Main Menu

Home Schooling: Recovering the Disciplined Art of Catechesis

Printer Friendly Version Email Link to a Friend
Image for Article

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.

If you have a current subscription or current on-line account please log-in here to read the rest of this article.

1 [ Back ] Richard R. Osmer, "The Case for Catechism," Christian Century, April 23-30, 1997, 408.
2 [ Back ] Ibid., 409.
3 [ Back ] Ibid., 411.

Rating: Majority voted that they would share this article with others. (2 Votes)

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

    You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. We do not allow reposting an article in its entirety on the Internet.  We request that you link to this article from your website.  Any exceptions to the above must be explicitly approved by Modern Reformation (

    Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: This article originally appeared in the [insert current issue date] edition of Modern Reformation and is reprinted with permission. For more information about Modern Reformation, visit or call (800) 890-7556. All rights reserved.