Historically, many Christians have thought that the main context of religious and moral instruction takes place in the home, not in church. That is why the Protestant Reformers prepared catechisms-manuals of instruction summarizing the Bible's basic teaching, to be learned by rote in the earliest years (like a new language) and then investigated, elaborated, and even tested by mature scriptural reflection in later years. There was a time when an average Christian young person knew by heart the questions and answers of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the Heidelberg Catechism, or Luther's Small Catechism. A few years ago I recall a woman returning to Church after she had abandoned it for a life of immorality. "I just couldn't get those questions and answers or the Bible verses I had to memorize along with them out of my head," she said concerning the catechism of her youth.
Michael Horton is the J. Gresham Machen professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California (Escondido, California), host of the White Horse Inn, national radio broadcast, and editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. He is author of many books, including The Gospel-Driven Life, Christless Christianity, People and Place, Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, The Christian Faith, and For Calvinism.
Issue: "Train Up a Child: Becoming People of the Word in a Culture of Images" Jan./Feb. 2001 Vol. 10 No. 1 Page number(s): 22-23
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