[Update: This old post describes my first draft, which only covered “What man is to believe concerning God” (Q 1-38). The finished, complete version can be found at this link]
I’m sure what you’ve always desperately longed for is a look into my brain, at the way I visualize the Shorter Catechism. Well, consider your itch now (partially) scratched. I’ve had this project in progress for a while now, and when I learned about the supercool utility PocketMod, I just had to finish up enough to fill up 8 pages worth, which just happens to be the first section “What man is to believe concerning God.”
So here is a link to the PocketMod version of my Structured Shorter Catechism (part 1). Print that puppy out (in color), and follow the easy-peasy folding instructions, and you’ve got a super-cool, super-convenient, super-disposable, (super-small!) booklet to help you memorize the first chunk of the Shorter Catechism.
Seriously, I apologize for the size; I didn’t realize it would come out quite that small. So here’s a link to the full size 8-page PDF from which the PocketMod was created. I’ve always found it unhelpful that traditional catechism booklets simply squish all the words and phrases together as if it were just a regular paragraph. So I have laid out each of the questions the way I organize their contents in my mind. Phrases are indented to make explicit their relation to each other; in particular repeated or parallel words and phrases are aligned. In-order repetition (in particular when the answer to a question begins with a chunk of the question) is highlighted in blue. Out-of-order repetition, or parallel/contrasting words are highlighted in red. Answers whose beginnings don’t come from their questions, are highlighted in green. Keywords in each answer are in bold. Grammatically (but not necessarily theologically) parenthetical phrases are (in parentheses). Q16 illustrates it all:
So I hope you enjoy this for now. If you use it, and wear it out, you can just print another one! (If you use it, and wear your eyes out, probably not so easy…) In the future, I hope to extend this concept to the full SC, and maybe the HC as well, and maybe even twice the size (a small, still-convenient quarter-sheet booklet instead of a tiny eighth-sheet booklet).
[Update: Just in looking at the snapshot of SC16 above, I see that I missed an opportunity to highlight the repetition of “all mankind“. I fixed that, and some other things, and re-uploaded the PocketMod and full-size PDFs (the links above will get you the new ones). But, that just goes to show you this is a work-in-progress, and I will probably continually be tweaking it. So here is a read-only link to the original Google Document, which you can export as PDF at any time, and then use the PDFtoPocketMod converter to make updated PocketMods if you want.]