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Creeds & Confessions of Faith

Written by Karl Dahlfred on .

Confessions of faith, creeds, and catechisms have largely fallen into disuse among evangelical Protestant churches.  They are still around and used regularly in some churches but by and large have fallen by the wayside as many believers and churches have put more emphasis on experience and just loving Jesus.  Or some have claimed that "we have no creed but the Bible" but as soon as you say "I believe that the Bible teaches such and such" you have made a summary statement about Biblical teaching.  Such a summary is in essence a creed or confession. No statement of faith ever takes the place of the Bible but it can be a good tool to help people get an overview of what the Bible teaches and learning how to express what we believe the Bible teaches. Some confessions or creeds are better than others but a good one should contain nothing that can't be fairly clearly deduced from Scripture.  Along these lines, I wanted to share a brief story from the autobiography of Daniel McGilvary, pioneer missionary to Northern Thailand:

 

"In May 1876, Nan Inta was ordained our first ruling elder.  The story has oft been told that before his ordination the [Westminster] Confession of Faith was give him to read carefully, since he would be asked whether he subscribed to its doctrines.  When he had finished the reading, he remarked that he saw nothing peculiar in its teachings.  It was very much like what he had read in Paul's epistles!" (Daniel McGilvary, "A Half Century among the Siamese and Lao: An Autobiography", Fleming H. Revell Company, New York, 1912, p.169-170)

 

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