The word “catechism” comes from a Greek word which is used in the New Testament to refer to teaching someone in an orderly and systematic way, by word of mouth, in the form of dialogue–question and answer. Catechism instruction was and is one of the principle aspects of the calling of preaching. It is the means to carry out Jesus’ command, “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” Matthew 28:20. This calling involves more than merely expounding a passage of scripture. It requires bringing the scriptures together so as to elicit from them the “teaching” or doctrine contained in them. That teaching must also be stated in a form that it is retained and can be communicated with clarity.
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