Westminster Shorter Catechism challenge

A “catechism” is a systematic summary of doctrine in a question and answer format. The Westminster Shorter Catechism was written in the 17th century as a way of preserving reformed Christian doctrine in England and Scotland following the Protestant Reformation. According to one source that I’ve read, before the War for American Independence, the Westminster Shorter Catechism was the second most published text, next to the Bible. It was common, even if not required, for children to memorize this early in their education.

Recognizing this as a good source for teaching a comprehensive review of the essential elements of the Christian faith, several of us are committing to memorize one question and answer per week. We are currently in week 2, and I suddenly realized that others might want to join the challenge.

So, to that end, I will be posting each week’s question and answer on Sundays. So here are last week’s and this week’s questions:

Question 1:

What is the chief end of man?


Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever.” Romans 11:36

“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.” Psalm 73:25-28

Question #2:

What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?


The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16

“…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:20

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” 1 John 1:3-4

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