A brief answer: Since the Bible is sufficient, why do we need catechisms and creeds?


Ephesians 4

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.


John Woodbridge, Research Professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, answers the question “If Scripture is sufficient, why do we need catechisms?” related to his talk “Sola Scriptura: Worldview Formation, Renewing the Church, and Evangelism,” 2017 European Leadership Forum.

source:

Reformanda Initiative

If Scripture is sufficient, why do we need catechisms?


Niagara Falls, Ontario: sign warning people not to climb over guard rail overlooking Niagara River. Photo: GeorgeLouis.

Who said this? William Ames!


Ephesians 5:13,14

13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”


So who is William Ames? – For me, he is someone new, but he was an important English Puritan theologian who lived in the Netherlands. I agree with his view of manmade holy days and was struck by his quote of Martin Bucer, the Strasbourg Reformer. Solid!


Dr William Ames (1576–1633)

One of Ames’s sermons became historical in the Puritan controversies. It was delivered in the university Church of St Mary the Great, Cambridge on 21 December 1609, and in it he rebuked sharply ‘lusory lotts’ and the ‘heathenish debauchery’ of the students during the Twelve Days of Christmas. ~ Wikipedia

[To adopt a lusory attitude is to accept the arbitrary rules of a game in order to facilitate the resulting experience of play. ~ Wikipedia]


excerpt:

Christmas: An Historical Survey Regarding Its Origins and Opposition to It

by Kevin Reed

William Ames (1576-1633), the prominent English Puritan who lived on the Continent among the Dutch for many years, sums up several fundamental principles relating to proper worship:

“No instituted worship is lawful unless God is its author and ordainer.  Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 12:32.”

“The most solemn time for worship is now the first day of each week, called the Lord’s Day, Revelation 1:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2.”

“Opposed to the ordinance of the Lord’s Day are all feast days ordained by men when they are considered holy days like the Lord’s Day.”

Shortly before his death, Ames prepared a massive volume, A Fresh Suit Against Human Ceremonies in God’s Worship (1633). This book was written as a response to earlier publications by John Morton and John Burgess. Throughout his work, Ames provides a detailed rebuttal of many of the Episcopal arguments related to church polity.

In one place, Ames speaks of the scriptural law of worship. Referring to Leviticus 10:1, he states:

“The sons of Aaron are there condemned for bringing strange, or ordinary fire to God’s worship; as doing that which God had not commanded, and yet had not otherwise forbidden, than by providing fire proper to his worship, and not appointing any other to be used in the tabernacle. And this is the very plea which we make against ceremonies of human institution, in God’s worship.”

Then he notes Jeremiah 7:31, and comments:

“Seeing God under this title only condemns that which the Jews did because he had not commanded it [to] them; therefore no other reason need to be sought for the confutation of superstitions, than that they are not by commandment from God.”

In a separate section “Concerning the Lord’s Day, Temples, and Ceremonial Festivals,” Ames states:

“Concerning ceremonial festivals, of man’s making, our practice cannot be objected; because we observe none.”

“Martin Bucer” by Jean-Jacques Boissard

In support of his position he [Ames] cites several prominent Protestant writers, including the remarks of Bucer on Matthew 12:
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I would to God that every holy day whatsoever besides the Lord’s day were abolished. That zeal which brought them first in, was without all warrant of the word, and merely followed corrupt reason, forsooth to drive out the holy days of the pagans, as one nail drives out another. Those holy days have been so tainted with superstitions that I wonder we tremble not at their very names.

 

 

A word in season – the Apostle Paul


Ephesians 4

11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.


 

a story of forgiveness, part 2


Bibbia con rosa by Vortix - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - httpcommons.wikimedia.orgwikiFileBibbia_con_rosa.jpg#mediaviewerFileBibbia_con_rosa.jpg


Psalm 119

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul:
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple


Soon after my husband and I were married, we moved to the small town where he had grown up. It was a close-knit community and I knew only his family there.

I’d begun to read my Mother’s Catholic New Testament and asked around at the place where I worked for a Bible study. God led me to a home study directed by a young couple who were church planters with the CMA (Christian Missionary Alliance), friendly lovely people. Their group was beginning a study on Ephesians, and there for the first time I encountered Biblical teaching on the Church. I thought it was strange that they were studying “the Church” when I was the one who had a claim to The True Church!

Soon, friction started but not hostility. The young preacher tried to help me understand the true Good News, the Gospel of grace, and to show me that there is only one Gospel as revealed in God’s Word, and that it wasn’t a matter of opinion, it wasn’t something to debate but to submit to. Only Jesus could make me right with God; there was nothing I could do.

Ephesians 2

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Historisches_Kinderkarusell

Historisches Kinderkarusell – the painted merry-go-round of this world (Wikimedia)

At times, feeling resentment and loving the world – Vanity Fair, Bunyan called it – and thinking there must be a better way to fix my life and get what I wanted from God, I considered leaving the group, but each week I hurried there.

Though I was fighting the truth that God alone is Lord of the Church and each one of us, and has the right to deal with us as He wants to, I was being drawn to these dear friendly people, experiencing their kindness to one another and me. By God’s doing, they became a fragrance of life to me. (A Thai friend of mine, a Buddhist, once said that when people spoke to her of the Lord Jesus she smelled a beautiful scent like flowers.)

2 Corinthians 2

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 

But eventually, under conviction and full of turmoil I left the group. A slave to selfishness, I also left my husband. . .