Pierre Viret's Simple Exposition was originally published in French under the title De l'Exposition familière du Catéchisme, (1564). Written as a conversation between two individuals, Matthew and Peter, this flowing dialogue is an easy-to-read, informal means of studying the basic truths of Christianity. Viret's popular style of giving understanding to deep theological truths makes this book both enjoyable and beneficial to new believers and old alike. 

 

John Calvin and Pierre Viret were the first Reformers to use the theme in their catechisms, “The Chief End of Man.”

 

Calvin’s Geneva Catechism of 1536 started the text with the question: “What is the chief end of human life?”

 

In Pierre Viret’s catechism of 1564, he entitles his first section: “The Chief End and Purpose of the Creation of Man.” His first question is “What is the chief purpose of why God created man in His image and likeness?”

 

In Viret’s detailed explanation of his catechism, (now translated A Simple Exposition of the Christian Faith) he begins the first section with the sub-title: “The Chief End of Man, and the End for Which God Created Him.” Viret humorously contrasts God’s chief end for man to man’s desires for a life of “continual bliss.”

 

Many years later in 1647 the Westminster Assembly borrowed Calvin’s and Viret’s language in their Westminster Shorter Catechism’s first question, “What is the chief end of man?”

Hardcover, (259 pages)