What is the baseline of knowledge for a Christian? Martin Luther referred to three components as "the minimum of knowledge required of a Christian" (Large Catechism). Just as a craftsman knows the fundamentals of his craft, every Christian ought to know:
The Ten Commandments
The Lord's Prayer
And not simply to recite them, but practice and grow in them. Meditate, pray, live, explore their implications, institute them in daily life.
The Creed ("I believe") states who God is and what he does.
The Ten Commandments are God's intended picture of what it means to live a human life.
The Lord's Prayer is how we are to relate and communicate with the living God through all of life's challenges.
Two factors of modern society make these three baseline components evermore important.
1.) We live in a complex society. Therefore simplicity provides a focus that cuts through the overwhelming volumes of information that exist.
2.) We live in an increasingly post-Christian society. So the basic tenets of Christianity take on greater significance. When "everyone went to church," the creed was less provocative. As fewer people speak the creed, it grows more profound.
Luther recommended weekly examinations on these three components. Tell me how that goes in your home. Even if you don't quiz yourself or your family, his point was to never believe that you've mastered the basics. The basics are a depth to be mined for a lfietime. A well with no bottom.
We are always living with what we believe (creed), how to live (commandments), and how to call on God through the trials of life (Lord's Prayer).
Luther noted, "These have been the heritage of Christendom from ancient times . . . so that all who wish to be Christians in fact as well as in name, both young and old, may be well trained in them."
At my church, we begin a series on the Ten Commandments on April 19th. "Set Free to Live Free."