In 1737 Erik Pontoppidan, a Danish bishop of pietist leanings, published a Lutheran catechism, Sandhed til Gudfrygtighed (Truth unto Godliness), which became the Church of Denmark's official catechism for the following fifty years, with new editions being printed in Norway into the twentieth century. For a figure largely overlooked by modern scholarship, he has enjoyed an extraordinarily lengthy influence over Christian formation in Scandinavia and in Norwegian immigrant communities in the USA. Pontoppidan not only left behind this ‘official’ programme of Christian education, but also an unofficial blueprint, Menoza (1742–3). This opbyggelse (‘edifying’) novel recounts the conversion of an imaginary Indian prince, Menoza, and his subsequent travels around Europe. Menoza might even be said to offer its readers an alternative or additional Lutheran catechism in literary form. This article examines Menoza's Christian formation in the light of Pontoppidan's official catechism. Which topics of the catechism receive emphasis or are downplayed? Does the progression and linking of doctrinal topics match the catechism's layout or does the author restructure Christian theology for pedagogical purposes? The article also considers the non-doctrinal elements of the characters’ catechesis, especially in relation to pietist expectations regarding conversion. What indoctrination, intentional or unintentional, into the vocabulary and experience of pietist culture did Pontoppidan offer his Scandinavian readers?