Posted by: Grover Gunn | March 27, 2009

Listening to the Westminster Shorter Catechism

I have recorded the Westminster Shorter Catechism and saved it in MP3 format. There is a link to this on the sidebar at I have also written an outline to help one think through the WSC.

I doubt I could memorize the WSC solely by listening to a recording of it. Yet I have found this helpful for working on the exact wording and for reviewing. The recording is about 31 minutes. I would suggest listening to it when exercising or when driving on longer trips.

I have found the following observations on wording helpful in memorizing the WSC.

The words “wherein” and “whereby” are often used in the WSC, but I have found it helpful to take note of the following usages of these two words. The word “wherein: is used in the answers to these questions:

  • Q.33. What is justification?
  • Q.92. What is a sacrament?
  • Q.94. What is baptism?
  • Q.96. What is the Lord’s supper?

The word “whereby” is used in the answers to these questions:

  • Q.7. What are the decrees of God?
  • Q.31. What is effectual calling?
  • Q.34. What is adoption?
  • Q.35. What is sanctification?
  • Q.86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
  • Q.87. What is repentance unto life?

In the commentary on the ten commandments, expressions using either forms of the word “other” or forms of the word “neighbor” are used to express applications regarding one’s fellow human. Forms of the word “other” are used in the answers to the following two questions and forms of the word “neighbor”  are used everywhere else:

  • Q.68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
  • Q.74. What is required in the eighth commandment?

The WSC uses four different sets of three words to refer to the threefold division between what one thinks, says and does:

  • The expression “thoughts, words, or works” is used in Q.61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
  • The expression “heart, speech, and behavior” is used in Q.71. What is required in the seventh commandment?
  • The expression “thoughts, words, and actions” is used in Q.72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
  • The expression “thought, word and deed” is used in Q.82. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?

The third member of the Godhead is sometimes referred to as the Holy Ghost and sometimes as the Holy Spirit or Spirit. “Holy Ghost” is used in the following:

  • Q.6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
  • Q.22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
  • Q.36. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
  • Q.94. What is baptism?

“Holy Ghost” is used in naming the three members of the Godhead (Qs. 6 & 94), in explaining Jesus’ conception (Q. 22), and in the expression “joy in the Holy Ghost” (Q. 36). “Holy Spirit” or “Spirit” is used  elsewhere (Qs. 24,29,30,31,89,91).



  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. Excellent, Grover. Thanks for making the mp3 available.

    I missed you at GA this year.



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