10 copy price £3.99
The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith—sometimes known as the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith—is one of the essential confessions arising out of the Reformation. It has certainly not lost importance over it more than 330 year life, but the language has become antiquated in places, to the point where the meaning is unclear to modern readers. Jeremy Walker has lightly modernised the language where necessary, deliberately avoiding any change in the meaning intended by the original authors. This book distils biblical truth into a brief but rich summary of divine grace. It informs our faith and forms our life, as churches and individuals, in accordance with the pattern God has revealed in the Bible. Once the truths condensed here grip the heart, we will not think, or feel, or act the same again. We trust that God would grant its readers, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
Jeremy Walker has produced a new edition of the seminal 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. He has produced it in a readable edition with the Bible references footnotes to the truths they espouse. Archaic or difficult words are followed by modern equivalents in square brackets. The original introduction and appendix are supplied with select explanatory footnotes, which puts it into context, although an historical introduction would have been helpful. Walker has done the church a service because the Confession is well worth reading. It really is a primer of Christian belief with Baptist convictions. The original authors encouraged readers to look up the Scripture references following the example of the Bereans (Acts 16.10–12), and I would say that doing so helps to see the Biblical basis of our faith expressed systematically. This often gets lost in the otherwise helpful modern approach of expository preaching. The appendix is a short and eirenic argument for believers’ baptism. It is a product of its time (would we have a chapter on oaths if we were writing it today?) but the core foundational Christian beliefs are all there. It would be helpful for new Christians or for a whole (Baptist?) church to have a stronger grasp of systematic theology.
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