Bishop Emeritus Donald N. Bastian has written a nice article about the Classic Catechism on his blog, Just Call Me Pastor. In the post Bastian promotes catechesis in general, gives an overview of how the Classic Catechism came to be, and discusses the international interest in it. So see the post, What Book Should Come Next to the Bible?, and enjoy.
And thank you, Bishop Bastian, for your priceless input during the development of the Classic Catechism, and for your continued support of it.
With Bishop Bastian at General Conference 2015.
Below are the PowerPoint slides and the simple handout I will use for seminar on the Classic Catechism this Wednesday.
Using the Classic Catechism handout Gen Conf 2015
Catechism Presentation for General Conference 2015
I am happy to announce that I will be offering a seminar on the Classic Catechism at the General Conference of the Free Methodist Church-USA this July in Orlando. The seminar will be on Wednesday, July 15, from 7:00 – 8:15 a.m., in one of the classrooms in the right/east BOCA wing of the convention center.
The seminar will cover the origin and structure of the Catechism plus some ideas for how to use it. I have offered seminars like this at the last two General Conferences and they went well – I am hoping for even stronger interest now that it has been translated into several languages and is being used extensively in Asia.
I just received word that the Classic Catechism has been translated into Telugu. What is Telugu, you ask? Well, apparently Telugu is a language spoken in India. All I know about Telugu I just learned from where everyone with Internet access gets answers from: Wikipedia:
Telugu // (తెలుగు telugu, IPA: [t̪el̪uɡu]) is a Dravidian language and is the only language other than Hindi, English and Bengali that is predominantly spoken in more than one Indian state, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and in the union territory of Yanam where it is also an official language. It is also spoken by significant minorities in the Andaman and Nicobar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry, and by the Sri Lankan Gypsy people. It is one of six languages designated a classical language of India. Telugu ranks third by the number of native speakers in India (74 million), thirteenth in the Ethnologue list of most-spoken languages worldwide and is the most widely spoken Dravidian language. It is one of the twenty-two scheduled languages of the Republic of India.
So there you have it – it indeed a language, and apparently enough Free Methodists speak it to warrant the work of a translator.
If you speak Telugu and want a copy of the Classic Catechism, I will contact the powers-that-be and try to get you one.
The snippet at right is from the February, 2015 “Yardy Update” newsletter which is from missionaries David and Sherrill Yardy. It announces (and this is news to me!) that the Classic Catechism will be translated into Marathi, the official language of the Maharashtra state of India. Pictured is a copy of the Classic Catechism’s translation into Chin of Myanmar.
It continues to astound me that a simple project originally conceived for teaching my daughter the basics of Christian doctrine has proven so useful overseas. If only American Christians cared more about proper indoctrination…
When my revision of the Catechism of the Free Methodist Church was published in 2006 as Classic Catechism, I had hopes that it would be put to good use in America. To date, it has been used in America – a bit. But what I did not expect was interest in it overseas. Apparently, the question and answer format is still one of the preferred teaching styles abroad. Also a basic, cheap doctrinal resource is needed in places where a pastor may not own any theological books besides a Bible. It is very popular in India (in English) and has been translated into Chin, a language of Myanmar, and recently into Chinese. I have just received word that there are plans to see it translated into Bengali. My hope is to see it in Spanish in the near future as well.
Revising the old catechism was a labor of love to provide a basic doctrinal teaching tool for teaching my daughter. The revision of questions was extensive as the phrasing, vocabulary, etc. had to be brought from the 1902 way of speaking to present-day usage. Plus I added about 30 new questions to fill in gaps and to better sync it with our Articles of Religion.
If you are interested in reviewing a list of changes I made to the original catechism, read Microsoft Word – Changes List for published catechism. If you want to read a document from a workshop on the Classic Catechism I did at the 2007 General Conference, see (Microsoft Word – Teaching the Classic Catechism – General Conference 20.
The Classic Catechism may be ordered from Amazon and from Wesleyan Publishing House.