Many of you know what a Confession of Faith is. Many of you are familiar with the Westminster Confession of Faith. If you are one of the many who is already familiar, bear with me for a moment. If you are reading this review, and are not familiar with the subject matter, then you are here providentially to learn. When people speak of a Confession of Faith, they are talking about a Church document that apprises, in detail, the Essential Articles, or Doctrines of the Faith. You see, before the invention of the internet, mass media, and distribution, people had to read books, and other documents to learn things.
I know it seems silly, and antiquated in this day of smartphones, tablets, apps, and e-readers, but nonetheless it is true. For some of us old fuddy-duddies, the appeal of the book has not been outshined by modern contenders. Especially when it comes to having a hard copy record that can’t be changed with an internet update. So we have books with all of their limitations, and assets.
People would study from a Confession to give themselves a better understanding of what the Church believed. They would study, so they could teach others. They would study, so they could defend their beliefs. We still study for those same reasons.
Many Churches say they don’t have a confession of faith, creeds, or doctrines. Of course their claim qualifies as all of the above. It would be humorous if it weren’t so sad. Perhaps, they have some phobia against a clear statement of faith? Perhaps, they are afraid that God isn’t powerful enough to call, and keep His own? Maybe they fear people might be offended by the doctrines of the Faith? We do know from scripture, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
If you go to a Church with a, “Statement of Faith” or a, “What We Believe” article on their website, a Confession of Faith is sort of like that, but only more complete. So if you are feeling brave, and intrepid, I suggest you get ahold of your Church’s, confession, manual, or other foundational documentation, and compare it to the Bible. If it doesn’t match up, you should leave.
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a historic document of the Church. It came after the Protestant Reformation, during the Puritan era. The name comes from the Westminster Abbey, where the theologians of the time met, by request of the English Parliament, to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline of the Church of England. The results were the Westminster Catechism, Longer and Shorter, as well as the Westminster Confession of Faith. This edition includes the American revisions, and is used widely by Presbyterian Churches here in America.
This edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith, is in the Gift Editions Collection, from Banner of Truth. They are small enough to go in your pocket. It measures 5.55 x 4 x 0.5 in. It is covered with a black, synthetic, leather-like, material with some ornamentation on the front cover. It has a sewn binding, as well as decorative head and tail bands.
These are durable little books, meant to be carried and shared. There is a very useful Table of Contents in the beginning, to help you quickly find the section you want to look up. It works great for quick reference when someone asks you a question. It includes proofs from scripture in each section. If you’ve ever wanted to understand Reformed theology better, this little book is a great aid. The Westminster Confession of Faith has become a familiar partner and aid to Christians through the many generations since its penning. I encourage you to get a copy of this for your edification, and the aid of others you come in contact with. The best way to effectively share your faith, is to know it first.
Make sure to check out all of the pictures on the flickr page.