What do you believe?

220px-WestminsterAssemblyHow would you answer that question? There have been many statements that answer it: some short and succinct, like the Apostles’ Creed, and some long and more substantive, like the historic Protestant confessions. Over at the Reformation21 blog they’ve started an excellent series on the Westminster Confession of Faith. I’ve been enjoying reading (and later writing, Lord willing) about the confession of faith I share with many in North America and around the world. If you want to be refreshed and challenged by this summary of the rich truths of God’s Word, check it out. It will help you “be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine…” (1 Timothy 4:6).

Confessional Churches?

When a church or denomination has a statement of faith, a creed, or confession, what does this mean? The reality is that there are a variety of possibilities–ranging from a historical memory, general appreciation, to a present and full commitment on the part of ministers, elders and the church body as a whole. The answer really depends on the way confession, adherence, or subscription vows are implemented and maintained. Issues relating to confessional subscription continue to vex confessional churches, as they have in the past.

In a historical context in some respects similar to that of the present day, a Scottish theologian named John Dick argued in 1796 before the Associate Synod for a biblical charity, wisdom, and commitment toward those who no longer believed in the necessity of a fully subscribed confessional theology and church order.(1) Continue reading