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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Presbyterians have expressed the Reformed theological tradition’s emphasis on the need to confess Christian faith. Confessions of faith have been a hallmark of Presbyterian churches throughout the world and throughout their history. Some confessions have presented a full range of theological topics; others have focused on particular issues addressed from Reformed perspectives. Presbyterians have built on classic continental Reformed confessions composed during the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), composed in part by Presbyterians during the English Civil War, has been one of the most influential and enduring confessions, especially in the United States, where it has been the doctrinal standard of many Presbyterian denominations. A Book of Confessions, including a number of classical and contemporary Reformed confessions, is the doctrinal standard of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. It includes the Confession of 1967 centered on the theme of reconciliation in Jesus Christ. Other important confessions from Presbyterian churches have emerged in Canada, the Republic of Korea, the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, and other nations. New and ongoing confessions of faith by Presbyterians express the Reformed impulse—“I believe, therefore I confess.”

Keywords: John Calvin, Westminster Confession of Faith, Book of Confessions, Presbyterian Church (USA), Confession of 1967

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