Sunday, May 25, 2014

Creeds and Confessions

I've been reading a good bit about the historical confessions of the Reformed church. The one most familiar to me has been the Westminster Confession. Three other historic Reformed confessions known as the "Three Forms of Unity" are the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort. Reformed Baptists also have a historic confession, the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, also called the Second London Confession.

The serious use of and adherence to such confessions has fallen out of favor, both among Reformed and Baptist churches. I think this is a problem! Without common beliefs about such weighty doctrines as the inability of man and the sovereignty of God in predestination and election, how can a local church maintain and enjoy the fellowship with one another God means us to maintain and enjoy?

Churches who don't use and adhere to these historic reformed Confessions will have members who disagree on all kinds of doctrinal issues. People who join the church will not have a clear idea on where the church stands on various important doctrines. Lack of commitment to a reformed confession seems to me to be a recipe for disunity. 

Here's an article by Carl Trueman about the importance of creeds and confessions and why we need to return to them. He has also written a book about the subject which can be purchased here.

The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith can be found here.