Generations of Christians have found the Westminster Shorter Catechism to be a wonderful treasury of spiritual gold. It outlines the core Christian beliefs and the essential characteristics of Christian living in a way that enlightens the mind and inspires the heart. Its most famous statement, that our ‘chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever’ is widely recognized as a piece of timeless wisdom.
Sadly, though, the wisdom of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is increasingly hard for many people today to appreciate. With the passage of time, its beautiful 17th Century English has become further and further removed from the language we use every day.
This brief book aims not only to address this problem by putting the Catechism into modern English, but likewise to highlight the carefully arranged structure of the catechism – a structure that in itself contains a great deal of wisdom. To achieve this, the catechism is divided into sections, and a few notes to help explain it are given. May God use it to help a new generation glorify and enjoy Him!
Andrew Conway is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, currently serving in the congregation of Sandy’s Street, Newry. He has a Masters in Divinity degree from Union Theological College, Belfast.
“For a number of reasons, catechesis has not been as widely practiced in the church in recent generations as it used to be. But the rise of confessional Christianity in recent years has led to a renewed interest in the historical documents that gave clear expression to reformed Christianity’s doctrines and beliefs. By putting the words of one of those important documents, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, into modern, simple language, Andrew Conway has made those doctrines more accessible to our generation. Through the teaching and the learning of these great biblical truths, God’s people will be enriched and will grow strong in their faith.” – Rev. J. Stafford Carson, Principal, Union Theological College, Belfast, formerly Executive Vice President, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia