One way to bring back essential Catholic Christian teaching is to bring back the Catechism. All these seeker sensitive, emergent hipster programs may draw some people for a while but it does not make a disciple of Jesus or give you the essentials of the Christian Faith. In the Lutheran tradition we have Luther’s Small Catechism that teaches you the Ten Commandments, the Creed, Lord’s Prayer. confession, The Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, and prayers. This has been a staple of Confirmation in Lutheran churches. However, there are some who think that we know better than the Orthodox and we do not need those outdated beliefs because we have progressed. In some sense we have progressed and know things scientifically than the early church but in another sense we have fallen into what is called a theology of glory that seeks the truth without God and into our own image. The Catechism grounds us in the essentials of faith. It gives us the Law and gospel! The Catechism rightly interprets that the Word and Sacraments are gifts for us.
Luther wrote the Small Catechism because of his observance that the pastors and bishops of his day did not teach their people the faith so they could learn and understand it. The same criticism charged at the Catholic Church of Luther’s day was charged at the Lutherans and the other Protestants. Only the priests read and knew the Bible and the people had little access to it and the Lutheran clergy were slacking in their preaching and teaching the essentials of faith. Luther’s Small Catechism was the answer! You can download Luther’s Small Catechism on your iPhone or smart phone from Augsburg Fortress or Concordia. This the Apostle’s Creed from Augsburg Fortress.