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What Would Jesus Preach?

Catechism Preaching as Preaching Christ

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You may be surprised to learn that catechism preaching-long a weekly staple in Reformed churches-is enjoying an unprecedented revival in a broad cross-section of evangelical churches across America. Granted, the vast majority of contemporary catechism preachers rarely appreciate the grand tradition they have joined. In fact, these messages are rarely actually called catechism sermons.

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1 [ Back ] Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company), p. 2.
2 [ Back ] Dr. Edmund Clowney first drew my attention to the significance of the resurrected Christ's instruction of his disciples, especially in its connection with the apostolic preaching throughout the book of Acts in a course at Westminster Theological Seminary in California, "The Apostolic Preaching of Christ." I'd like to take this opportunity to implore everyone to purchase and read his wonderful book, The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1991).
3 [ Back ] Luther draws our attention to the continuing import of even the most elementary truths as they are presented in the catechism: "Yet even I must become a child; and early each day I recite aloud to myself the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and whatever lovely psalms and verses I may choose, just as we teach and train children to do. Besides, I must deal with Scripture and fight with the devil every day. I dare not say in my heart: 'The Lord's Prayer is worn out; you know the Ten Commandments; you can recite the Creed.' I study them daily and remain a pupil of the Catechism." From the Introduction to Psalm 117, Luther's Works 14:8.

Brian J. Lee works for a federal agency in Washington, D.C.

Issue: "That Word Above All Earthly Powers: PREACHING" Nov./Dec. 2000 Vol. 9 No. 6 Page number(s): 30-34

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