Maturing in the Faith

If you’re brand new to serious thought about the Christian faith and you missed our parent page “Beliefs,” you will likely find that page to be the best place on this site to begin your contemplation of Christianity. Just click on “Beliefs.”

That said, if you’ve been following the path we’ve been treading and have looked at the pages “Beliefs” and “Learning More,” and have pondered well their teaching, we now invite you to go further. To this end we’ve recommended here some longer historic summaries of the Christian faith. Those visiting the site as established Christians will glean from these documents our particular understanding of the Christian faith and location within the Christian church.

Stated most broadly, we are Christian. That’s what we have emphasized on the other pages. By referencing here more extended documents of the Christian faith, we indicate that we are specifically Protestant, and particularly Reformed (better yet, reforming according to God’s Word). The church’s confessions or statements of faith which best summarize our understanding of the Christian faith include: The Belgic Confession of Faith (1561), The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), The Calvinistic Methodist Confession of Faith (1823; English translation, 1827), and the Statement of Faith, World Reformed Fellowship (2011):

The Belgic Confession of Faith (1561): Sometimes known as the Walloon Confession, The Belgic Confession was compiled by Guido De Bres as a defense of persecuted Reformed Christians. It was translated from French into Dutch in 1562. By 1618 the Confession had received definitive approval at the Synod of Dordrecht, becoming known with the Heidelberg Catechism and Canons of the same Synod the “Three Forms of Unity.” These forms served as the confessional foundation for all Dutch Reformed churches. The text of the Confession may be sub-divided into three units: the triune God and the knowledge of him from Scripture (Articles 1-9); Christ’s work of creation and redemption (Articles 10-23); and the ministry of the Spirit in and through the church of Jesus Christ (Articles 24-37).

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647): Actually completed in December of 1646, the Westminster Confession of Faith gained its name from the Westminster Assembly. The Assembly of Puritans met in London in order to compile a statement of faith that would express the faith of Reformed believers throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland. The Westminster Confession of Faith is said to be the last of the classic Reformed confessions, and has been by far the most influential in the English-speaking world. Containing thirty-three chapters, the Westminster Confession is especially noted for its mature statements on Holy Scripture, predestination, assurance, and the nature of Christian liberty. The Confession is also the first confession in the history of the church to have included substantive statements on covenant theology (7), the doctrine of adoption (12), and the distinction between the visible and invisible church(25).

The Calvinistic Methodist Confession of Faith (1823; English translation, 1827): This confession was produced to express the beliefs of Calvinistic Methodists in Wales who had earlier broken from the Church of England in 1795. The Confession became the subordinate standard of the Calvinistic Methodist or Presbyterian Church in Wales. It was the loss of the theology of the Confession under the influence of early twentieth-century theological liberalism and modernism which led Peter Trumper to become the first to lead his English-speaking congregants out of the Presbyterian Church in Wales in the 1960s.

Statement of Faith, World Reformed Fellowship (2011): This most recent statement of faith reminds us that the task of theology is ongoing. It is the product of the World Reformed Fellowship, a promotion of Reformed partnerships worldwide in which Tim Trumper is an individual member and Seventh Reformed Church a congregational member. The Statement of Faith is distinctive in its endeavors: (1)  To reflect the global reach of the Reformed faith in a way that was beyond the compilers of the aforementioned historic statements of faith; (2) To apply the theology of the Reformed faith to the global issues of the present.

 

 

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