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New City

Explanations/Disclaimer/Permissions

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Thoughts from the Heritage Staff

Why are we encouraging people to use this?

It is our conviction that the Word of God is the perfect tool for our lives and walks with Christ. We work hard to make it central in every aspect of everything we do in and around Heritage. And while a catechism is not directly Scripture, it is a useful tool for learning and retention.

As the goldfish swimming in the bowl is unaware of the temperature and taste of the water in which he swims, so often the most powerfully formative forces of our societies and cultures are those with which we are so familiar as to be functionally unaware of how they shape our thinking, even our thinking about what exactly it means to say that Scripture has supreme and unique authority. It would be a tragic irony if the rejection of creeds and confessions by so many of those who sincerely wish to be biblically faithful turned out to be not an act of faithfulness but rather an unwitting capitulation to the spirit of the age.

Trueman, Carl R. (2012-09-20). The Creedal Imperative (Kindle Locations 256-260). Good News Publishers.

If you are interested in learning more about the purpose, benefits, and even a bit of history of the creeds we would recommend reading:

Grounded in the Gospel, Parret, Gary 

Historically, the church’s ministry of grounding new believers in the essentials of the faith has been known as catechesis–systematic instruction in faith foundations, including what we believe, how we pray and worship, and how we conduct our lives. For most evangelicals today, however, this very idea is an alien concept. Packer and Parrett, concerned for the state of the church, seek to inspire a much needed evangelical course correction. This new book makes the case for a recovery of significant catechesis as a nonnegotiable practice of churches, showing the practice to be complementary to, and of no less value than, Bible study, expository preaching, and other formational ministries, and urging evangelical churches to find room for this biblical ministry for the sake of their spiritual health and vitality.

The Creedal Imperative, Trueman, Carl R. 

What if “No creed but the Bible” is unbiblical?

The role of confessions and creeds is the subject of debate within evangelicalism today as many resonate with the call to return to Christianity’s ancient roots. Advocating for a balanced perspective, Carl Trueman offers an analysis of why creeds and confessions are necessary, how they have developed over time, and how they can function in the church of today and tomorrow.

 

We are NOT endorsing every thought expressed...

Just because we are recommending this does not mean we are in total agreement with everything written by it’s authors. This is not new and should not come as a surprise. We are a fellowship with a wide range of thoughts on issues. Though we believe it to be good, don’t go to far in thinking each and everyone of us is in full agreement with every view presented.

 

The New City Catechism is it’s own App. 

We are encouraging you to download it to support them. The reasons we have included it in our app are as follows: 1) Their App only works on the iPad. 2) By porting it into our App we can give access to people on a number of different platforms. If this last sentence did not make sense to you, just know it should work for you. 3) It is simpler to get it into everyone’s hands by just putting it there and not telling everyone where to go.

And YES, we checked, and the New City people have given us permission to do this.

The following is the specific legalese they asked us to include.

New City Catechism Copyright Information:

New City Catechism was adapted by Timothy Keller and Sam Shammas from the Reformation catechisms.

Copyright © 2012 by Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

NIV Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

ESV Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

New City Catechism was devised by Timothy Keller and Sam Shammas. Produced by Ben Peays.

Videos produced by The Gospel Coalition and Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Directed by Sam Shammas. Filmed by Scott Smith. Edited by Peter Ostebo.

App by Brushfire

The Gospel Coalition and Redeemer Presbyterian Church would like to thank all those who trialled, reviewed, and participated in the filming of New City Catechism.

F.A.Q.

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MOST OF YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED BY THEINTRODUCTION TO NEW CITY CATECHISM. PLEASE READ THAT FIRST.

WHAT AGE IS THE CHILDREN’S CATECHISM AIMED AT?

This very much depends on your children and your way of using the catechism. Memorization can begin at an early age but if you want to use the Bible verses and prayers then 4th to 5th graders will get the most out of it. On the other hand, if your children are able to memorize and recite the Apostles’ Creed (the longest catechism answer) then they should be able memorize the entire New City Catechism with ease.

WHY IS SOME OF THE TEXT IN COLOR IN THE ANSWERS?

In the adult version the children’s answer appears in color to differentiate it from the longer adult answer. New City Catechism 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 as parents are teaching it to their children 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 and so the colored text shows the children’s answer within the adult one.

IN WHAT ORDER SHOULD I GO THROUGH THE VERSES, COMMENTARIES, AND SO ON?

Start by reading the Bible verse that accompanies each question and answer, and seeing how it applies and how the question and answer derive from it. Then read the text commentary, and then watch the video commentary. If you have access to either of the further reading books, read the recommended chapter(s). End your time in prayer, using the attached prayer as a starting point and for inspiration.

HOW DO I USE NEW CITY CATECHISM?

New City Catechism consists of 52 questions and answers so the easiest way to use it is to memorize one question and answer each week of the year. Because it is intended to be dialogical it is best to learn it with others, enabling you to drill one another on the answers not only one at a time but once you have learned 10 of them, then 20 of them, and so on. The Bible verse, written and filmed commentary, and prayer that are attached to each question and answer can be used as your devotion on a chosen day of the week to help you think through and meditate on the issues and applications that arise from the question and answer.

HOW DO I USE NEW CITY CATECHISM WITH MY FAMILY?

New City Catechism consists of 52 questions and answers so the easiest way to use it is to memorize one question and answer together as a family each week of the year. It is intended for parents to help their children memorize the children’s answer and then for parents to learn the longer, extended adult answer themselves. Parents will have different ways of approaching the memorization process depending on their children and their particular circumstances—so there are no prescribed times of day or particular devotional practices attached. When and how parents use the catechism can be as diverse as during family devotions, at the breakfast table, as part of a longer study including comprehension questions and praying, or as a fun memorization time with flashcards and drills. Parents may decide to read aloud the Bible verse and pray aloud the children’s prayer attached to each question and answer, or it may be appropriate for your child to read and pray aloud themselves.

HOW DO I USE NEW CITY CATECHISM WITH MY STUDY GROUP?

Groups may decide to spend the first 5–10 minutes of their study time looking together at only one question and answer thus completing the catechism in a year, or they may prefer to study and learn the questions and answers over a contracted length of time, for example by memorizing 5 or 6 questions a week and meeting together to quiz one another, discuss them, as well as read and watch the accompanying commentaries.

WHY ARE SOME OF THE PRAYERS LONGER THAN OTHERS?

The prayers are intended to help and inspire you in prayer by showing you some of the ways historic preachers and authors prayed to and praised God. Please feel free to lengthen or shorten the prayers as is most helpful to you.

WHICH CATECHISM SHOULD I LEARN AFTER THIS ONE?

New City Catechism is based on and adapted from Calvin’s Geneva Catechism, the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms, and especially the Heidelberg Catechism. A good next step would be to learn either Westminster Shorter or Heidelberg.

ANY ADDITIONAL RESOURCES YOU WOULD RECOMMEND?

Kevin DeYoung has written an excellent exploration of the Heidelberg Catechism in The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism (published by Moody).

Thomas Watson’s A Body of Divinity (published by Banner of Truth or Kessinger) is a great exposition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Thomas F. Torrance’s The School of Faith, Catechisms of the Reformed Church (published by Wipf & Stock) has a fascinating introduction to catechesis as well as being a great collection of the historical catechisms.

Grounded in the Gospel by Gary Parrett and J. I. Packer (published by Baker) provides a case for why catechetical instruction is still important for churches and discipleship today.