To question the need for Christian confessions isn’t a new thing. Among other Reformed pastors in church history, Robert Shaw (a Scottish Presbyterian in the mid-19th century) ably defended the use of confessions. His defense comes in the introduction to his excellent study, An Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith. The entire introduction is worth reading; here, however, I can only give a few excerpts.
“The necessity for the formation of Confessions of Faith does not lie in the nature of the sacred truth revealed to man; but in the nature of the human itself. A Confession of Faith is not a revelation of the divine truth – it is ‘not even a rule of faith and practice, but a help in both,’ to use the words of our own Confession…”
“If any man say, that his only rule of faith is the Bible, every man who believes…
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