One on the great gifts that Concordia Publishing House provides for us, is theological books but we can use for education, as well as devotional books for pastors and lay people like. Among those marvelous books has always been Luther’s Small Catechism. This gem from Luther in my mind grows more and more important every year I get older. For years now I have used Luther’s Small Catechism as a tool to
introduce others into the Christian faith. Over the years the explanation to the Catechism has been important for me, but I also noticed that as times change I had to adapt more and more.
The need for a “modernization” of the explanation was explained well by the executive director of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations Joel Lehenbauer. He wrote
“much has changed in the 25 year since the Senate last published in addition of the explanation. We have entered an age of computers, smart phones, and virtual reality – a world in which bullying involves text messages as often as physical confrontations, where Islam is in the news on a daily basis, and the word marriage has taken on a radically new, unscriptural, court – mandated meaning. Along the way, the United States has become increasingly secular and religiously diverse. Christianity has not only lost his privilege position, but his teachings are often casually scorned and Christians themselves are sometimes treated with hostility. Those who are catechized today are faced with an old question that holds a new sobriety: “Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and church and the suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?” (LSB Rite of Confirmation)
CPH and the Commission have a field test going on for an updated explanation that is quite interesting and much appreciated.