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contemplativereflections5 Stars Out Of 5Book Review: To Be a ChristianJanuary 12, 2020contemplativereflectionsIn "To Be a Christian," a group of prominent Anglican clergy and scholars develop a contemporary catechism that aims to be useful to a wide audience while emphasizing the rich theology of the Anglican tradition. The catechism's structure is similar to other historical catechisms such as the Heidelberg Catechism and Westminster Catechism by using a simple question-and-answer format with biblical references to support the answers provided. Furthermore, the catechism is built with a logical structure that mimics the spiritual journey of the Christian believer from beginning with Christ, believing in Christ, belonging to Christ, and becoming like Christ. The first section describes the predicament of the human race and the good news of forgiveness, redemption, and renewal in Jesus Christ. The second section uses the Apostles' Creed as a blueprint to explain the central truths concerning Scripture, God, and the church. Moreover, the third part highlights the elements of the Lord's Prayer as the basic structure to be used for corporate and personal prayer and worship. Next, the fourth part focuses on the Ten Commandments as the overarching moral code that informs our daily duties toward God and others. At the end of the book are included several appendixes with supplemental information on how to conduct catechesis effectively.
I greatly recommend this book to both new and mature Christians who are unfamiliar with catechesis and its role in the church. Despite many discipleship tools available to the church today, catechesis is the most longstanding method for educating new believers on the core tenets of Christianity. In addition, being familiar with the essential beliefs presented in a catechism helps mature Christians identify and guard against heresy and false teachings. This particular catechism provides biblically sound answers to the central doctrines of the Christian faith while embodying the emphases of Anglican theology in regards to baptism, the Lord's Supper, liturgy, prayer, and Scripture. The answers provided are concise and use contemporary English thereby allowing for ease of memorization. In addition, the contributors take extra effort to update the answers to respond to contemporary issues such as euthanasia and pornography. Readers will most certainly find this book's contents immensely helpful in solidifying one's own understanding and application of Christian doctrines and useful in the teaching of these doctrines to others.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a review copy of this book from Crossway.
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