I teach Sunday School at an evangelical congregation that is essentially nondenominational, but has various, historical ties to the Church of the Brethren and or one of the smaller Baptist denominations. The pastor has generally given me free reign to come up with my own material: I send him my slides after the fact as a courtesy and to allow him to offer any correction or guidance.

I have learned in this forum that not all Christian groups have a catechism in the same way that Lutherans do. My question is, do the Southern Baptists, American Baptist Association, or any other Baptist association have a common book that is relied on for instruction of youth in a similar way that Lutherans would have Luther's Small Catechism? If no, is there any standard of doctrine-- even a book of systematic theology, or works of a theological hero like Charles Spurgeon-- that is trusted for doctrinal clarification beyond the bible? If such a thing exists for "nondenominational evangelicals" and not Baptists, that's even better.

3 Answers 3


In fact, Baptists do have a catchecism. As John Piper writes here:

Written in 1677, "The Baptist Catechism" was patterned after the Heidelberg and Westminster catechisms to teach Reformed doctrine from a Baptist perspective.

The problem isn't the existence, but rather how many Baptists are willing to "cede my author-ITAY" (imagine your best Cartman voice) and use it...

That said, if a Baptist is going to trust anybody, John Piper is a pretty good modern bet, and the 1677 Heidleberg & Westminster Confessions, from which Piper draws all his source material, is about as good as one can get. As far as being "trusted" then, it definitely suits the bill. Again, your primary problem in declaring "a" Baptist anything, however, is that there is a native distrust of anything that exists outside of the local congregation, hence the waffling.

Finally, John Piper has very solid evangelical credentials, so its applicability to "nondenominational" churches should be a good bet. As just two data points (and with evangelicals that's about as good as your going to get), I was turned on to Piper by Mike Minter, the pastor of Reston Bible Church (approximately 4000 in regular attendance) and have heard similar endorsements from Lon Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church, the 17th largest church in the United States. Both of these should qualify.

  • Oh, wow, your answer triggered this: reformedreader.org/ccc/hbd.htm
    – pterandon
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 16:58
  • I nose my history :) Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 17:02
  • Of that big list, do you nose which could be said to be least controversial-- widely held? Or is the Piper-endorsed one pretty much the standard?
    – pterandon
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 21:20
  • 1
    Again, of them the Westminster would be the "most" standard, but that isn't saying a lot. Baptists don't tend to use Cathechism that much. And, if they did, they'd be most likely to write their own. If you want best and most historic, piper. But don't imagine a lot of Bsptusts will have heard of any. Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 22:57
  • There's also the Shorter Catechism, Baptist Edition
    – warren
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 4:23

There are several Baptist Catechisms. The one our church uses is "The Shorter Catechism: a modest revision for baptist today". Here is the link http://www.vor.org/truth/95cat/te95ct01.html It is published by Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church. There is the one previously mentioned by John Piper. there is The Shorter Catechism: Baptist Version and The Shorter Catechism In Modern English: A Baptist Version. For older catechisms there is Keach's Catechism and Spurgeon's Catechism.


I would say Southern Baptist don't use a "catechism". I was a member for 20 years and never heard of a Baptist catechism. I am now a Regular Baptist. We don't use a catechism either. Each local congregation has a doctrinal statement. This is a general outline on what we believe, backed by bible verses. It would not be as comprehensive as a catechism, but sets a foundation from which all other beliefs can be tested.

I will include a link to John MacArthur's belief statement. He is not a Baptist, but he is a great Evangelical and most Baptist Doctrinal Statements would look similar, perhaps not quite as detailed. Here is the link:https://www.gty.org/connect/doctrine. Generally to be a member of Baptist church you need to have a testimony of receiving Christ as your Savior and agree not to teach anything contrary to the the doctrinal or try to persuade others to change the doctrinal statement. I hope that helps.


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