An Encouragement to Use Catechisms | Garrett Kell

Many contemporaries have a deep-seated suspicion of catechisms. In our own Baptist denomination, many would consider the words “Baptist catechism” as mutually exclusive. A popular misconception is that catechisms are used in times and places where inadequate views of conversion predominate or the fires of evangelism have long since turned to white ash. If the Bible is preached, they continue, no catechism is necessary; catechisms tend to produce mere intellectual assent where true heart religion is absent. This concern reflects a healthy interest for the experiential side of true Christianity. Concern for conversion and fervor, however, should never diminish one’s commitment to the individual truths of Christianity nor the necessity of teaching them in a full and coherent manner. In fact, some who profess the Christian faith are so experience-oriented that their view of spirituality makes them antagonistic to precise doctrine. Any attempt to inculcate systematic arrangement of truth is considered either divisive or carnal. Such convictions may be held in all sincerity and may gain apparent support from selected facts, but suspicion of catechisms as a legitimate tool for teaching God’s Word cannot be justified historically, biblically, or practically. [JDFM]