The Historical Confessions
Throughout the history of Christendom, Christians have frequently come together to establish fundamental doctrines and beliefs, aiming to clarify their positions in the face of tyranny, persecution, and the advancement of false teachings of their day. These confessions have endured the trials of time, with their content preserved by divine providence across generations.
Grace and Truth Press, The Art of Worship, and The Five Solas Alliance, together with our ministry partners such as The BAR Network, stand united in our affirmation of the Biblical and Reformed foundations of the following creeds and confessions.
We collectively adhere to the historical Creeds of Christendom, including the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, The Definition of Chalcedon, and The Athanasian Creed. Furthermore, we recognize confessions such as the 1689 Confession, the Westminster Confession, The Heidelberg Catechism, The Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, the 39 Articles of Religion, and The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as orthodox, grounded in both Biblical and Reformed principles, and fundamentally integral to the historical foundation of Christianity worldwide.
The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, also known as the Second London Baptist Confession, is a historic Christian document that outlines the doctrinal beliefs and practices of Reformed Baptists. Composed in 1689, it succinctly articulates key theological principles, such as the sovereignty of God in salvation, the authority of Scripture, the nature of the church, and the importance of baptism by immersion for believers. This confession serves as a foundational text for many Reformed Baptist churches, emphasizing the doctrines of grace and providing a comprehensive statement of faith for those within this tradition.
The Westminster Confession of Faith, formulated in the mid-17th century during the English Civil War, is a seminal Reformed Christian doctrinal statement. It is renowned for its comprehensive theological framework, emphasizing the sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, and the doctrine of predestination. The confession covers topics ranging from God’s attributes and the nature of humanity to church government and the sacraments. It has had a profound influence on Presbyterian and Reformed traditions, serving as a foundational theological document for countless churches and denominations worldwide, setting forth a systematic and enduring expression of Reformed theology.
The Heidelberg Catechism, produced in 1563, is a pivotal Reformed Christian doctrinal document. Designed as a teaching tool for catechizing, it consists of 129 questions and answers, delving into the essentials of the Christian faith. Known for its pastoral and comforting tone, the Heidelberg Catechism explores topics like the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer, guiding believers to a deeper understanding of their faith and a personal relationship with God. It has a profound impact on the Reformed tradition, offering a concise and accessible summary of Reformed theology and fostering a heartfelt, experiential faith in Christ.
The Belgic Confession, written in 1561 by Guido de Brès, is a historic Reformed Christian confession of faith. Comprising 37 articles, it serves as a foundational document for Reformed and Presbyterian traditions, particularly in the Dutch-speaking world. The Belgic Confession comprehensively articulates key doctrines such as the Trinity, salvation by grace through faith, the authority of Scripture, and the nature of the church. It not only emphasizes the core beliefs of the Reformed faith but also defends them against perceived errors of its time. This confession remains influential today, known for its clarity and biblical grounding in explaining the Christian faith.
The Canons of Dort, formulated in 1618-1619 during the Synod of Dort in response to theological disputes within Reformed Christianity, are a set of doctrinal statements and rulings. Comprising five sections and known formally as the “Canons of the Synod of Dort Against the Remonstrants,” these canons address key theological controversies, particularly the debate between Calvinists and Arminians. They affirm the Reformed position on topics such as predestination, total depravity, and the perseverance of the saints while rejecting the Arminian view of conditional election and resistible grace. The Canons of Dort remain a foundational document for Reformed theology, offering a precise and comprehensive exposition of the Reformed perspective on these theological matters.
The 39 Articles of Religion, first published in 1571 during the English Reformation, serve as a foundational set of doctrinal statements for the Anglican Communion. Comprising 39 concise articles, they articulate the theological beliefs and practices of the Church of England. Covering a wide array of topics, including the authority of Scripture, the nature of God, the sacraments, and church governance, these articles reflect a unique blend of Reformed and Catholic influences, seeking to find a balanced approach amidst the religious tensions of their era. While not exhaustive, the 39 Articles have historically shaped the theological framework of the Anglican tradition and continue to hold significance within the global Anglican Communion.
The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 is a comprehensive statement of faith and doctrine that outlines the beliefs and practices of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), one of the largest Baptist denominations in the United States. Adopted in 2000, this confession encompasses a wide range of theological topics, including the authority of Scripture, the nature of God, salvation through Jesus Christ, the role of the church, and the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. It reflects the conservative theological stance of the SBC and serves as a guiding document for its churches and members, offering a clear and concise summary of their core theological convictions.