An Old Book and A Heritage of Faith
We have a copy of my husband's grandfather's old catechism. It is written in German. I have only a very cursory ability in the language of our heritage.
Yet, we have kept it.
It sits on our bookcase, alongside others. It seems like a keepsake, an heirloom sorts.
Our grandparents' generation was required to memorize the catechism in order to be baptized. In contrast, I had no memorization or catechism lessons as I was baptized. Now, in my thirties, I find myself wishing that I had a better foundation for what I believe.
I guess that's why I am glad for books...and a love of reading.
The Westminster Confession of Faith was written in 1646 to guide the church, and teach believers the concepts of the Gospel. There is the very full version, and an adapted "shorter catechism" that is basic and simple. As I have been teaching my kids at home, we work through the questions and it is always amazing to see how much they can remember and understand.
In this book by R.C. Sproul, "Truths We Confess," he is essentially writing a commentary on the confession, looking at the different theological truths that we can glean from a Reformed perspective.
As challenging as it can be to read theology, I have found this to be really excellent. Although he was an academic, Sproul has a great ability to relate difficult truths to simple illustrations, which is beneficial especially for me as a regular person. His pastoral voice comes through in his teaching. There are many times that the concepts overlap, so I found the repetition helpful for me, as I visited the topics again.
This is a long read. It may be best to take in chunks. Maybe you want to read it as you study a specific topic throughout Scripture.
However you would best want to use it, there's no doubt that as believers, we are called to continue learning and growing in what we believe about our faith. Theology is a big word that we often want to throw out onto the pastors, leaders or missionaries. Yet, Sproul would say that we are all theologians, and that some are good ones and some are not.
We won't grasp every truth right away, I know I sure haven't! But over time, as we keep learning and studying, these concepts become familiar to us and give us a firm foundation on which we stand.
I think that Grandpa's catechism stays on my shelf to remind me of our heritage of faith, and to remind me to keep building my foundation, and the heritage I am passing on.
How are you building your foundation?
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy of this book, and the opportunity to post an honest review.