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Book Jacket

279 pages
Sep 2006
P & R Publishing

Truths We Confess: A Layman's Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith: Volume 1: The Triune God

by R.C. Sproul

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


As a general rule, the major confessions of the Christian faith (e.g. Heidelberg, London, Westminster, etc.) don’t feature regularly on best seller lists. They are often perceived as difficult to read and understand. And for some people, they are seen simply as shibboleths by which to judge the relative worthiness or unworthiness of a particular church for membership. (A few from this group see that as a reason to embrace them, others as a reason to reject them out of hand.)

In his new series, Truths We Confess, Dr. R.C. Sproul attempts to unfold the riches one of the most well-known Protestant confessions, the Westminster Confession of Faith, for the ordinary Christian. The first volume, titled The Triune God, tackles the first eight chapters of the confession. These chapters cover the most foundational aspects of the Christian faith, including Scripture, God’s triune nature, Creation and the Fall, God’s covenant with Man, and Jesus Christ’s role as our Mediator. (Other essential doctrines covered by the confession, including salvation, the Christian life, the Church, the family and the end times, are discussed in vols. two and three.) The format of each chapter is to begin with the relevant chapter from the Confession, and then to break down the chapter into sections, with commentary on each section and, frequently, on phrases or even individual words in each section.

In the eight chapters of this first volume, Sproul unpacks the contemporary implications of concepts such as the inerrancy of Scripture, creationism vs. evolution, natural depravity, free will, prayer, evangelism and more.

There is probably no one more knowledgeable from within the Reformed tradition than R. C. Sproul to take on such a challenging task. But perhaps it is this same knowledge and experience that makes this work not entirely successful as a true “layman’s” guide.

While the concepts are rich, Sproul uses what to many will seem like an excessive amount of Latin and twenty-dollar words. There is also insufficient differentiation between the portion of text from the Confession and the commentary, making scanning and understanding the flow of either the Confession or the commentary, rather difficult. Neither of these factors makes this book an ideal pick for someone new in the faith, or new to the ideas of Christian confessions. But for those looking for a thorough contemporary overview of a pivotal document of the Christian faith, Truths We Confess will make for helpful and thought-provoking reading. -- Rachael Stark,

Book Jacket:

Timeless truths—viewed in their enduring relevance. In his three-volume exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith, R.C. Sproul writes with both insight into current issues and clarity for lay readers. The resulting commentary will long serve the church as an invaluable aid for digesting and teaching the eternal truths of Scripture. Why teach biblical truth from a confession of faith? Sproul explains: Though human confessions and creeds are penned by fallible people without the benefit of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I stand in awe at the profound level of theological and biblical precision manifest in the Westminster Confession of Faith. I would argue that the Westminster Standards are the most precise and accurate summaries of the content of biblical Christianity ever set forth in a creedal form. . . . in my judgment, no historic confession surpasses in eloquence, grandeur, and theological accuracy the Westminster Confession of Faith.” —from the preface This first volume (of three), covering chapters 1–8 of the confession, explains what we need to understand about Holy Scripture, God and the Trinity, his decree, creation, providence, the fall into sin, God’s covenant, and Christ the Mediator. Every discussion is geared toward bringing us to a deeper knowledge of and greater love for the doctrines of grace set forth in God’s Word.