Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms
The Westminster Confession of Faith is the greatest of all the creeds of the Christian Church. Since its first publication, it has remained absolutely unsurpassed as an accurate and concise statement of Christian doctrine. Among all the shifting sands of theological opinion, here is solid truth, for it has its foundation in the unchanging truth of Scripture. Because of its faithfulness to scripture, the Confession has permanent worth and abiding relevance.
In 1643, the English Parliament called upon “learned, godly and judicious Divines,” to meet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline of the Church of England. Their meetings, over a period of five years, produced the Confession of Faith, as well as a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catechism.
The Church of Christ cannot be creedless and live especially in an age of doubt and confusion. It is the church’s duty to define the Christian faith and proclaim it to the world. While always recognizing the supreme place of the Word of God in all matters of faith and practice, one can always turn to the confession as one’s subordinate standard. Here readers will find spiritual treasure. They will also find comfort and strength.
Only the Bible is infallible. The Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. They are useful as tools to assist us in understanding and teaching the Scriptures since they were drafted based upon Scripture. They assist us to see and understand the system of doctrine set forth by Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past. Particularly, the Westminster Shorter Catechism is unrivaled as a concise and summary of the Bible’s central teachings and has served as an invaluable tool for instructing young and old alike in the Reformed system of doctrine.