The Catechism Is a Small Book — Only a Little Time Is Needed to Teach It

“We have spoken of the importance and benefits of home training and instruction. We endeavored to show that Christian parents are under the most solemn obligation to instruct their children in the truth of God’s Word. We also endeavored to show that, in order to give their children a clear understanding of the saving truths of the Bible, they could do no better than to diligently teach them Luther’s Small Catechism; that this was really Luther’s idea and purpose when he wrote that excellent little religious manual; that the first catechetical class ought indeed to be in the family, with father and mother as teachers; that this home class ought to be carried on so long and so persistently, that in it the children would become perfectly familiar with the contents of the book; so familiar indeed, that they would know all the parts that Luther wrote perfectly by heart. Luther’s Small Catechism, i.e., the parts that Luther wrote himself, is really quite a small book. By giving only a little time and attention to it each week, the parents could easily, in a few years, have all their children know it as perfectly as they know their multiplication table, And such ought to be the case.”

G. H. Gerberding, The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church, pp. 69-70 (Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1887).

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