Samuel E Waldron
Star Rating: 4
Evangelical Press has done well in republishing this book. It was originally published 24 years ago to mark the 300th anniversary of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.
Presumably the decision to reissue was a response to the downplaying of confessional Christianity in this generation and the resulting appalling ignorance of basic doctrine. This ignorance breeds a widespread immaturity, which a book like this can help to rectify.
The book falls into 32 chapters, corresponding to the 32 sections of the confession. Each chapter begins with a complete quotation of the relevant section of the confession, followed by a useful outline summary of the section. Waldron’s exposition then completes the chapter.
Waldron’s approach is not to expound the confession phrase by phrase, but to highlight the main themes in each section. Sometimes other documents such as the Westminster Catechisms are used to amplify the teaching of the confession.
Waldron writes in an easy style. This is not intended to be a work of academic theology. It is written for the ordinary believer who is hungry to dig deeper into the content of God’s word. Neither is the book bogged down in history. Taking a classic historical document as his starting point, he skilfully demonstrates its relevance for contemporary issues of faith and life.
This commentary is preceded by an equally useful introduction written by Robert Martin, entitled, ‘The legitimacy and use of confessions’. It points out that a great confession like the 1689 is a safeguard in an age of doctrinal laxity.