Book Review: Reformed Confessions Harmonized

Reformed Confessions Harmonized, edited by Joel R. Beeke and Sinclair B. Ferguson, Baker, 1999, $20.00, 271 pages.

Reformed Confessions provides us with an excellent tool for teaching doctrine. It harmonizes seven of the most famous creeds associated with the Protestant Reformation: The Belgic Confession (1561 ), The Heidelberg Catechism (1563). The Second Helvetica Confession (1 566), The Canons of Dort (1619). The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647). The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647), and The Westminster Larger Catechism (1648).

In addition to placing these Reformed documents at your fingertips to illustrate how various wordings of the same doctrines were developed, the editors include a summary which presents each document in its historical context. The creeds reflect the history of an important period in the life of the Christian Church. The book arranges the doctrines in the traditional loci of Reformed dogmatics or systematics, which makes it easy to use in teaching those doctrines. Pastors and teachers will appreciate the annotated bibliography of Reformed doctrinal works. Though the bibliography contains only English works, it is one of the best compilations. The bibliography for each doctrinal topic also suggests where to begin reading in that area. Other books harmonize some of these creeds and confessions, but having all seven in quick reference columns will make teaching and preaching easier, and hopefully encourage us to draw from the good content.

Reprinted from Equip magazine, a leadership journal of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).