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After some great discussions, suggestions, and feedback concerning the writing of a Baptist Larger Catechism (BLC) (again, thanks for all the commentary), I’ve decided to make some adjustments to the first couple of questions posted in the last blog. The first section that is listed below will address the doctrine of revelation and scripture. This will follow The Baptist Catechism (1693) closely in order and style. Instead of starting the catechism with man’s chief and highest purpose in relation to God (as in the Westminster Shorter Catechism and Westminster Larger Catechism), we will start with God’s foremost revelation: God’s revelation of Himself through His Word.
As before, for those who are interested, feel free to comment on the questions below. For the sake of full disclosure, some of the extended answers to these questions (such as Q1, Q2, and Q6) were adapted based upon a reading of A Scriptural Exposition of the Baptism Catechism: By Way of Question and Answer by Benjamin Beddome. Question 7 has been adapted from the Westminster Larger Catechism.
Q. 1: Who is the first and chiefest being?
A: God is the first and chiefest being1 such that all other beings and causes are subordinate to Him. 2 He is chiefest in heaven and earth3 so that in all things He might have the preeminence.4
Q. 2: Ought everyone to believe that there is a God?
A: Everyone ought to believe that there is a God, for the being of God is the foundation of all practical religion1 and the chief purpose for which all things have been created.2 It is their great sin3 and folly4 who do not believe in Him.
Q. 3: How may we know there is a God?
A: The very light of nature in man1 and the works of God2 plainly declare there is a God, but His Word and Spirit only do fully and effectually reveal Him unto men for their salvation.3
Q. 4: What is the chief and highest end of man?
A: Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God fully1 and to enjoy Him completely forever.2
Q. 5: What is the Word of God?
A: The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God,1 and the only certain rule of faith and obedience.2
Q. 6: May all men make use of the Holy Scriptures?
A: All men are not only permitted, but commanded and exhorted to read, to hear, and to be careful to understand the Holy Scriptures.1 The Holy Scriptures should be read attentively and diligently;2 and heard with holy reverence,3 with delight,4 with meekness,5 with settled resolutions of obedience,6 and in faith.7
3. Isaiah 66:2
4. Psalm 119:77
5. James 1:21
Q. 7: How may we know that the Scriptures are the Word of God?
A: The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God by the majesty of its style and purity of its doctrines;1 by the consent of all the parts and the scope of the whole,2 which is to give all glory to God;3 and by its power to convert sinners and to edify saints unto salvation.4 However, the Spirit of God alone, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is able fully to persuade it that they are the very Word of God.5
Q. 8: What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A: The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God1 and what duty God requires of man.2