J.I. Packer and Gary Parrett are concerned about the current condition of the church. They have written Grounded in the Gospel in order to reignite a passion for catechizing believers in the Christian faith.
The practice of catechesis finds its roots in the Old Testament: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut. 6:7, ESV). And the catechetical imperatives clearly emerge in the New Testament (1 Tim. 4:11, 16; 6:2-4; 2 Tim. 1:13-14; 4:2-3; Tit. 2:1, 15). This imperative reaches a crescendo in the imperative that Christ sets forth (Matt. 28:20).
Packer and Parrett remind readers that the central feature of pastoral ministry is one of rigorous teaching and preaching. And they rightly argue that regenerate people “will welcome this kind of ongoing instruction in which attention is focused on the self-revealed Triune God: who and what he is; what he has done, is doing, and will do; his works, ways, will, wisdom, and how he wants to be worshipped; in short, everything he shows us with regard to himself throughout the Scripture.”
Grounded in the Gospel is an excellent introduction to the rationale behind creeds and catechisms and should spark creative ways of doing discipleship, namely, returning to the old paths.