Widespread ignorance about essential doctrine is the reason why many believers are in danger of drifting away – so say JI Packer and Gary A Parrett in Grounded in the Gospel.

The answer? A return, as the subtitle suggests, to the old-fashioned way of building solid believers; catechesis. Packer and Parrett argue that only when we return to systematic instruction in what we believe, how to worship, and how to direct our lives will we make disciples who are resistant to being blown around by every wind of teaching. The book is strong on analysis (though entirely based on observations from across the Atlantic) and demonstrates convincingly that catechesis has been a key factor at times of healthy renewal in church history. It also presents a good case for the biblical nature of such instruction in the faith. But, while the authors acknowledge the need for creativity, they are less convincing on the actual practicalities of catechesis. A thoughtprovoking read for church leaders though.