New City Catechism
Q1. What is our only hope in life and death?
That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.
For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:7-8)
A Joint Adult and Children's Catechism
The New City Catechism has one question for each week of the year to help teach the essentials of Christianity. It is designed for both individual use and for those with children, and because it is comprised of only 52 questions and answers, there is only one lesson for each week of the year making it achievable even for people with demanding schedules.
It is a joint adult and children's catechism. In other words, the same questions are asked of both children and adults, and the children's answer is always part of the adult answer. This means that parents are teaching it to their children as they are learning their answer to the question at the same time, albeit an abridged version. The adult answer is always an expanded version of the children's answer. In the adult version, the children's answer appears in color to differentiate it from the longer adult answer.
It is divided into three parts to make it easier to learn in sections and to include some helpful divisions:
- PART 1 = God, creation and fall, law (20 questions);
- PART 2 = Christ, redemption, grace (15 questions);
- PART 3 = Spirit, restoration, growing in grace (17 questions).
As with most traditional catechisms, there is a Bible verse that accompanies each question and answer. In addition, attached to each question and answer, there is a short commentary and a short prayer taken from the writings or sayings of past preachers to help students meditate on, and think about, the topic being explored. As far as possible, a commentary and prayer has been included from the same preacher in each of the three parts so that students can become familiar with their style and work.
In the children's version, the questions and answers are accompanied by the same Bible verse as the adult version. Also, the prayers from the adult version have been adapted, modernized, shortened, and simplified for children.
Also included in the adult version is a further reading section. In order to make this as manageable as possible, suggested readings are drawn from only two books: J. I. Packer's Concise Theology (published by Tyndale) and Donald Macleod's A Faith to Live By (published by Mentor or Christian Focus).
You can pick up a free copy of The New City Catechism at our Welcome Area, or go to the web-based tool or download the iPad app.