In case you were wondering if the Puritans used any charts, the answer is YES! Listening to Dr. Derek Thomas speak on the ordo salutis I learned that William Perkins (1558-1602) developed an “ocular catechism” chart (available at http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/index.html?mainframe=/calvinism/perkins.html) which was used widely in many English homes in the 17th century for instruction in the truths of salvation. The chart points to Jesus as the source of salvation in every way. Outer bubbles represent distance from the Savior, and so the message conveyed is to look to Christ in everything.
If you want to listen to Derek Thomas on the ordo salutis you may find it on the website of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia SC (or directly via http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=961481782). Dr. Thomas uses Perkins’ chart extensively when teaching theology students, so it is good to know it is still getting some circulation today, at least in some circles!
You also can’t go wrong by listening to the address Dr. Thomas gave on union with Christ as well.(http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=9111491210)
One response to “Midweek Rambling: William Perkins Ocular Catechism Chart”
Hello – the Perkins’ diagram describes itself at the top as “A Survey or Table” and then says “it may be in stead of an ocular Catechism to them which can not read”. This seems to indicate that an “ocular Catechism” is one that a person can read, but if you cannot read, Perkins’ Table was designed to be used in its place so that “by the pointing of the finger” a person who cannot read can still perceive the order of the “chief points of religion”.