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The Westminster Standards—the 1649 Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechism—are presented here in a lightly modernized English, intended to allow the twenty-first century reader to grasp the meaning of the original without introducing any changes. In addition, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed and Definition of the Council of Chalcedon are included.
Essays to help the reader understand the importance of the Westminster Standards are also included:
Extraordinary Providences of an Enduring Standard (Richard D Phillips).
The Westminster Standards in the Making: Stanley Gower, a Westminster Divine (Kevin J Bidwell)
The Westminster Standards and Public Worship (David E Gilbert)
The Westminster Standards and the Christian Sabbath (George Swinnock, with an introduction by Kevin J Bidwell)
The Westminster Standards and the Sacraments (Andy J Young)
The Westminster Standards and Family Worship: Maintaining True Religion in the Home (Chad T Bailey)
The Westminster Standards and Church Government (Guy Prentiss Waters)
As Joel Beeke says in his Preface to this book: The God-centered Christianity summarized in the Westminster Standards energizes the worship, holiness, and missions of Reformed Christians to this day. Therefore, it is a delight to see this volume come to print May God use the modernized English edition of the Westminster Standards to help new generations to embrace their heritage of Reformation truth derived from God’s holy word.
(In addition to this book, there is a paperback edition of the Westminster Standards and the creeds (without the essays) ISBN 9781783972340)
The Westminster Standards – the Confession of Faith and the Larger and the Shorter Catechism – represent the pinnacle of Reformed thinking on the truths of Scripture in the seventeenth century and have become the subordinate doctrinal standards of many denominations. It has to be recognised that the language of the seventeenth century is becoming an ever greater challenge for those who wish to study the standards and so a version in lightly modernised English is most welcome. Kevin Bidwell (Sheffield Presbyterian Church) has done a fine job of updating the language of the standards whilst leaving the content intact. Theological accuracy, the strong point of the Westminster documents, has not been sacrificed to modernity. Bidwell has also added the text of the great early creeds of the church – Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian, along with the important Christological Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451). The second volume brings together the modernised text of the Westminster Standards and seven essays on them by various authors. The subjects covered include the making of the standards, public worship, the Sabbath, the sacraments, family worship and church government. There is much in these essays that is helpful and edifying, although we would dissent from the latitude allowed in the essay on public worship regarding the content of praise. These volumes are welcome additions to resources for the better understanding of these precious confessional documents.
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