Westminster Confession of Faith

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Psalm 95, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Psalm 95

    Psalm 95
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    I just got three books in the mail, it is Truths We Confess: A Layman's Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith by R.C. Sproul. I have a few questions:

    1. What do you think of the Westminster confession? It is of course not baptist (baptism, church organisaton).

    2. Should I read it together wit the 1689 London Baptist Confession to get a baptist view?

    3. I am not a calvinist, but since the westminster confession was a mark of orthodoxy in its time, I whink one could learn a lot from it. What do you think?

    Best Regards Psalm 95
     
  2. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    If you're not a Calvinist, then why did you receive a copy ?
    Did you order it ?
    Just curious.
     
  3. MB

    MB
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    It's my belief we should be real careful about what we confess.
    MB
     
  4. Psalm 95

    Psalm 95
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    To be a baptist is to be a part of baptist history. It is a fact that many of the important baptist leaders in history has been calvinists (John Gill, authors of first and second London confession and many more). I really want to understand them and their thoughts. I want to be knowledgable in the theology that shaped Spurgeon.
     
  5. Dale-c

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    By all means read it and the LBC.
    There are no new true doctrines and it is always good to see how others in the body of Christ have dealt with various issues down through history.
     
  6. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Adding to what Dale-c wrote, I think it's a great document and reflects the mind of some great men.

    Along with the LBC you can discover some valuable truths.

    Keep in mind, however, that the Bible is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
     
  7. larryjf

    larryjf
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    !!! MODERATOR ALERT !!!
    Please feel free to delete my post as i am not Baptist and this is Baptist-only forum.

    I just couldn't pass up giving a link to a great resource for a Baptist who is reading the Westminster Confession of Faith...

    A Tabular Comparison of the 1646 WCF and the 1689 LBCF
     
  8. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    I reject at least one part of the Confession that is not directly related to Calvinism:

    Section II
    1. There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his won glory, most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in his judgments; hating all sin; and who will by no means clear the guilty.[/quote]
    I can't go with a theology that claims that God does not have things that interest Him or cause Him joy,satisfaction, grief, anger, etc.

    I also have some issues with the meaning of some of the other assertions, but I think the Bible is clear that God has "passions."
     
  9. skypair

    skypair
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    CAUTION! The WCF was "state of the art" 350 years ago!! The "fires of heresy" that they were fighting then are "under control!" It won't hurt the solid believer to read the debates but many of the premises are no longer accepted in Baptist circles.

    Sure. The comparative table someone posted is probably a good tool. It's rather long and I'd personally rather spend time reading the Bible unless I was going for my doctor of divinty degree (self-flagellation :laugh:). But, hey, maybe that's your "bag."

    skypair
     
    #9 skypair, Mar 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2008
  10. David Lamb

    David Lamb
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    Could the word "some" be added before "Baptist circles"? After all, there are baptists and baptist churches that do still accept the premises of the WCF (apart from the sections on baptism and church government - but surely no baptist has ever accepted those).
     
  11. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    Speak for yourself.
    In my Baptist circles they still are believed, with the exception as David said of the things baptists never believed.
     
  12. Jerome

    Jerome
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    The Westminster Confession has a section on church government?
    How can one accept/believe a confession if one doesn't know its contents?
     
  13. David Lamb

    David Lamb
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    Sorry, my mistake, for which I have no excuse (no valid one, anyway :) ), as I have a copy of the Confession. I should have put:
    "After all, there are baptists and baptist churches that do still accept the premises of the WCF (apart from the section on baptism, and its references to church government, for instance in Chapter XXIII - see below - but surely no baptist has ever accepted those).


    Chapter XIII includes these words:
    The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he has authority, and it is his duty, to take order that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administrated, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God."

    Anyway, apologies once again.
     
  14. Rippon

    Rippon
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    The WCF is not a polemical document as such like the Canons of Dort . Most of the things dealt with many non-Cals of today would agree upon . It is not a debate-oriented Confession .I would trust that most of its premises would indeed be accepted today among non-Calvinistic Baptists !
     
  15. Rippon

    Rippon
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    Since the WCF is chock-full of Scriptural citations I daresay one would be getting a lot of Bible reading/studying in by going over that orthodox statement of the Faith once delivered ! It covers many ( I did not say all ) explanations or affirmations of major biblical doctrines .
     
  16. ~JM~

    ~JM~
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  17. skypair

    skypair
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    That would kinda negate my point though, wouldn't it? If they don't accept the baptism and church govt portions, then my statement is not as misleading as yours would be.

    skypair
     
  18. David Lamb

    David Lamb
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    Just to assure you that I did not intend to mislead. I apologise for any careless wording that caused you to think otherwise.

    You had said that many of the premises (of the WCF) are no longer accepted in Baptist circles. I had assumed that your words "no longer accepted" meant that you were talking about things which were once accepted by baptist churches. That wouldn't (in my view) include the matters of baptism and church government, because baptist churches have never accepted the WCF stand on these two matters. To save any further misunderstandings, could I ask you to give a few examples of the "many premises" of the WCF that are "no longer accepted in baptist circles"? Thank you.
     
  19. skypair

    skypair
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    Thanks, David. As for me, I have to read it "squinty-eyed" to try to stumble through the fortifications against various heresies that slow down the reading of it. That and perhaps the king's English. :laugh:

    skypair
     
  20. Psalm 95

    Psalm 95
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    Thank you friends on BB for your answers to my questions.

    I think the slow readning of the westminster confession will be rewarding supplemented with the LBC and the Bible. I think I will skip the parts on church government and baptism. This will alse be a chanse to think trough the questions on covenant theology versus dispensationalism and calvinism verus arminianism.

    Best Regarss

    Psalm 95
     

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