When I was pastoring a church in Saskatchewan, I had encouraged dads to pick up a copy of A Baptist Catechism for use in discipling their children. This Baptist Catechism is a question-and-answer booklet, with Scripture references, designed to teach one major biblical truth at a time. It was originally based on the Westminster Catechism and adapted for use in Baptist churches by Charles Spurgeon. Then John Piper got ahold of it and updated it.
It’s a fantastic little booklet (you can order a hardcopy from Desiring God Ministries), but I have not been at all consistent in using it with my own kids. Partly that’s because at first I insisted they memorize each question and answer. We got well into it but resistance was building as they slowly came to dread our Catechism times together. This morning we tried a new tactic. Instead of forcing them to memorize the Catechism, and cause my kids to resent it, I suggested we sit down together and just talk about each question-and-answer, looking up the Bible references and seeing how they teach what the Catechism claims. My kids went for this idea with even a little bit of enthusiasm. A big plus seemed to be that it would only take a few minutes.
So this morning, right after breakfast, we spent ten minutes talking about what it means that “God is the first and best of beings”, looking up the Bible references, talking about how they support this teaching, and then about how it applies to us personally. It’s not just that God is the most valuable, great and perfect being out there somewhere, but that He is “our Rock”, “our God”: we can depend on Him always because He is perfect in every way. He is the “first and best of beings” for us.
To make this easier for us, I converted the text of the Baptist Catechism into an epub document, for use with an e-Reader and loaded it onto my wife’s Kobo digital reader. I couldn’t find any downloadable files on Desiring God’s website, though there is an online web version of the book here. So I’m making the epub ebook version of A Baptist Catechism available for download for free by clicking the link below. This eBook is made available with permission from Desiring God Ministries.
I hope some other dads who read this will make the decision to buy the booklet from Desiring God, use their web-page version, or download the ebook and make a small step in discipling their own kids—10 minutes per day. For more info on what the catechism is all about, what it’s for, and why you should use it, read John Piper’s introduction using one of the links below.
- Download the Baptist Catechism eBook here.
- Visit the web page version of the Baptist Catechism here.
- Order a copy from Desiring God Ministries here (try contacting their staff—I couldn’t find the actual product on their store though I have purchased a number of copies from them in the past).