World Wide Wolfmueller

Law and Gospel in Joyful Clarity

The Anti-Catechism

For a while now I’ve been thinking and talking about something I call the “Anti-Catechism.” The Anti-Catechism is a way of understanding the world and the devil’s attacks on what God calls good.

In this blog post I would like to collect resources relating to the Anti-Catechism.

The Basic Idea

The Anti-Catechism is based on a number of presuppositions and ideas put together. Here is a working outline:

  1. The cosmos is ordered according to God’s Word.
    1. Creation came about through God’s Word, and this order remains even through the fall.
      1. The Ten Commandments give shape to God’s ordering of the world.
      2. The Three Estates of Family, Church, and State especially capture God’s ordering of human society.
    2. God continues to interact with the world, especially to Redeem and Sanctify sinners.
    3. This ordering of the world can especially be seen in the three articles of the Creed and the Ten Commandments. (The 4th commandment, “Honor your father and your mother,” for example, protects God’s gift of family. “You shall not commit adultery” protects God’s institution of marriage.)
  2. The devil always attacks God’s Word, and therefore attacks God’s orders and institutions.
    1. The devil cannot create, but only destroy, corrupt, and tear down.
    2. The devil loves the darkness. He does not want his work to be seen, recognized, called out, or named.
    3. Because the devil can only attack and corrupt, we can identify the devil’s work and kingdom by what he attacks. The devil is “anti,” against the good things of God.
      1. The devil is “anti-creation,” “anti-life,” “anti-marriage,” “anti-truth,” “anti-Gospel.”
      2. At last, because all of the works of God are according to His word, the devil is always “anti-God’s word,” as Luther said, an enthusiast.
  3. By identifying the order and institution which the devil is attacking we are able to name the devil’s work.
    1. This way of seeing the devil’s assault gives us confidence and hope.
      1. Confidence because we know that the Lord’s institutions cannot be destroyed. And, more, the devil’s assaults indicate the presence of God’s gifts. (For example, the devil’s attacks on marriage remind us that marriage is a blessed estate created by God. Here we consider the ancient wisdom, “The attack does not destroy but rather confirm the substance.”)
      2. Hope because we know that the devil’s assaults are temporary, a “little while.” Soon we will be citizens of the New Heaven and New Earth where righteousness dwells.

Handouts

The best way I’ve found to teach the Anti-Catechism is with the following picture:

Anticatechism

You can download this in .pdf here:

Anti-Catechism
Anti-Catechism handout (with blank spaces to fill in).

Anti-Catechism-PDF

Media

Here is an overview video I made, Grappling with the Text style:

I was invited by Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, WY to talk about “Bumper-Sticker Theology.” I used the occasion to outline the Anti-Catechism. You can watch the full presentation here:

As more material is developed I will post it here. In the meantime, I would be grateful for your thoughts and feedback.

 

8 Comments

  1. richard found

    May 24, 2016 at 4:30 am

    Don’t quite understand the term “Anti-Catechism” but note the term gnosticism (
    which we do understand) within your chart. Can you use the terms interchangeably? If so, then it makes sense to me.

  2. richard found

    May 24, 2016 at 4:30 am

    Don’t quite understand the term “Anti-Catechism” but note the term gnosticism (
    which we do understand) within your chart. Can you use the terms interchangeably? If so, then it makes sense to me.

  3. Crystal Fletcher

    May 24, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Just a suggestion when you get to it, but the attacks on proper communion I’m noticing: come from not only not believing the words but by who they come. The whole, “If it’s not confessed, eventually it’s denied.” Satan is strategic. He doesn’t always work all at once. It’s a little at a time, logically, methodically and using man’s fallible reason. I guess that gets into every part of the catechism.

    Great idea, what you are doing!

  4. Crystal Fletcher

    May 24, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Just a suggestion when you get to it, but the attacks on proper communion I’m noticing: come from not only not believing the words but by who they come. The whole, “If it’s not confessed, eventually it’s denied.” Satan is strategic. He doesn’t always work all at once. It’s a little at a time, logically, methodically and using man’s fallible reason. I guess that gets into every part of the catechism.

    Great idea, what you are doing!

  5. Your work is awesome. You have presented some very complex and important theological ideas in a way that is clear and great for meditation. I think Dr. Luther would be proud.

  6. Your work is awesome. You have presented some very complex and important theological ideas in a way that is clear and great for meditation. I think Dr. Luther would be proud.

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