Truth as Worship
Truth about God leads us to worship. Deep truths should lead to deeper worship. Multiples times in Paul’s writing he breaks from a deeply theological passage to worship (check out Romans 11:33-36). Contrary to some people who make the error of thinking doctrine is cold and dead, the biblical example is that immersing ourselves in profound truth should lead us to passionate worship.
More importantly, as the recipient of that worship, God is glorified. We believe our Father loves to hear his kids proclaim truth about him. Learning, meditating on, and proclaiming truth together is a way we not only increase our affection for God, but express it to him.
Truth Brings Clarity & Unity
Truth bring clarity of, and unity on, mission. Truth provides clarity by defining what we believe and what we don’t believe. When FBI agents are taught to spot counterfeit money, they aren’t trained by studying every type of counterfeit that has been done. Instead, they almost exclusively examine real money so that the counterfeits become obvious. So it is with doctrine.
An error some people can make is to say that doctrine divides. The problem is that every community of people is held together by what they believe. Truth unites. Every church would benefit from what we’re doing, but as a church plant we especially need to seek clarity and unity on mission.
How do you grow as a Christian? If you asked most Christians how to grow in your faith, you’d more than likely hear things like pray, read your Bible, or practice spiritual disciplines. Each of those things are good! But, it is an error to think that growth only happens as isolated individuals. Catechetical learning is done in community as a community.
The Heritage of Faith
We stand on the shoulders of giants. Hebrews 12:1 calls it "a great cloud of witnesses.” You, we, have been handed the baton of the faith from those who’ve gone before us to carry on to the next generation. The New City Catechism is based on the two Westminster Catechisms (1647), Calvin’s Geneva Catechism (1541), and the Heidelberg Catechism (1563). It features commentary and prayers from men like the great Reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin to C.S. Lewis.
In a time when most everything in our culture is enamored with the new and immediate, what a great practice it will be to dwell on and learn from the old and proven.
A Helpful Tool
The New City Catechism is like the Swiss Army Knife of its kind. Each week’s content features the Q&A, a memory verse, a prayer, video commentary, and historical commentary. Not stopping there, they’ve added an abridged version for children that also features a song to help them memorize the content. Because it is such a flexible tool, it is great for single folks, married folks, and for fitting in to busy schedules. We’ve been doing ours in the mornings at breakfast with the girls.
One of our values as a church is, as we work out a Modern Liturgy, to create public rhythms for private practices. New City Catechism is a wonderful tool to help bridge the two realms as, on Sundays, we worship, are united, and grow in the profound truths of our faith; and, as we meditate on and memorize those same truths throughout the week.
You can do the catechism in your browser, on your iPad, or on your Android device.