biblical value of catechesis?
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