Filler in the Shorter Catechism?

Westminster Assembly 2Is there filler in the Shorter Catechism?  If you have ever written (or graded!) a research paper, you know exactly what filler is, don’t you?

In their works on the Shorter Catechism, neither Thomas Vincent (The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture) nor Thomas Watson (A Body of Divinity) offer a single comment on Shorter Catechism Q.32. (Watson actually skips over it entirely!) What is Q.32, you ask?

Q.32. What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life? A. They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them.

Sure, it’s an outline of sorts for Q.33-38, but not one comment? Not even the obligatory “no justification without sanctification” note???

Of course, there are reasons for their lack of commentary on Q.32. Each of the benefits spoken of there are dealt within greater detail in the questions that follow (i.e. justification in Q.33, adoption in Q.34, sanctification in Q.35, etc.), and both Vincent and Watson discuss those benefits of redemption in Christ when they deal with those other questions from the catechism.

If nothing else, let it never be said that the Puritans were incapable of brevity! 🙂

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