Zurich. “For the first time ever, a systematic description of the New Apostolic doctrine has been developed. Naturally there have already been other works describing significant elements of the New Apostolic faith […] Nevertheless there have been increasing calls for a more comprehensive description of our doctrine.” So it says on the first page of the Catechism of the New Apostolic Church. Yesterday evening there was an information evening originating in Zurich to mark the work’s official introduction.
Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber, the international Church leader, took it upon himself to host the information evening personally. He welcomed the congregations throughout Europe that were connected to the live transmission and, after a brief introduction, played a previously recorded roundtable discussion concerning the contents of the Catechism. This recording answered many interesting questions such as, for example: “Why did the work have to appear in such sophisticated theological language?” To this question District Apostle Bernd Koberstein—who has been deeply involved with the creation of the manual from the start—replied that the Catechism of the New Apostolic faith is to be as comprehensive as possible. “When it comes to describing theological content, it is the same as with any other special field: each has its own specialised language. Theological content can only be presented in theological language.”
Collaboration with other churches and ecumenism
District Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider spoke about the relationship of the New Apostolic Church to other denominations and also went on to address the subject of ecumenism: “What is fundamental to ecumenism is the awareness that the mandate of Christendom is to profess the Lord Jesus, spread His gospel, and defend the core values of the gospel. In this sense, and to this end, the New Apostolic Church is naturally very happy to work with other churches.” He also pointed out that this is already happening quite naturally on many levels and that there are also many good examples of this sort of collaboration in Europe.
Other questions are answered
District Apostle Wilfried Klingler was asked how he would respond to those who had “expected more”. His response: “We will continue to say what we have always said: Here too our members and ministers will be confronted with various elaborations in one form or another. If there are questions, one can naturally always turn to the ministers.” In connection with this the Church leadership would also like to point out that any questions of general interest about theology that cannot be answered on a local level can be directed to the familiar e-mail address: email@example.com.
A pronounced imminent expectation
To conclude, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber once again clarified the goal of faith of all New Apostolic Christians: “We wait for the return of the Son of God to take home His bride, as we say, and that is a pronounced imminent expectation. In fact, we wait for this every day. This is certainly quite distinct from the beliefs and perspectives of many other Christians. There are indeed some very different conceptions, but I still maintain that the New Apostolic Church promotes a very concentrated focus on the return of the Son of God.” He went on to assure his listeners that this event is not the end of salvation history, but that there will still be other phases of salvation, such as the kingdom of peace and the new creation, “but our immediate interim goal is the return of the Son of God to take home His bride.”
The Catechism costs €19.90
All households in Europe with an active minister, teacher, public relations officer, or youth leader will receive a copy of the work free of charge from their District Church. Everyone else will be able to purchase a copy of the Catechism, currently priced at an introductory rate of €19.90.
In his closing remarks—which were again live—Chief Apostle Leber pointed out that a somewhat simpler version of the Catechism in question-and-answer format is currently in the works. This form of presentation will certainly benefit those who prefer to read the essential statements concerning our faith in more concise format. However, this version of the Catechism will only be available in about two years, and the exact time of its publication has not yet been determined.
We have made some excerpts from the introduction of the Catechism of the New Apostolic Church available here (in German).
The Catechism of the New Apostolic Church consists of over 500 pages and includes a CD-ROM. It contains a detailed description of the New Apostolic doctrine and expresses the Church’s position on various topics divided into thirteen main chapters. With the publication of the Catechism, the leadership of the Church extends an invitation to all New Apostolic Christians to once again occupy themselves intensively with the content of their faith.