16 February 2014

Two Books for Faithful Catechists

For catechists, school religion teachers, home-schooling parents, Catholics who want to learn more:

Two book recommendations. . .


I am using these two texts in my Teaching and Preaching the Word of God course at NDS.

Both books indirectly critique the disastrous "Shared Christian Praxis" pedagogy of Thomas Groome, et. al. and urge catechists to adopt a pedagogy that actually reflects the way God Himself teaches us through scripture, tradition, liturgy, and the magisterium.

Using both the content and form of the CCC, the books show how our revealed faith reflects the reality of God, Who is truth, beauty, goodness, and unity. And how the catechist is to be formed as a teacher of the faith, i.e. not as a facilitator for a therapeutic deconstruction of revealed truths.

I highly recommend these texts as formidable remedies to the catechetical maladies that the Church has endured in the last fifty years.
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  1. I'm a catechist. Checked out all 3 links. Book 1 doesn't move me. Book 2...maybe. I liked the list of 12 Keys, may buy it. Link 3: Lord deliver your children from this fluffy tripe.

    "scripture, tradition, liturgy, and the magisterium" Hey, that's my class!

    1. The two books linked above go together very well. The author of the first contributes a couple of essays to the second. The second book also has an essay by the Holy Father's personal theologian, a Dominican!

  2. BTW I forwarded #3 to a new DRE who is wanting to move away from the Groome model. We had just been discussing the importance of orthodox materials about a week ago, so this was timely.

  3. I finally read the article you linked. Oh my: "religious educators should have a 'healthy suspicion' of their faith tradition and that it is the educator's responsibility to uncover the true meaning of the original texts, a meaning that probably has been lost due to 'distortions' in the 'accepted interpretations' of Christian tradition." When I was asked to take over the religious education classes a couple of years ago I declined because I was told I had to use an approved text and could not deviate from it - I looked over ALL of the options and told the parish I could not in good conscience teach from these books, and in looking through them I could not believe that any Catholic educator could teach that tripe. No wonder all the kids and their families left the Church after Confirmation two years ago. I used the "Faith & Life" series with Drew throughout (even when I wasn't a practicing Catholic, I still taught him the faith), and the Didache High School curricula now, and am using the "Image of God" with Thurmond this year, with a healthy dose of the Baltimore Catechism and CCC for both boys. And scripture (Drew likes to read the Ignatius Study Bible, especially the few OT books they have study guides on). And church documents - esp. on Liturgy.

    I have the two books you recommended. Am enjoying "The Pedagogy of God." Thanks.

    1. Lame textbooks are the bane of any teacher.