Saturday, July 5, 2014

The New ACNA Catechism

Fr. Dale Matson

The ACNA Catechism is a great compromise in size between Luther's Small Catechism and the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. It is called To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism. It has been produced in a time when it is necessary to draw a clear line in the sand between an increasingly pagan western society and innovative and progressive theology on the one hand and orthodox Anglican theology on the other. It was developed by and for the Anglican Church North America. It will be useful in a number of respects.

It will introduce those in contemporary post Christian cultures to historical Anglican Christian theology and it will reintroduce contemporary Anglicans to their own beliefs historically held. Thus it will help form the identity of those within the ACNA and serve as a centripetal mechanism of unity.

Those who worked on the task force like J.I. Packer and Stephen Noll are well grounded in Scripture and highly regarded scholars. Fr. Lee Nelson from our Diocese was also one of the contributors to the new catechism. As a retired psychologist, I believe it is also a great personal improvement book.

Reading it is a faith and hope building experience. It is in a question and answer format. It is similar in some respects to the very first Christian Catechism. The Didache was designed for Christian formation in a culture that was pagan (The Didache, which was written in the first century, forbid abortion).  In our new catechism we hear the following questions:

16. What does God grant in saving you?
God grants me reconciliation with him (2 Corinthians 5:17-19), forgiveness of sins
(Colossians 1:13-14), adoption into his family (Galatians 4:4-7), citizenship in his Kingdom (Ephesians 2:19-21, Philippians 3:20), union with him in Christ (Romans 6:3-5), new life in the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5), and the promise of eternal life (John 3:16; 1 John 5:12). Each statement cites a passage from Scripture.

256. Why did God give the Ten Commandments?
God’s holy Law is a light to show me his character, a mirror to show me myself, a tutor to lead me to Christ, and a guide to help me love God and others, as I should.

The answers fill my heart with joy as I read what it means to be and live the Christian life. I would commend our new catechism to you. It is 128 pages with 345 questions and answers to things you have always wanted to know as a Christian. There are also historical faith documents in the appendix. It is available in a leather bound copy from Amazon and as a free download from the ACNA website as a Microsoft Word document or a PDF document.  Do you want a REAL self-help book? Get our new catechism.
If you want personal renewal, read our new catechism. It will fill you with hope and faith and the essential knowledge of what it means to be an Anglican Christian. This new catechism is not just being used by the ACNA. It is being embraced by Anglicans worldwide and is currently being translated into many other languages.


Anonymous said...

Fr. Dale:

I think you mean Fr. Lee Nelson,
since Lee Johnson is a Deacon,
not a priest.

Love to you!

Deacon Francie

Dale Matson said...

Is my face red! Thanks and I fixed it.