Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way

“In the sixteenth and seventeen centuries, the Reformers – the Puritans – the evangelicals, seemed to know their Bible backwards. They could quote it, appropriately, and apply it, in relation to just anything that came up in conversation. We simply aren’t like that. And yet we think we’re being loyal to the Reformational heritage. I want to blow the whistle here.” J. I. Packer

"Throughout the history of the church, young believers and new converts to the faith went through a process called 'catechism.' What are the roots of this ancient practice, and why has it fallen out of use in contemporary Christianity? On this edition of the program Michael Horton talks with J.I. Packer and Gary Parrett, authors of an important new book on this subject titled, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way."

To hear the interview, click here.


Reformation said...

Jim's swan song in his final years.

But what catechism? The 1979 BCP? Or, 1928?

Anglicanism never grew up and matured Confessionally.

Nice effort by James, but what catechism?

Reformation said...

I just heard that Jim has advocated the catechism of the 1662BCP and Becon's Catechism. If so, quite nice, but a non-starter for ACNA...from what I'm reading.

Is there more information here?

Charlie J. Ray said...

I heard the discussion and thought it was an excellent one. Packer isn't perfect but at least he's doing something to promote the true Gospel.

Bruce said...

I am looking forward to reading this. Packer had a huge impact on me many years ago-- which turned me toward a scripture-based faith, and thus to an evangelical/ Reformed point of view. See his little book: Fundamentalism and the Word of God.

DomWalk said...

Ooh, the magpies just chomping at the bit to criticize Dr. Packer, someone whose shoes they're not fit to polish.

Hey, "Reformation", if "Anglicanism never grew up and matured confessionally", why not fly to another nest and inhabit that one? OPC too good for you?

Robin, good to see that you've gone over a month without slandering the ACNA with unsubstantiated accusations! Keep it up, brother!

Reformation said...

Actually, Mr. Dominant, I was quite glad to see that Jim is advocating Becon's catechism. It's quite a mature Confessional statement--proactive confession of faith--by Mr. Becon and quite Reformed and Calvinistic.

No one will use it in the ACNA is my guess.

And yes, I love OPC-ers. Do you? They are careful thinkers. The the WCF is sterling indeed, a substantive advance over the XXXIX Articles. Even Jim says somewhere that they are a suitable commentary on the theology of the English Reformers.

But we won't hear that about the WCF from the Mutant Manglicans of ACNA. They're not up to it. Face it. They "are what they are."

The criticism of Anglicanism on the Confessional immaturity stands, despite the Dominator's bluster.

Dominator, you'll just need to get over it. They "are what they are."

Charlie J. Ray said...

DomWalk, You put J.I. Packer on the same level as Jesus Christ? The last time I checked John the Baptist said we must decrease and Christ must increase. Your problem is you worship and venerate men rather than God. All have sinned and fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23).


Reformation said...


1. In an effort to raise the level of amity in exchange, I draw attention to an helpful post.

Dr. Bob Godfrey of WTS/Cal, a scholar and gentleman.


A good read.

2. Also, of note at VOL at:


concerning Dr. Gerald Bray's work on the XXXIX Articles.

While other posts routinely draw the usual posters, this one has met with deafening silence.

3. As a matter of getting it right, historically and factually, like it or not, agree or disagree, Dr. Bray's work will not characterize ACNA. Unless it can be shown otherwise. All ears. Again, it's a matter of the mixture and corporate, confessional inability.

4. I suspect, more largely, that a virtual tidal wave lies throughout the nation with Pentecostal/charismaticism virtually governing TV and popular bookstores, e.g. Barnes and Noble, Emergent Churches, a wide/non-confessional evangelicalism, and the megachurch phenomenona of Warren, Hybels and SBC pastor Ed Young, Jr.. This brings us back to Dr. Godfrey, Dr. Bray, and Dr. Packer's points.

5. A rather saavy article about "Alpha Course" is on offer as well at:


David Virtue has spoken favourably of it before and Dr. Packer allegedly endorses it, yet quite a distance from Jim's point on Thomas Becon's sound catechism.

We leave in stormy weather and heavy seas.


Reformation said...


1. It's just too much to ask these leading clerics about the Reformation and England. This we assuredly now.

2. Of serious, thoughtful (not the bluster and blunderbluss of one poster), and academic interest is:

Matthew Parker, at



Reformation said...

Strype's great accounts of Reformed Cantaurs available at books.google.com.

Cranmer, Parker, Grindal, and Whitgift.

Things you will not hear in the ACNA. They are "not up to it."


Though we live in difficult time, yet: