Creeds

“And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous…”

Deut. 26:5

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”

1 Tim. 1:15

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Tim. 1:13

.

.

Subsection

Commentaries on the Westminster Standards

Creeds are Not an Element of Worship

“He Descended into ‘Hell'”

.

.

Order of Comments

Articles
Books
On the Apostles Creed
On the Nicene Creed
Reformed Confessions

.

.

 

Articles

Gebbie, D. Douglas – The Experiemental Religion of the Westminster Standards, 2015, 22 paragraphs.  Rev. Gebbie has been a pastor in the Free Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian Reformed Church.

Harper, James – The Uses and Value of Subordinate Standards  1843  8 pp.  from the larger work by various authors, Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Westminster Assembly of Divines: held at Edinburgh, 1843, Containing the Addresses and Conversations, p. 93 ff.  Buy  158 pp.

Professor James Harper was of the United Secession Church.

Hodge, Charles

The Nature and Necessity of a Public Profession of Religion  from his The Way of Life   Buy  1841

All too often Christianity is thought to be a personal opinion that one can keep to themselves and requires nothing.  Here is a Biblical corrective.  Christ said, “whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”  Mt. 10:33

What is the “System of Doctrine?”  1936, the article is edited by Dr. J. Gresham Machen and contains extracts from Hodge’s Discussions in Church Polity

An article on confessional subscription and the meaning of the phrase “system of doctrine” in ministers’ and elders’ ordination vows

What is Meant by Adopting the Westminster Confession?  HTML, from the Princeton Review of 1867 and later published as Appendix II of A.A. Hodge’s The Confession of Faith, Banner of Truth edition, p. 420-426

Kennedy, John – Answer to the Declaratory Statement of 1892 in the Free Church of Scotland, part 1part 2HTML, with the five paragraph Declaratory Act at the beginning.  The Declaratory Act of 1892 in the Free Church was a declaration of the Church’s interpretation of the Westminster Confession under five points, some of which taught against the Confession itself.  The intent of the Act was to open the door to union with the broader United Presbyterian Church.  The Declaratory Act, not being of a constitutional nature, but only a current interpretation of the constitution, did not materially change the constitution.  Thus the conservatives, bound by their unaltered constitutional vows to the constitution of the church, stayed in the church, though two ministers left and formed the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.  The foreseen union between the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church took place in 1900 and the United Free Church was formed.  The Constitutionalists stayed out of the unconstitutional union, continued the Free Church of Scotland, and repealed the Declaratory Act in 1905.

The Declaratory Act includes the statement, “that liberty of opinion is allowed on matters in the subordinate standard not essential to the doctrine therein taught.”  With such ideas rife in confessional churches today, Kennedy’s dismantling of such broad-tent subscription is an example for conservatives today.  

Miller, Samuel

On the Importance of Creeds and Confessions: an Introductory Lecture, with an Appendix entitled A Letter to Scripturista 1833  95 pp.

The Vows of Teaching and Ruling Elders  1833  2 pp.  abridged by Rev. Morton H. Smith

.

.

Books

Miller, Samuel

Doctrinal Integrity  Buy  including The Utility and Importance of Creeds and Confessions, 1839, 138 pp. and Adherence to our Doctrinal Standards, 1833, in three letters, with a Preface by Kevin Reed, 1989

The classic piece showing the Biblical warrant and necessity for creeds in the church, and the great importance of officers upholding them with their vows. 

A Letter to a Gentleman of Baltimore: in reference to the case of The Rev. Mr. Duncan [in reference to the necessity and utility of creeds]  1826  91 pp.  This is a lengthy letter to an anonymous friend reviewing Rev. Mr. Duncan’s book Creeds, which argued against the use of creeds due to the sufficiency of the Bible.

Letters to Presbyterians, on the present crisis in the Presbyterian Church in the United States  1833  340 pp.  Letters 6-8, on the topic, are also in Doctrinal Integrity above

.

.

On the Apostle’s Creed

Cunningham, William – The Apostles’ Creed  1863  14 pp.  being Chapter 3 from his Historical Theology, vol. 1, p. 79 ff.

“He Descended into ‘Hell'”

.

.

On the Nicene Creed 

Cunningham, William – The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Early Church and the Nicene Creed  1863  38 pp.  from his Historical Theolgy, vol. 1, p. 267

.

.

Reformed Confessions

ed. Jean-Francois Salvard, Theodore Beza, Lambert Daneau, Antoine de la Roche Chandieu & Simon Goulart – The Harmony of Protestant Confessions  Table of Contents   Latin  1581  700 pp.

In 1581, the first Harmony of Protestant Reformed Confessions of Faith was published in Geneva.  It was the result of a collaboration between the Huguenot ministers listed above.

They published it in response to the publication of the Lutheran Book of Concord in 1580.  It included a comparison of eleven Reformed confessions and the Lutheran Augsburg Confession.  In 1842, it was translated into English, reorganized and enlarged by Peter Hall.

.

.

.

Related Pages