The Shorter Catechism
A Baptist Version
The 115 questions and answers of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, in the most attractive format in print today, as The Shorter Catechism: A Baptist Version. That means, this version also excludes the infant-baptizing questions, altering them to answers that reflect the truth of believer’s baptism (changing questions 99-103).
A very well-done edition of The Shorter Catechism largely drawn from The Westminster Standards. It is a useful tool, not only in families with growing children, but in new convert’s classes for all ages.
Is the Shorter Catechism Worthwhile?
In an article by B.B. Warfield with the above title, he wrote:
“What is the indelible mark of the Shorter Catechism? We have the following bit of personal experience from a general officer of the United States army. He was in a great western city at a time of intense excitement and violent rioting. The streets were over-run daily by a dangerous crowd.
One day he observed approaching him a man of singularly combined calmness and firmness of mind, whose very demeanor inspired confidence. So impressed was he with his bearing amid the surrounding uproar that, when he had passed, he turned to look back at him, only to find that the stranger had done the same. On observing his turning, the stranger at once came back to him, and touching his chest with his forefinger, posed the question:
“What is the chief end of man?”
On receiving the reply, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever!”,
“Ah!” said he, “I knew you were a Shorter Catechism boy by your looks!”
“Why, that was just what I was thinking of you!”, was the rejoinder.
It is worth while to be a Shorter Catechism boy. They grow to be men. And better than that, they are exceedingly apt to grow to be men of God. So apt, that we cannot afford to have them miss the chance of it. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it.'”
John Murray, godly professor at Westminster for many years, said the following:
“The Westminster Confession and Catechisms, therefore, are the mature fruit of the whole movement of creed-formation throughout fifteen centuries of Christian history. In particular, they are the crown of the greatest age of confessional exposition, the Protestant Reformation. No other similar documents have concentrated in them, and formulated with such precision, so much of the truth deposited in the Christian revelation.”
C.H. Spurgeon, great Baptist preacher of the 19th century, said the following:
“I am persuaded that the use of a good Catechism in all our families will be a great safeguard against the increasing errors of the times, and therefore I have compiled this little manual from the Westminster Assembly’s and Baptist Catechisms, for the use of my own church and congregation. Those who use it in their families or classes must labour to explain the sense; but the words should be carefully learned by heart, for they will be understood better as years pass. May the Lord bless my dear friends and their families evermore, is the prayer of their loving Pastor.”
The Shorter Catechism : A Baptist Version changes only the five questions on the topic of baptism, to present and teach a believer’s baptism position.