Subscribe now

Confessing the Faith

By Chad van Dixhoorn
March 2015 | Review by Kevin Bidwell
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
  • ISBN: 978-1-84871-404-5
  • Pages: 486
  • Price: 11.99
Buy this book »

Book Review

This companion volume for readers of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) is heartily welcomed. Chad Van Dixhoorn is a renowned expert on the minutes and papers of the Westminster Assembly, and is an ordained minister and church practitioner.

He certainly has not written this volume with a detached view of theology. His writing style seeks to engage the reader with the doctrines of the WCF. He does this intelligibly and with a lively style.

Following a foreword by Carl Trueman, Van Dixhoorn introduces his book, writing of the WCF that ‘perhaps it is the wisest of creeds in its teaching and the finest in its doctrinal expression’.

A chapter is devoted to each of the 33 chapters in the WCF and the author imposes his own nine headings to summarise the WCF’s teaching. These headings are: foundations, the decrees of God, sin and the Saviour, salvation, law and liberty, worship, civil government and family, the church and last things (eschatology).

Van Dixhoorn uses pithy comments and various turns of phrase effectively. In explaining the clarity of Scripture, for example, he writes that ‘mapping the high points of the Bible is tiring work’ (p.22). On the texts and translations of Scripture, he helpfully summarises that ‘the Bible we have is authentic’ (p.23).

This book contains a freshness which should serve the purpose of recovering confessional Christianity in our generation. The chapters on the law, the Christian sabbath and the communion of the saints may be useful starting points for any readers who, though from a Reformed background, feel they can improve the state of play by downplaying key Reformed doctrines.

On the other hand, we must not think that this is the final word on the doctrines of the WCF. It is simply a reader’s guide, an introductory companion for those who desire to teach this particular confession or understand it better.

Tolle lege — pick up and read! The Latin phrase holds good for both this book and the Westminster Confession of Faith itself.

Kevin Bidwell

Sheffield

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…