Teaching children reformed confessions

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by blhowes, Apr 29, 2003.

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  1. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    I was wondering if anybody could recommend some good materials that I can use to teach my children the truths contained in the reformed confessions. I have 2 boys, ages 7 and 13.

    I went to a reformed church this Sunday (it was the 2nd time I've attended a reformed church) and it was such a blessing. This is the first time in over a year that I came home after the first service and couldn't wait to attend the evening service. Praise the Lord!

    It was a reformed congregational church that holds to the Savoy declaration of faith (a modified Westminster confession). The way I understand it, its essentially a Presbyterian church without the church hierarchy. One of the men I spoke with gave me a bunch of material to read (Westminster confession, Savoy declaration of faith, Cambridge platform, etc.).

    My wife and children didn't attend the church with me. When I told my wife about it, it sounded good, except for the mode of baptism that is practiced. We have a baptist background and our youngest one has yet to be baptized. Her preference (and mine, at this point) is to have him baptized the same way that our oldest one was (believer's baptism).

    Anyway, the common truths that are found in the Westminster, Savoy, and 1689 Reformed Baptist confessions are great and I'd like to teach them to our children at home.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Bob

    [Edited on 4-29-2003 by blhowes]
     
  2. terry72

    terry72 Puritan Board Freshman

    blhowes,

    I find that a catechism is a very good way to teach my children. Some friends of mine in Canada sent me a copy of the Heidelberg Catechism, it is set up in a question and answer format.

    Here is a link to a site that has the Heidelberg, the Westminster larger and shorter Catechisms, and the Puritan Catechism compiled by Spurgeon:
    http://bible.crosswalk.com/History/AD/CreedsandConfessions/Catechisms/

    I haven't read the Westminster or the Puritan Catechisms, but the heidelberg is a very excellent one, I'm sure the Westminster and the one compiled by Spurgeon are excellent as well. :)

    Blessings,
    Terry :)
     
  3. Drdad

    Drdad Puritan Board Freshman

    My wife and I use many different materials (some we make ourselves). I would recommend a book by Susan Hunt (a PCA Pastor's Wife and a Church consultant for the PCA) called Big Truths for Little Kids. She also has one called My ABC Bible Verses.

    You can find them at Amazon or CBD.

    BTW- this is one of my passions, training up children with great truths from the Bible. I hope you and your wife do well and if you ever need anything, we would be honored to help you.
     
  4. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    Our church uses the Childrens Catechism for kids age 3 through 7 then we move to the Shorter Catechism for the older kinds.

    Here is a site that has both Catechisms that you might find helpful.

    http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html
     
  5. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    We use the Puritan Catechism from Spurgeon available at www.spurgeon.org/catechis.htm

    I also recommend the material Derick recommended, Big Truths for Little Kids. That project is actually a cooperative effort between a PCA pastor's wife and a Reformed Baptist's pastor's wife! The material they have put together is great.

    Phillip

    [Edited on 4-29-03 by pastorway]
     
  6. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Thank-you everybody for your responses. Each of the catechisms mentioned are just what I'm looking for, especially those that have scripture references in the answers. I'll also see if I can get a copy of the books "Big Truths for Little Kids" and "My ABC Bible Verses". CBD is around an hour from my house, so that will give me an excuse to go and browse around.

    Bob
     
  7. jfschultz

    jfschultz Puritan Board Junior

    With your background, you probably would opt for Spurgeon's Puritan Catechism. It is based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism with Baptist alterations.

    I noticed that in the first dozen or so questions the oly difference between WSC and Spurgeon is in question 9 on creation. WSC picks up Calvin's language from his commentary on Genesis with the expression "in the space of six days" while Spurgeon used "six normal days."
     
  8. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Practical consideration

    Excellent stuff!

    One thing that I think should always be kept in mind is that we're raising adults here, not children. Keep the heavy stuff coming at them, you'll be surprised how much they understand. Next thing you know you'll have little theogs running around challenging you. My 12 year old catches me all the time.

    Childrens stuff is nice, but can be more entertaining than educational. If you want them to act like children when they grow up, keep the shallow stuff coming. If you want them to grow quickly and deep in their faith, don't be afraid to expose them to weightier doctrinal information. Just don't cram it down their throats, they'll resent that.
    (I'm not familiar with all the stuff recommended here, so this is not criticism of them, just a suggestion for consideration)

    Also, and this may come as a shock to some of you, expecially the Presbyterians out there who know how baptist I am, but my boys are memorizing the Westminster Catechism.

    [Edited on 4-29-2003 by Wannabee]
     
  9. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    [b:0f21f03494]jfshultz wrote:[/b:0f21f03494]
    With your background, you probably would opt for Spurgeon's Puritan Catechism. It is based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism with Baptist alterations.

    Yeah, I am kind of leaning towards that one to use with my children. I think some of the others I would use for myself as I try and learn more about covenant theology.

    [b:0f21f03494]Wannabee wrote:[/b:0f21f03494]
    Keep the heavy stuff coming at them, you'll be surprised how much they understand.

    I agree with you. Along the same lines, Spurgeon wrote at the beginning of the catechism:

    "Those who use it in their families or classes must labour to explain the sense;"

    Give them the meat and potatoes, but explain it so that they can enjoy the meal as well.

    [b:0f21f03494]Wannabee wrote:[/b:0f21f03494]
    Also, and this may come as a shock to some of you, expecially the Presbyterians out there who know how baptist I am, but my boys are memorizing the Westminster Catechism.

    I wonder how many "Presbyterians" are secretly having their children memorize the 1689 confession? ;) Would they admit it?

    Bob
     
  10. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, and isn't it amazing...

    ...that the Westminster Shorter Catechism was written for children!

    How far have we fallen?

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  11. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:1c67df9e0a]
    ...that the Westminster Shorter Catechism was written for children!
    [/quote:1c67df9e0a]

    Wow, I didn't know that! :eek: I've been attending a study on the Shorter Catechism for a while for adults.

    Talk about the dumbing down of our culture, and the church in particular. What a shame...
     
  12. Galahad

    Galahad Puritan Board Freshman

    I would personally recommend G.I. Williamson's study volumes on the Shorter Catachim (volume I covers questions 1-38 and volume II covers questions 39-107). He also has a good one on the Westminster Confession of Faith. Both the Shorter Catachism books and the WCF book are designed for a classroom setting type study, but I think they would work great within a family setting as well. The Shorter Catachism books are actually designed for kids with illustrations to help explain. I found them both very useful.
     
  13. Reed

    Reed Puritan Board Freshman

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