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Sunday Snippet: Catechism, There is an App for That…

November 6th, 2012 · 6 Comments

I have written about Family Devotions and folks often ask me what we study…and what tools do we use. Well as Bible believing Christians our main resource is the Bible!!! Typically we read a bible passage together and talk about it and pray together but from time to time we have found other resources to be useful and just recently an “App” with a website, was launched and we have found it to be a fun way to spend time with our kids. Our children all love absolutely anything that arrives via the i-pad, but you don’t need an i-pad to enjoy this resource because it has a fabulous website too.

Most of us have heard of the Westminster Shorter Catechism and have a vague idea of what that is: A classic summary of Christian doctrine, a series of questions and answers that explain the essence of our christian belief. It is a subject that is very often presented in a dry and difficult way – something for great theologians to wrap their heads around, but for us regular folk it is considered just too difficult. That idea in itself is quite laughable, because the average child in sunday school a hundred years ago would have been able to recite their way through their catechism questions without blinking an eye… Questions like: “What is the chief end of man?” But, times have changed and a couple of generations have changed what is expected of children to know and understand… let alone their parents!!! Nowadays catechism is not taught in sunday schools or the sunday sermon, in fact there isn’t really a place to learn about it all. It would not be expected of children or even adults, to understand and delight in learning about the work and attributes of God in a class called “Catechism.”

Historically, the purpose of catechism class was three-fold, times may have changed, but the purposes remain:

  • To explain the foundations of the gospel and and the building blocks upon which our church has been built.
  • To counteract false beliefs of our time.
  • To form a cohesive community of folk who have a good understanding of their christian belief.


Well TIm Keller and Sam Shammas, with support from the Gospel Coalition have come to the rescue with the New City Catechism. They really wanted to design a free resource for christian folk around the world to use and to learn from… So they have designed 52 weekly sessions, and they have just launched so the first couple of questions are up on their site… Each week there is a fresh video and question and answer… you can subscribe in the usual ways… email or RSS feed… but there is also a free App, and this is really what I wanted to share with you…

I wanted to tell you a bit about the app, called the New City App, because we are using it right now, our kids are enjoying it and it is going to grow into a fantastic resource. This is not just a series of questions and answers that you are just expected to learn by heart, there is more…

  1. There is a question and answer session for each week of the year… and an accompanying bible verse.
  2. Everything is available online.
  3. Each session has a commentary from a historically famous christian, providing depth and understanding.
  4. There is a video from a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
  5. All the questions and answers can be downloaded as a pdf.
  6. There are two levels of answer to each question, the children’s and the adult versions.
  7. You can select a number of settings with the app… your version of the bible, to show or reveal the answers as you learn them and you can also select the adult or children’s mode. You can also add your children’s names to the app and keep a record of who has learnt which questions.
  8. And the Se7en + 1th

  9. It is entirely free.

You can read all about it here, with a great introduction… or head for their website… or head straight for the free app. Hope you enjoy it!!!

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Tags: Sunday Snippet

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Homeschool on the Croft // Nov 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    This resource looks fabulous. I think I’ll download the pdf, get it printed (maybe?) and have it all ready for the beginning of the year. It really sounds great x

  • 2 se7en // Nov 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Hay “Homeschool on the Croft” you came and said hi!!! Loved your gigantic bonfire – we have NOTHING like that here ever!!! And certainly no fireworks… Meanwhile the Catechism is a fantastic resource… the videos are great and there is lots of competition here to see who can remember what needs remembering first – so far the five year old is streaks ahead of everyone else – oh to have a young brain!!! hope you have a fabulous week!!!

  • 3 Linda B // Nov 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I am so excited about this! Tim Keller is one of our favorite “famous” contemporary Christians.

    On another note, you “contact” link in your right-hand column is taking me to an error page. I noticed I won a box of tea in your latest give-away and I have tried a couple of times to follow the link to send my address, but it keeps taking me to an error message.

  • 4 Katherinemarie // Nov 7, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Thank you!!!!! I never even thought about using apps for bible study time!!

  • 5 se7en // Nov 7, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Hay Linda B, We also really enjoy Tim Keller and we have watched some fabulous videos of his!!! And thank you so much for telling me about the link – I love it when folk let me know there is a problem!!! I will fix it soonest… and your tea is waiting…we are just working our way through a huge pile of packages to post and you are definitely not forgotten!!! Lots of love!!!

  • 6 se7en // Nov 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Oh Katherine-Marie, You will love it, because it is for adults and children too… otherwise you give me an idea, I should pot a couple of resourceful apps sometime!!! Hope you have a fabulous week!!!

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