Should We Revise the 1689 Confession of Faith?

Dr. Bob Gonzales, the Dean of Reformed Baptist Seminary, has a nice series of blog posts addressing the need for a modern day revision of the 1689. Links to all 17 parts can be found at the bottom of this post.

In my opinion, rather than revise the 1689, we should write a new Confession that includes the best material from it (in updated English). It should also include chapters addressing the issues the church faces today (e.g. marriage). When we hold our confessional documents in too high a regard, the detrimental effect is that we abandon the modern battlefields at the very points of engagement.

John Frame rightly states:

“There is a need for new creeds today, for Christians to confess their faith anew against modern heresies. There are new heresies in theology (which, of course, are only old ones in new terminology, with new slants)…

Clearly, an extrascriptural creed is not infallible, except insofar as it accurately applies the Scriptures. But we have no way to infallibly determine that. Nevertheless, a creed must have some authority, for otherwise it cannot do its job of representing the convictions of a body of believers. Thus our attitude toward our creeds should not be one of indifference. Neither, however, should it be an attitude of subscribing to a creed’s every jot and tittle, an attitude that binds us to endorse every proposition taught in a confession. Why? Because if we are required to have that attitude towards creeds and confessions, they could never be amended….To keep them from usurping the role and authority of Scripture as the church’s ultimate standard, creeds and confessions must be amendable”

Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, pp. 306, 308

“2011 Confession of Faith” has a nice ring to it.

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About C. M. Granger

I'm a firm believer in God's sovereignty, man's responsibility, and a gracious orthodoxy. I love the Puritans and the Reformers, but I don't believe our understanding of theology reached it's zenith in the 16th and 17th centuries. I love the Reformed Creeds and Confessions, but I'm not a strict confessionalist. I'm Reformed in my soteriology (I'm a moderate Calvinist), but not in the historical sense of the term (I'm a Baptist). Some of my favorite theologians/commentators are Kevin Vanhoozer, John Frame, D.A. Carson, Thomas Schreiner, Andreas Kostenberger, Peter O'Brien, David Peterson, Douglas Moo, and GK Beale. The list of dead theologians/commentators would be too long to list here. I think it's important to read widely, to read primary sources for yourself, and to accurately represent the positions of those whom you oppose. I believe it's imperative to have a proper balance between systematic and bibilical theology. I try to never make a round verse fit into the square hole of a theological system.
This entry was posted in Church Matters, Confessions of Faith, John Frame. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Should We Revise the 1689 Confession of Faith?

  1. How about “Confession of Faith MMXII”?

  2. Jonathan N. says:

    Ambitious thought, but given the current Rf Bpst mindset I wouldn’t expect anything until at least 2111 🙂

    Nice blog, btw

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