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CONFESSIONS

CATECHISMS

Westminster Confession of Faith

Westminster Larger Catechism

Westminster Shorter Catechism

Belgic Confession

of Faith

Canons of Dordt
Children's Catechism

Good News

Bible Study

 

 

About Confessions and Catechisms

 

The Shorter Catechism ExplainedAmong Christians, there is a common agreement that the Bible is the foundation of their faith.  However, from that point on, there is a great deal of disagreement as to what constitutes the faith delivered unto the saints by the revelation of God in His Holy Word, the Bible.  Some will say that they need no creed but Christ and no confession but the Bible, and yet find it necessary to put forth doctrinal statements in order to state distinctly what it is about Christ and about the Bible that they believe in contrast to others.  Stated simply, that is the purpose of Confessions of Faith. 

There are many different confessions of faith, but we find most of those set forth on the basis of the Reformation to be in very substantial agreement.  The major churches of the Reformation in existence today which continue to adhere to the Bible hold to one of two or three primary sets of confessions.  The Reformed Churches around the world (those primarily originating from Germany, Holland and what is now Belgium) hold almost universally to the Three Forms of Unity:  the Belgic Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort. 

The Presbyterian Churches around the world hold generally to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms.   There are several different versions of the Westminster standards (primarily the original and the American versions).  Those set forth in this website are the original version.  These churches generally are those which sprang from churches the United Kingdom, especially Scotland and Northern Ireland.  

Another confessional standard still used in central Europe is that found in the Reformed Churches of Switzerland, Hungary and Romania.  This is known as the Second Helvetic Confession, which is widely recognized as an extremely useful document.  There are other confessions still in use in France and Ireland, and while they are excellent documents, their influence has been considerably less than the first two mentioned above simply due to the tremendous historical missionary efforts that were emphasized by both the Reformed and Presbyterian churches from the early 1500s. 

Other churches with differences in such areas as baptism and church polity have established documents based largely upon the Westminster Confession but with variations adapted to their baptistic or congregational leanings. 

Reformation Christian Ministries is setting forth in this resource section the two primary sets of confessional standards found in the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Confessions and Catechisms.