Parents, Let a Reformed Wretch Encourage Your Catechesis

Jeff Robinson | May 17, 2017

My wife and I have been catechizing our children for the better part of 15 years, but an impatient part of me has always wondered: Are they benefiting from this?

They fidget. They struggle to maintain focus. Sometimes they ask, “When are we going to be done?” This is no surprise—they’re children. But we’ve pressed on, using several different age-appropriate catechisms in the Reformed tradition.

Of course, I can’t save them from their sins. Catechesis doesn’t confer the new birth. Having a dad who pastors does nothing to change their hearts. God alone is mighty to save. 

Figures from the past have encouraged my wife and I to keep at it, to persevere in teaching biblical and theological truth through catechesis. I’m always telling my kids, “How you start things is often less important than how you finish them.” Such is the Christian life. 

Catechesis was one factor in helping John Newton (1725–1807) finish well.

From Blasphemer to Brother

Newton’s story is familiar to many. Through age 7, Newton was raised by a godly mother. He attended church, learned the Bible, and was thoroughly catechized. Of his young life, Newton wrote:

My mother was a Dissenter, a pious woman, and a member of the late…

To read the rest of this article, visit