Review of Prof’s Talk on the Place of Confessions in the Life of the Church

The Lecture entitled “The Place of Confessions in the Life of the Church” was given by Professor Herman Hanko (affectionately called Prof) on 27 Nov 10. It was one of the “What the Bible Says Series” which also covered Christian Liberty and Church Planting or Mission Work. I recommend this lecture to all who are interested to know the place of Confessions in the life of the church. Prof’s lecture on this topic is the best I have ever come across. It is available on the CERC website, Prof emphasized the need to know our Confessions. Two reasons stand out from the rest. First, life, or Christian living flows from doctrines. Second, we will increasingly need to contend for the faith. (Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3)

Prof also described the character of Creeds or Confessions:

Confessions are statements carefully crafted that “say with God”. Confessions develop scriptures. Confessions are the fruit of the works of the Holy Spirit of Truth. Confessions are officially adopted documents of the church. Confessions express the regular fide (the rule of faith).

After listening to the lecture, I am deeply impressed that Confessions are very important in the life of the church. These Confessions do not come about easily. They remain as Confessions of the church after much struggles and battles by the saints and churches of old. Many fought for the purity of the Truth, and were willing to die for their faith. If you were to study church history, you would better understand how our present day Confessions have developed. Our church, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) holds to the Three Forms of Unity. The Three Forms of Unity are the Heidelberg Catechism (1576 A.D.), the Belgic Confession (1561 A.D.), and the Canons of Dordt (1619 A.D.). I encourage you to get a copy of The Three Forms of Unity and study these articles of beliefs.

Below is a list of creeds from the early church age till the 17th Century.

Creeds and Confessions are written summaries of the Christian faith. Different Creeds have different reasons for coming into existence and they don’t always agree with each other 100% of the time. However, they divulge the truth of the Christian faith in the essentials.” Apostles’ Creed” Nicene Creed (325 A.D.)”
Athanasian Creed (500 A.D.)
1-ad” Chalcedonian Creed (451 A.D.)”
Canons on the Council of Orange (529 A.D.)” Statement of faith of the 3rd Council of Constantinople (681 A.D.)

Reformation Confessions” Luther’s 95 Theses (1517 A.D.)
530-ad” Augsburg Confession (1530 A.D.)” Belgic Confession (1561 A.D.)
6-ad” Heidelberg Catechism (1576 A.D.)
9-ad” Canons of Dort (1619 A.D.)
7-ad” Westminster Confession (1647 A.D.)” Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647 A.D.)” Waldensian Convession (1655 A.D.)

Written by: Daniel Ong | Issue 8