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    An Anecdotal Argument for Catechism

    September 12, 2012 by Brandy Vencel

    After we finished our Catechism questions during Circle Time this morning, Q-Age-Five kept thinking. And here is what transpired:

    Q-Age-Five: *gasp* I think! I think I know why! I think I know why we can’t see God.

    E-Age-Ten: interrupts

    A-Age-Seven: interrupts E-Age-Ten

    O-Age-Four: says something unintelligible on top of all the noise

    Q-Age-Five: Guys! I’m thinking! [long pause] And I think I know why we can’t see God! [another long pause]

    Me: Why can’t we see God?

    Q-Age-Five: I think it’s because we are sinful…and He is not.

    Every time I think about dropping catechism, something like this brings me back.

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  • Reply Jennifer November 1, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Brandy, which questions, exactly, did you edit?

    πŸ™‚ Jen

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts November 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Making me do research!! πŸ™‚

      Let’s see. I basically adopted *some* of the updates. For you reference, here is the original. And here is the new version from the OPC.

      The OPC changed much of the catechism to, in my opinion, an egocentric take on doctrine. So, for instance, instead of asking objectively “What is justification” they ask subjectively “How does God justify you?” It’s a subtle change, but I wanted the focus to be on *God* and *His work* so I didn’t accept those changes. I do not believe that doctrine is subjective. This is what I mean when I say I adopted some of the changes while keeping the old style.

      Also for the record: There is a slight chance that my numbers are off, and I don’t know why. The new and old version ALSO have discrepancies, so comparing them can get a little complicated. I just noticed my own discrepancy, but I don’t have time to go figure that out, so just consider yourself warned. πŸ™‚

      Now, let’s see.

      Q. 60. How long ago is it since Christ died?
      A. More than nineteen hundred years.
      New A. About two thousand years.

      Q. 140. What becomes of men at death?
      A. The body returns to dust, and the soul goes into the world of spirits.
      New A. The body returns to dust, and the soul goes to be forever with the Lord.

      Q. 144. What will become of the righteous?
      A. They shall be taken to heaven.
      New A. They shall be given a home with Him in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

      Q. 145. What is heaven?
      New Q. What will the New Heaven and New Earth be like?
      {I kept the old} A. A glorious and happy place, where the righteous shall be forever with the Lord.

      Oh! I just found my discrepancy! If you notice, the old one has 145 questions, while my version has 146. This is why: I entirely added in Q. 46 from the new version!

      Q 46. How, then, can you be saved?
      A. By the Lord Jesus Christ through the covenant of grace.

      I am not 100% positive because it has been awhile, but I *think* these are the only changes that I adopted…

  • Reply Mystie September 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    We had a catechism funny today. I asked Ilse “Why did God give the Bible to us?” the catechism answer being “God gave the Bible to us to teach us about Himself and to show us how to live.”

    She answered, “God gave the Bible to us to teach us about Himself and to teach us how to read.”

  • Reply My Boy's Mom September 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    What do you use for catechism?

  • Reply My Boy's Mom September 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    What do you use for catechism?

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts September 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Oh, hi, sis! I didn’t know it was you by the name.

      I’m using the Children’s Catechism, but I edited it a little. Here is the link to exactly what I’m using. And here is my note from when I first published that doc: “Dawn sent me this document. I took it and compared it with the newer version out from the OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church). Most of the new version is dumbed down, but a bit of it was helpful, or even better, and that is where I made the changes. Whenever I used the “new” answer, I tried to give it the older, more poetic feel. Not everyone approves of updating a catechism, I know, but if you find this helpful, here it is, free for the sharing.”

  • Reply Sharlene September 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    What an incredible statement! I need to add catechism to our schedule

  • Reply dawn September 12, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Yep. Great job Q. We love the Children’s Catechism, one of my favorite tools, too.

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