You Are What You Read

This axiom, of course, explains so much about Bob Godfrey, but I digress before I begin. Don’t worry, somewhere, in a coffee shop in Escondido, Bob is insulting me to some bewildered stranger. Merry Christmas Bob! Kevin Efflandt has an excellent reminder . . . Continue reading →


Years ago Leonard Coppes wrote an essay in the OPC magazine, New Horizons, on catechizing children. He called it “candychism.” In it he advocated rewarding children who memorize a catechism question and answer. To anticipate a frequent objection: No this isn’t crass . . . Continue reading →

Of Sacred Cows and Secret Societies

At the beginning of the Christian Reformed Church (CRCNA), in 1857, there were three great reasons given for  separating from the Reformed Church in America (RCA): the RCA sang hymns instead psalms, the RCA did not send children to Christian schools, and . . . Continue reading →

Children Can Memorize But Are The Adults Willing?

Parents and other catechists have sometimes said or implied to me that children just aren’t able to memorize in the modern age and therefore we shouldn’t insist that they memorize Scripture or catechism. This morning I had reason to doubt that. I . . . Continue reading →

A Simple Curriculum for Parrots, Perts, and Poets

I get occasional questions about a curriculum for Christian education programs. It’s probably more complicated than it seems—things usually are. Typically I agree to a project on the premise that, “Well, this seems straightforward” and then, of course, it isn’t. Nevertheless, I . . . Continue reading →

The Last Thing We Need

The last thing we need is a church that keeps us sealed up in our own compartment with others of similar experiences in life. We need to be integrated into the body of Christ. Younger believers don’t need another speaker to come . . . Continue reading →

The Mystery Of Children’s Church

I can understand why evangelicals and others, who do not have a covenantal theology, would exile their children during public worship but I do not understand why so many ostensibly Reformed congregations have adopted the practice of dismissing their covenant children from the . . . Continue reading →

Sunday School, The Role Of Women, Authority, And Culture

On the most recent episode of the Mortification of Spin, Carl, Aimee, and Todd had a disagreement about whether women can teach men in a Sunday School class. In the wake of the discussion both Aimee and Todd have published posts explaining . . . Continue reading →

A Review Of The New Anglican Catechism And What It Says About The State Of Anglicanism

As I emerged out of Southern Baptist evangelicalism in 1980–81 John Stott and J. I. Packer were two of the most influential writers in my journey out of Baptist evangelicalism. Hitherto my theological staples had been things on the order of Navigators Bible study materials and Rosalind Rinker’s book on hearing voices from God. I am not entirely sure how I found Stott’s Basic Christianity and Packer’s Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. Back then we had a Christian bookstore downtown, where I mostly bought contemporary Christian records (e.g., Larry Norman and Barry McGuire). Perhaps the manager directed me to them? Those books were a Godsend. They were thoughtful, intelligent, gracious and thoroughly evangelical in the best sense of the word. They were gospel books. They pointed me away from myself and my experience and toward Christ. In the summer of 1981 Packer’s Knowing God was a major influence in my embrace of Reformed theology, piety, and practice. Continue reading →

A Forgotten Catechism Recovered

One of the most forgotten Elizabethan Puritans is Richard Greenham (c. 1542–1594). As an early Elizabethan puritan, Greenham’s influence in the late 16th century was second only to that of William Perkins. He wrote a very helpful catechism on the Christian faith . . . Continue reading →