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What Should I Read to Learn More About the Reformed Confessions? Part One -- The Westminster Confession of Faith

People who are new to Reformed theology, find that the writings of our doctors, "divines," and professors, are very wonderful and valuable statements, expositions, and defenses of Reformed doctrine--rich in biblical breadth, and theological wisdom.  These writings are the usual points of contact, and provide the names and resources with which most people are familiar.

But Reformed and Presbyterian pastors and elders (and in some cases, church members) do not subscribe to any of the writings of our well-known theologians (i.e., John Calvin).  Instead, church officers must subscribe to that system of doctrine contained in the Westminster Standards (Presbyterian) or found in the Three Forms of Unity (Reformed).

It is vital for anyone interested in Reformed theology to read and become familiar with these documents, because they constitute our "official" doctrine as confessed by the churches.

The place to start is with Carl Trueman's defense of Creeds and Confessions.  Trueman -- Creedal Imperative

This is an important book for anyone coming from the "Bible church" tradition, and who may not understand, nor appreciate, why creeds and confessions (doctrinal standards) are so vital to the life and health of Christ's church.

Rather than confessing a bare-bones (and usually poorly written) statement of basic doctrines, often hidden away deep in the church's website, the Reformed believe and confess an entire system of doctrine. 

Is this practice biblical?  And why should churches embrace and defend a "creedal" theology.

The Westminster Confession of Faith

 The best edition of The Westminster Confession and Catechisms is this one.


 This is a wonderful introduction to the Westminster Confession of Faith.  Highly recommended.  Van Dixhoorn -- Guide to WCF

Dr. Van Dixhoorn's wife has also prepared a companion study guide.


John Fesko's The Theology of the Westminster Standards

Provides a good summation of background and historical material, as well as a systematic treatment of the confession's theology, doctrine by doctrine.


Previous Posts in this Series:

What Should I Read to Learn More About the Lord's Supper?

What Should I Read to Learn More About Infant Baptism?

What Should I Read to Learn More About Covenant Theology?


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