God's Word is full of exhortations to "confess the faith" either by precept or by example. Deuteronomy 6:4 is perhaps the most fundamental biblical confession, "Hear 0 Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one." This is a confessional formula to be memorized by all Israelites. John 9:22 and Matthew 10:32-33 teach a Christian duty to confess Jesus as Messiah. Exodus 12:26-27 reflects the ancient practice of God's people of catechizing their children in the history of God's saving acts. This catechesis was part of the process of covenant renewal for those who had been initiated into the covenant through circumcision. In I Corinthians 10 (all) the Apostle Paul says that New Covenant Christians continue that pattern with the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper. The Corinthian problem was that they did not regard sufficiently the holiness of the Supper as a feast of covenant renewal nor did they discern the presence of Christ in the Supper by the Holy Spirit.
Following the Apostolic pattern, catechesis of the children of believers (covenant renewal) and new converts has been the universal practice of the Christian church since the earliest days of the church. The pattern of Christian catechesis was to learn the Apostles' Creed; the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments and the Reformation carried on this tradition.
He then outlines:
- In the "parrot" stage (circa ages 4-9)
- In the "pert" stage (circa ages 9-12)
- In the "poet" stage (circa ages 12-14)