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Teaching Bible History and the Catechism:<br>A Letter From the Editor

Dear fellow servant of the Word,

One of the results of living in a busy and increasingly secular society is that students are entering our confirmation classes with little to no knowledge of the Bible and Bible history.

I have heard pastors say, “How can I effectively teach the Christian faith when the students struggle to know the difference between John the Baptist and the apostle John or fail to understand Abraham’s role in God’s plan of salvation? We need a course that will help students understand the catechism truths in the broader context of God’s plan of salvation. We need a course that will help them understand the Bible.”

I can’t tell you how often pastors have asked NPH to consider developing a curriculum that would help build the foundation of Bible knowledge. This way, all students in confirmation class could have at least a basic understanding of the Bible.

Two new courses, written by Pastor Tim Shrimpton, address that need, and they are now available for preorder. Both courses teach the catechism. The lessons in both courses are built around an account from Bible history.

Growing-in-the-WordGrowing in the Word is a 58-lesson course that leads the students through the Bible chronologically. This course will be especially helpful for those who lack a foundation of biblical knowledge. The lessons bring in parts of the catechism where they apply. For example, the first lesson—the creation—looks at the First Article as it considers God the Creator. It also looks at the Sixth Commandment in connection with the first marriage. Each lesson underscores God’s unfaltering faithfulness to each and every promise he has made to his people.

Growing-in-GraceGrowing in Grace teaches the six chief parts of the catechism point by point. Each of the 32 lessons is developed around an account from Bible history. While the students review God’s plan of salvation through the biblical narrative, they are learning how the doctrinal truths of God’s Word applied to God’s people in those times and how they apply to our own lives today.

These courses were forged in the fires of weekly catechism instruction. The author developed and used them over several years as he taught both Lutheran elementary school and public school students.

In addition to teaching Christian doctrine and Bible history, the author’s intent was to provide a transition from Sunday school style teaching to a more advanced level of teaching that the students will become accustomed to in adult Bible class.

Although the catechism reading assignments correlate with the new NPH catechism, these courses can be used with any catechism. They also work with any Bible translation.

Catechism classes vary greatly from year to year. Most students can benefit from learning or reviewing Bible history. All students can benefit from a course that demonstrates the application of Christian doctrine to the lives of God’s people of all times.

To see if either or both of these courses might fill a need in your catechism program, you can learn more, view samples, and preorder here on the NPH website. I would also be glad to answer any questions you might have.

God bless the important work you do, bringing his truth to the children he has placed in your spiritual care!

Ray Schumacher
Curriculum Product Editor
Northwestern Publishing House