Westminster Larger Catechism C&C Edition Review
As the introduction to this small book notes, the Westminster Larger Catechism is “the buried treasure of global presbyterianism,” full of wealth, but often unsought. Lord willing, this new edition represents another step towards putting this treasure back into the hands of God’s people as a useful tool for understanding and profiting from biblical doctrine. For those who are unfamiliar with the origins and context of the Larger Catechism, the introduction provides a winsome, albeit brief presentation of these matters. This, however, is not primarily a historical edition insomuch as the publisher seems to have rather aimed to produce a handsome volume intended for more frequent use and sized for large pockets.
From first acquaintance, the reader will notice that this is no mass-market paperback. From the simple decorative edging of the clothbound hardcover to the font ligatures in the main text, this edition has a tasteful aesthetic without overdoing it. A single yellow ribbon marker brings the understanding that this book is still intended for a good bit of use, however.
One could conceivably see this format employed in a variety of ways. If someone wanted to apply themselves to memorize the Larger Catechism, here is a copy that fits in the larger back pockets of your jeans. The text is more than legibly large for ease of reading. The ribbon also makes this to be the type of thing which you could leave lying by a bedside or on a coffee table for daily readings. It’s nice enough to be suitable as a gift edition, perhaps for new communicants, but also not so overly expensive and luxurious that you would feel bad scuffing one up with daily and frequent use.
The reader should clearly understand that this is not a critical edition, nor one replete with additional aids. What you get is the simple text of each question and answer with the Scripture prooftext references printed at the bottom of the page. A Bible will be necessary to actually read the texts, which is of course highly recommended. Students of the Assembly will no doubt find the editions of John Bower (Reformation Heritage) and Chris Coldwell (Westminster Letter Press) to be more geared for the details of scholarship. Seminarians and ministers may find the Free Presbyterian edition of the Standards to be of greater utility in many study situations due to the printing of the text of the Scripture references alongside the Catechism. This volume, however, will readily find its place on all their shelves, as it will hopefully also make its way to many an ordinary church member’s pocket. May Christ richly bless the rediscovery of this rich heritage for his Bride’s good today.
(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher)