Resources

The Apostles' Creed

This Creed is called the Apostles' Creed, not because it is a production of the apostles themselves, but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine, as has been well said, "in sublime simplicity, in unsurpassable brevity, in beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity."

 

In its present form it is of no later date than the fourth century. More than any other creed of Christendom, it may justly be called an ecumenical symbol of faith.

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The Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed, also called the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed, is a statement of the orthodox faith of the early Christian Church, in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism. These heresies disturbed the Church during the fourth century, and concerned the doctrine of the Trinity and of the person of Christ.

 

Both the Greek, or Eastern, and the Latin, or Western, Church held this Creed in honor, though with one important difference

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The Athanasian Creed

The Athanasian Creed, also called the Pseudo-Athanasian Creed and sometimes known as Quicunque Vult (or Quicumque Vult) which is both its Latin name and opening words meaning "Whosoever wishes", is a Christian statement of belief focused on Trinitarian doctrine and Christology.

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The Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession, is a doctrinal standard document to which many of the Reformed churches subscribe.

 

The Confession forms part of the Three Forms of Unity of the Reformed Church, which are still the official subordinate standards of the Dutch Reformed Church.

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The Heidelberg Catechism, written in 1563, originated in one of the few pockets of Calvinistic faith in the Lutheran and Catholic territories of Germany. Conceived originally as a teaching instrument to promote religious unity in the Palatinate, the catechism soon became a guide for preaching as well.

 

It is a remarkably warm-hearted and personalized confession of faith, eminently deserving of its popularity among Reformed churches to the present day.

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The Westminster Confession of Faith

An original text of 1646, from the manuscript of Cornelius Burges, Assessor to the Westminster Assembly, with the Assembly’s proof texts, as published in the modern critical edition of 1937 by S. W. Carruthers.

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The Canons of Dort come from an international synod of Reformed people held in Dordtrecht, Netherlands, in 1618-19. While the synod accomplished many other things as well, one of its main purposes was to adjudicate a theological controversy (Arminianism) concerning the way in which believers receive the benefit of Christ.

 

The canons, therefore, are polemic in purpose, articulating Calvinistic beliefs in direct rebuttal of Arminianism. This confession is a very finely tuned piece of theological writing, ably delineating a biblically Reformed perspective on matters central to Christian life and experience.

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The Westminster Larger Catechism, along with the Westminster Shorter Catechism, is a central catechism of Calvinists in the English tradition throughout the world.

 

 It is composed of a brief introduction on the end, rule, and essence of religion and of 196 questions and answers.

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The Shorter Catechism was prepared primarily for instructing children in the Christian faith. It is composed of a brief introduction on the end, rule, and essence of religion and of 107 questions and answers.

 

It is divided into two parts that discuss the doctrines that Christians are to believe concerning the nature of God and the decrees of God and their executions, and the duties that Christians are to perform in regard to the moral law and in regard to the gospel.

 

The first question and answer of the Shorter Catechism are well known: “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

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