Whatever Happened To Catechism & Discipleship?

20130418-092435.jpgThere was a time when catechisms, like the Westminster and Heidelberg, served well the goal of Making Disciples.

Catechism: From the Ancient Greek: κατηχισμός from kata = “down” + echein = “to sound”, literally “to sound down” (into the ears).

Jesus said to “Teach them to observe/obey all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19,20


Some Questions:

1. Is there a biblical warrant for catechizing?
2. Has post modern thought antiquated and invalidated the catechismal approach?
3. What, if anything, is inherently missing or problematic in a catechismal approach to discipleship.
4. What kinds of processes, if any, can replace the catechismal approach in Disciple Making?

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    1. It didn’t take long before people began memorizing the questions and answers?!
      A true disciple of/in Christ is “catechized” throughout their walk in His Spirit. They will be demonstrating Him in word and deed, adding testimony to the faith the have received — even daily.
      But the early church, at least in some places, did seem to drift into what would become an imposed solution to the “problem” of so many coming in who were themselves not (yet) receiving in the gift of Salvation/Grace. They came to be called catechumen, and as there had already begun an emphasis upon instruction (rather than learning by training). It was/is the prospect of coming to know Jesus by way of a Greek method: instruct them with knowledge about Christ. The failure of this approach eventually led to the filling of cathedrals with seekers; a recurring, evangelistic “revival tent meeting” of sorts. We may safely understand this progression to be within man’s compassionate or conscious attempt to rush or widen the “narrow gate”.

    2. 1. No, not if we are just learning words by rote.

      2. Yes, everyone believes their own ‘truth’ these days.

      3. Action.

      4. Going out and doing the two main things Jesus taught us – making disciples and loving one another. And also telling one another stories about going out and doing them.

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