What is the most neglected part of the Small Catechism?
The Table of Duties, maybe?
Christian Questions with Their Answers?
How about Prayers for Daily Use?
Naw, it’s got to be Office of the Keys, right?
Thanks for playing. Good answers, Those are neglected more than they should be. But they are not the most neglected part. The most neglected part is the part that causes the whole Catechism to be neglected. Which part is that?
With this segment we begin a series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson on the meaning and message of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. In Part 1, Pr. Abrahamson gives an overview of the Catechism and throws down against some faulty views of God, original sin, and God’s Law. Hear him respond to Rob Bell’s “definition” of God, Joel Osteen’s denial of original sin, and David Ashcraft’s mistaken notion of the purpose of God’s Law.
We continue our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson. In part 2, we look at using the Catechism and how it is organized. What does Pr. Abrahamson mean when he says Luther’s Small Catechism has a “3 x 3” structure? We also begin discussing God’s Law and the Ten Commandments.
Pr. Joe Abrahamson continues discussing Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, what it means, an how to teach it. In Part 3 of our ongoing series, we discuss the Law of God–the natural law
and the revealed law, the two tables of the Law, and how the moral law, the civil law, and the ceremonial law relate to one another.
Our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson continues as we get into the Apostles’ Creed. We discuss the background of the Creeds and where the statements come from in the Scriptures. We discuss the First Article (God the Father, Creation) and the Second Article (God the Son, Redemption). Hear how Richard Dawkins says he learned the “Christian faith,” and get Pr. Abrahamson’s response.
Our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson continues. This time we respond to the outlandish claim by Benny Hinn that there are actually nine persons (Yes, you read that correctly!) in the Holy Trinity. We also discuss the Third Article, the Holy Spirit, and what it means that He gives us life by bringing us to faith in Jesus Christ.
In Part 6 of our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson, we discuss the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, who brings us to faith in Jesus Christ. Then we discuss the Lord’s Prayer, why it is that only Christians can truly pray, and some fascinating connections between the structure of the Lord’s Prayer and God’s original creation.
In this installment of our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson, we discuss how God wants us to receive His grace, mercy, and forgiveness in the Sacraments. What are Sacraments? What do they actually give to us? Pr. Abrahamson outlines the differences between the Lutheran view of the Sacraments on the one hand, and the Roman Catholic and Reformed views on the other hand. The last two might more alike that you think!
In this part of our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson, we discuss the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. According to the Bible, what is Baptism and what does it actually deliver? Why do some Christians actually make Baptism a work of us humans rather than God’s work of saving us? What is the role of faith in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism?
Pr. Joe Abrahamson joins us to resume our series on Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. In Part 9, we discuss the Fifth Chief Part (or is it the Sixth?) on the Office of the Keys and Confession. Who can hear confessions? Who actually forgives? And why would a Christian actually want to go to his or her pastor to confess sins?
Pr. Joe Abrahamson continues his series on Luther’s Small Catechism. This time we discuss the Sacrament of the Altar. What is the Sacrament? What does it deliver? Who receives this sacrament worthily? What should Christians do when they visit another congregation in their fellowship? Should pastors ever not allow someone to commune? If so, why and how do they handle that?
In this latest installment of our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson, we continue discussing the Sacrament of the Altar. Pr. Abrahamson shows us how Jesus’ new covenant meal fulfills the old covenant, and we smack down the false teaching that the Lord’s Supper is only a symbol, or reminder, of God’s salvation.
In part 12 of our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson, we discuss the Daily Prayers part of the Catechism. How do we live out the teaching that God gives us in the Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer? We pray. Daily. Join us as we discuss how to pray according to God’s Word and in our home and family settings.
In part 13 of our Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson, we take a brief look at the “Table of Duties” in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. How does this section of the Catechism instruct us in the “holy orders” to which God calls us? What are the “two kingdoms” and the “three estates” that this compilation of Bible passages present to us for daily living as Christians?
In this final part of our Catechism series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson, we discuss the “Christian Questions with their Answers.” Did Luther really compose them? Why are they not in some editions of the Catechism? How do these questions and answers help us prepare for partaking of Christ’s Body and Blood? Pr. Abrahamson also wraps up our series by saying the Catechism is not just for confirmation, but for all of life.
There is a connection between the Small Catechism and Lent.
Pastor Joseph Abrahamson writes in “Luther’s Small Catechism and Lent,” on Brothers of John the Steadfast, “Dr. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism has been associated with the season of Lent since the time Luther first published in chart in time for Lent in 1529.” He continues, “Our parish is one of many that has a long standing practice of reviewing one chief part each week during the Lenten season.”
Pastor Abrahamson reveals how the Small Catechism is in three sections that address in order:
The what of the Christian faith
The how of the Christian faith.
The where of the Christian faith.
This helps us understand both the parts and the whole of the Catechism. Pastor Abrahamson writes, “While teaching the parts of the Catechism it is important to keep the whole in mind to understand how the parts relate to each other and why they are there.”
With that understanding, he develops an insightful way of reviewing the Small Catechism during Lent.
Read the article here, and hear audio of his discussion of the article on Steadfast Throwdown here.
The description of this product at the CPH.org website is not hype. It’s no brag, just fact.
How can that be? Because of an old, tried, and true principle of pedagogy (the knowledge or study of how people learn). “Words paired with music are more easily learned and remembered.” That’s what CPH says, and it’s true.
With Sing the Faith, the words of the Small Catechism are set to original tunes in order to teach and aid memory of these important words.
Each of the 67 upbeat songs covers a portion of the Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, Confession, the Office of the Keys, the Lord’s Supper, and prayers.
Sing at home, in the car, at school or at Sunday School. Sing here, there, and everywhere.
But enough with the sales pitch, even though, as I said, it’s no brag, just fact. Here are user comments from Amazon, that track with what my family has experienced.
My son struggles so much with memory work! This has helped TREMENDOUSLY! The elders enjoy him singing these songs to them! 🙂
This is that best teaching tool for the catechism for all ages and the music actually sounds good and is catchy worth a purchase and great for car rides with young children.
I like it, it works for me. We are trying to teach our daughter the Small Catechism and this seems like it will work. She likes the tunes. I hear there is also an accompaniment book that goes along with it. Might not be necessary, but if you are teaching the tunes, it could help.
Every point has its own song. Each commandment has its own verse and song. It’s cheap, get it and try it.
Want to memorize something lengthy and detailed? Put it to music and sing it. Better yet, before you know it, your 6 year old child is learning the catechism by heart, because as the ancients knew, anything put to rhythm and a tune is far easier to retain. This album is a brilliant idea, and it is working to help my homeschooler learn the material far faster than I would have ever hoped.
Usually when items are put to music (especially in Christian circles they are…”hoaky.” Maybe too “broadway” or a little too “sugary” for my tastes. While all these cuts are sung by children, and when I first listened to it I wasn’t sure, but the quality of the melodies (as well as the harmonies) convinced me not only to pick it up, but also to advise the parents of my confirmation students to pick it up as well. The next step will be figuring out ways we can include parts of it in our worship service (yes, there is a songbook, too). Highly recommended.
It’s true, the children’s voices singing in these recordings do at first make the songs seem juvenile, but the second time through, when you start singing along, you realize, it was only the youth of the voices, not the composition or arrangement of the music, that made you feel that way the first time through. From the second time on, you realize that this is music you will like to sing even into old age. This is adult music too. This music spans generations. A genius is behind this, and I think I know who.† And that is going to give you the blessed words of the Catechism even when you have become infirm in other ways.
Here’s an entertaining comment that CPH.org has the integrity to let stand on its site:
Great resource – in a convenient 1980’s format.
This really does help kids learn the small catechism by heart. Catechumens who listen to this learn it more quickly, more completely, and more permanently than catechumens who do not. However, few homes even own CD players today. The only one in our house is on an old laptop. I’ve had to rip it to mp3 so the kids can listen on their tablets. CPH should offer it as a download. And they should think about offering a bulk-price so a church can buy it once, and then give the mp3 files to families in their church without worrying about extra payments. This format is almost unusable. You may as well sell the Lutheran Confessions in cuneiform. I pay for the CD and the shipping, to avoid copyright issues, then rip it and give it to families on SD cards so they can actually listen. Downloadable could make this the go-to method for learning the catechism. CD’s reminds me of a quaint bygone era. But they don’t help me teach the faith. (Make it available on MP3, and the rating goes from 3/5 to 6/5) UPDATE: Apparently, it’s available on Amazon as an mp3 download.
Do note, the reason that commenter was critical is that, if only he could have bought these recordings in Mp3 format, he would have rated them 6 out of 5!! This is an A+ product. The criticism was, for such a fantastic product, the CD format is an obstacle. Maybe if a few hundred more of us encouraged them along that line … ? In the meantime, we can get over the obstacle, as the commenter noted.