“Why Christians Need Confessions” by Carl Trueman

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“Despite claims to the contrary, the Christian world is not divided between those who have creeds and confessions and those who just have the Bible. It is actually divided between those who have creeds and confessions and write them down in a public form, open to public scrutiny and correction, and those who have them and do not write them down. The reason is simple: every church (and indeed every Christian) believes the Bible means something, and what it thinks the Bible means is its creed and confession, whether it chooses to write its beliefs down or not.

Of course, those who argue that they have no creed but Christ and no book but the Bible are usually trying to protect something important and biblical: the supreme authority of Scripture in all matters of Christian faith and practice. They rightly fear allowing unbiblical traditions or ideas to impact the substance of what the church believes. Yet for all of the good intentions that they may have, I believe that that which they want to protect—the unique status of Scripture—is actually best protected through explicit confessional documents, connected to a carefully thought-out form of church government.

In fact, and somewhat ironically, it is those who do not express their confession in the form of a written document who are in danger of elevating their tradition above Scripture in such a way that it can never be controlled by the latter. If a church has a document that says it is dispensational in eschatology, then we all know where such a church stands on the issue of the end times, and we can do the Berean thing and test the position by Scripture to see if it is so. The church that tells you simply that its position on the end times is the same one as that taught in the Bible appears to be telling you everything, but is actually telling you nothing at all.

In short, creeds and confessions, connected to a biblical church polity, are a vital part of maintaining a healthy New Testament church life. Here are seven reasons why every church should have them.”

Read the rest of this article here. Get his new book, The Creedal Imperative, here.

“The Freudom of the Christian”

I’m enjoying reading Dr. Carl Trueman’s latest book Fool’s Rush In Where Monkey’s Fear to Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone. It’s really just a “pithy collection of the best of Carl Trueman’s articles on culture and the church” taken from previous blog posts at Reformation 21. So far each chapter/article has been very insightful, entertaining, and humorous. The two chapters I just read were really supberb. Here are links and samples to each:

Pro-Choice not Pro-Options

“In short, it should be a matter of concern that we live in a world where the very values which seem increasingly to dominate our society – extended adolescence and the love of choice combined with the dislike of the responsibility of actually making choices – are those which will erode the very qualities that make good leaders: maturity and a willingness to make the hard decisions.”

The Freudom of the Christian

His conclusion: “This is where real Christian freedom lies: in the realization that we can do nothing to effect our own salvation; that Christ has done it all for us; and that we are therefore able to give ourselves freely and unconditionally in sacrificial service of others. The same thing, the life, death and resurrection of Christ, is what makes it possible for me to drink beer and without endangering my soul; but that is a collateral bonus of spiritual freedom and not a significant function of my spiritual maturity. It is also the same thing which motivates me not to make Christianity a laughing stock and an embarrassment through the use of foul language. Real Christian freedom is rather more to do with service of others than self-indulgence in any area of my life. The church needs more Christian freedom and much, much less Christian Freudom.”

I highly recommend this book and/or reading Carl Trueman’s blog (just look for the posts by him). I’ll try to post more links and summaries in the future.